Chapter One : The Activities of Maharaja Priyavrata

King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: O great sage, why did King 
Priyavrata, who was a great, self-realized devotee of the Lord, remain in 
household life, which is the root cause of the bondage of karma [fruitive 
activities] and which defeats the mission of human life?

Devotees are certainly liberated persons. Therefore, O greatest of the 
brahmanas, they cannot possibly be absorbed in family affairs.

Elevated mahatmas who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead are fully satiated by the shade of those lotus feet. 
Their consciousness cannot possibly become attached to family members.

The King continued: O great brahmana, this is my great doubt. How was it 
possible for a person like King Priyavrata, who was so attached to wife, 
children and home, to achieve the topmost infallible perfection in Krishna 

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: What you have said is correct. The glories of the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is praised in eloquent, transcendental 
verses by such exalted personalities as Brahma, are very pleasing to great 
devotees and liberated persons. One who is attached to the nectarean honey of 
the Lord's lotus feet, and whose mind is always absorbed in His glories, may 
sometimes be checked by some impediment, but he still never gives up the exalted 
position he has acquired.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, Prince Priyavrata was a great devotee 
because he sought the lotus feet of Narada, his spiritual master, and thus 
achieved the highest perfection in transcendental knowledge. With advanced 
knowledge, he always engaged in discussing spiritual subjects and did not divert 
his attention to anything else. The Prince's father then asked him to take 
charge of ruling the world. He tried to convince Priyavrata that this was his 
duty as indicated in the revealed scriptures. Prince Priyavrata, however, was 
continuously practicing bhakti-yoga by constantly remembering the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, thus engaging all his senses in the service of the Lord. 
Therefore, although the order of his father could not be rejected, the Prince 
did not welcome it. Thus he very conscientiously raised the question of whether 
he might be diverted from devotional service by accepting the responsibility of 
ruling over the world.

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: The first created being and most powerful 
demigod in this universe is Lord Brahma, who is always responsible for 
developing universal affairs. Born directly from the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, he dedicates his activities to the welfare of the entire universe, for 
he knows the purpose of the universal creation. This supremely powerful Lord 
Brahma, accompanied by his associates and the personified Vedas, left his own 
abode in the highest planetary system and descended to the place of Prince 
Priyavrata's meditation.

As Lord Brahma descended on his carrier, the great swan, all the residents of 
the planets named Siddhaloka, Gandharvaloka, Sadhyaloka and Caranaloka, as well 
as great sages and demigods flying in their different airplanes, assembled 
within the canopy of the sky to receive Lord Brahma and worship him. As he 
received respect and adoration from the residents of the various planets, Lord 
Brahma appeared just like the full moon surrounded by illuminating stars. Lord 
Brahma's great swan then arrived at the border of Gandhamadana Hill and 
approached Prince Priyavrata, who was sitting there.

Lord Brahma, the father of Narada Muni, is the supreme person within this 
universe. As soon as Narada saw the great swan, he could understand that Lord 
Brahma had arrived. Therefore he immediately stood up, along with Svayambhuva 
Manu and his son Priyavrata, whom Narada was instructing. Then they folded their 
hands and began to worship Lord Brahma with great respect.

My dear King Pariksit, because Lord Brahma had finally descended from Satyaloka 
to Bhuloka, Narada Muni, Prince Priyavrata and Svayambhuva Manu came forward to 
offer him objects of worship and to praise him in highly qualified language, 
according to Vedic etiquette. At that time, Lord Brahma, the original person of 
this universe, felt compassion for Priyavrata and, looking upon him with a 
smiling face, spoke to him as follows.

Lord Brahma, the supreme person within this universe, said: My dear Priyavrata, 
kindly hear attentively what I shall say to you. Do not be jealous of the 
Supreme Lord, who is beyond our experimental measurements. All of us, including 
Lord Shiva, your father and the great sage Maharsi Narada, must carry out the 
order of the Supreme. We cannot deviate from His order.

One cannot avoid the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not by the 
strength of severe austerities, an exalted Vedic education, or the power of 
mystic yoga, physical prowess or intellectual activities. Nor can one use his 
power of religion, his material opulence or any other means, either by himself 
or with the help of others, to defy the orders of the Supreme Lord. That is not 
possible for any living being, from Brahma down to the ant.

My dear Priyavrata, by the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all 
living entities accept different types of bodies for birth and death, activity, 
lamentation, illusion, fear of future dangers, and happiness and distress.

My dear boy, all of us are bound by the Vedic injunctions to the divisions of 
varnasrama according to our qualities and work. These divisions are difficult to 
avoid because they are scientifically arranged. We must therefore carry out our 
duties of varnasrama-dharma, like bulls obliged to move according to the 
direction of a driver pulling on ropes knotted to their noses.

My dear Priyavrata, according to our association with different modes of 
material nature, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gives us our specific bodies 
and the happiness and distress we achieve. One must therefore remain situated as 
he is and be conducted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, exactly as a blind 
man is led by a person who has eyes with which to see.

Even if one is liberated, he nevertheless accepts the body he has received 
according to his past karma. Without misconceptions, however, he regards his 
enjoyment and suffering due to that karma the way an awakened person regards a 
dream he had while sleeping. He thus remains steadfast and never works to 
achieve another material body under the influence of the three modes of material 

Even if he goes from forest to forest, one who is not self-controlled must 
always fear material bondage because he is living with six co-wives--the mind 
and knowledge-acquiring senses. Even householder life, however, cannot harm a 
self-satisfied, learned man who has conquered his senses.

One who is situated in household life and who systematically conquers his mind 
and five sense organs is like a king in his fortress who conquers his powerful 
enemies. After one has been trained in household life and his lusty desires have 
decreased, he can move anywhere without danger.

Lord Brahma continued: My dear Priyavrata, seek shelter inside the opening in 
the lotus of the feet of the Lord, whose navel is also like a lotus. Thus 
conquer the six sense organs [the mind and knowledge-acquiring senses]. Accept 
material enjoyment because the Lord, extraordinarily, has ordered you to do 
this. You will thus always be liberated from material association and be able to 
carry out the Lord's orders in your constitutional position.

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After thus being fully instructed by Lord 
Brahma, who is the spiritual master of the three worlds, Priyavrata, his own 
position being inferior, offered obeisances, accepted the order and carried it 
out with great respect.

Lord Brahma was then worshiped by Manu, who respectfully satisfied him as well 
as he could. Priyavrata and Narada also looked upon Brahma with no tinges of 
resentment. Having engaged Priyavrata in accepting his father's request, Lord 
Brahma returned to his abode, Satyaloka, which is indescribable by the endeavor 
of mundane mind or words.

Svayambhuva Manu, with the assistance of Lord Brahma, thus fulfilled his 
desires. With the permission of the great sage Narada, he delivered to his son 
the governmental responsibility for maintaining and protecting all the planets 
of the universe. He thus achieved relief from the most dangerous, poisonous 
ocean of material desires.

Following the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Maharaja Priyavrata 
fully engaged in worldly affairs, yet he always thought of the lotus feet of the 
Lord, which are the cause of liberation from all material attachment. Although 
Priyavrata Maharaja was completely freed from all material contamination, he 
ruled the material world just to honor the orders of his superiors.

Thereafter, Maharaja Priyavrata married Barhismati, the daughter of the 
prajapati named Visvakarma. In her he begot ten sons equal to him in beauty, 
character, magnanimity and other qualities. He also begot a daughter, the 
youngest of all, named Urjasvati.

The ten sons of Maharaja Priyavrata were named Agnidhra, Idhmajihva, Yajnabahu, 
Mahavira, Hiranyareta, Ghrtaprstha, Savana, Medhatithi, Vitihotra and Kavi. 
These are also names of Agni, the fire-god.

Three among these ten--namely Kavi, Mahavira and Savana--lived in complete 
celibacy. Thus trained in brahmacari life from the beginning of childhood, they 
were very conversant with the highest perfection, known as the paramahamsa-

Thus situated in the renounced order from the beginning of their lives, all 
three of them completely controlled the activities of their senses and thus 
became great saints. They concentrated their minds always upon the lotus feet of 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the resting place of the totality of 
living entities and who is therefore celebrated as Vasudeva. Lord Vasudeva is 
the only shelter of those who are actually afraid of material existence. By 
constantly thinking of His lotus feet, these three sons of Maharaja Priyavrata 
became advanced in pure devotional service. By the prowess of their devotional 
service, they could directly perceive the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is 
situated in everyone's heart as the Supersoul, and realize that there was 
qualitatively no difference between themselves and Him.

In his other wife, Maharaja Priyavrata begot three sons, named Uttama, Tamasa 
and Raivata. All of them later took charge of manvantara millenniums.

After Kavi, Mahavira and Savana were completely trained in the paramahamsa stage 
of life, Maharaja Priyavrata ruled the universe for eleven arbudas of years. 
Whenever he was determined to fix his arrow upon his bowstring with his two 
powerful arms, all opponents of the regulative principles of religious life 
would flee from his presence in fear of the unparalleled prowess he displayed in 
ruling the universe. He greatly loved his wife Barhismati, and with the increase 
of days, their exchange of nuptial love also increased. By her feminine behavior 
as she dressed herself, walked, got up, smiled, laughed, and glanced about, 
Queen Barhismati increased his energy. Thus although he was a great soul, he 
appeared lost in the feminine conduct of his wife. He behaved with her just like 
an ordinary man, but actually he was a great soul.

While so excellently ruling the universe, King Priyavrata once became 
dissatisfied with the circumambulation of the most powerful sun-god. Encircling 
Sumeru Hill on his chariot, the sun-god illuminates all the surrounding 
planetary systems. However, when the sun is on the northern side of the hill, 
the south receives less light, and when the sun is in the south, the north 
receives less. King Priyavrata disliked this situation and therefore decided to 
make daylight in the part of the universe where there was night. He followed the 
orbit of the sun-god on a brilliant chariot and thus fulfilled his desire. He 
could perform such wonderful activities because of the power he had achieved by 
worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

When Priyavrata drove his chariot behind the sun, the rims of his chariot wheels 
created impressions that later became seven oceans, dividing the planetary 
system known as Bhu-mandala into seven islands.

The names of the islands are Jambu, Plaksa, Salmali, Kusa, Kraunca, Saka and 
Puskara. Each island is twice as large as the one preceding it, and each is 
surrounded by a liquid substance, beyond which is the next island.

The seven oceans respectively contain salt water, sugarcane juice, liquor, 
clarified butter, milk, emulsified yogurt, and sweet drinking water. All the 
islands are completely surrounded by these oceans, and each ocean is equal in 
breadth to the island it surrounds. Maharaja Priyavrata, the husband of Queen 
Barhismati, gave sovereignty over these islands to his respective sons, namely 
Agnidhra, Idhmajihva, Yajnabahu, Hiranyareta, Ghrtaprstha, Medhatithi and 
Vitihotra. Thus they all became kings by the order of their father.

King Priyavrata then gave his daughter, Urjasvati, in marriage to Sukracarya, 
who begot in her a daughter named Devayani.

My dear King, a devotee who has taken shelter of the dust from the lotus feet of 
the Lord can transcend the influence of the six material whips--namely hunger, 
thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death--and he can conquer the mind 
and five senses. However, this is not very wonderful for a pure devotee of the 
Lord because even a person beyond the jurisdiction of the four castes--in other 
words, an untouchable--is immediately relieved of bondage to material existence 
if he utters the holy name of the Lord even once.

While enjoying his material opulences with full strength and influence, Maharaja 
Priyavrata once began to consider that although he had fully surrendered to the 
great saint Narada and was actually on the path of Krishna consciousness, he had 
somehow become again entangled in material activities. Thus his mind now became 
restless, and he began to speak in a spirit of renunciation.

The King thus began criticizing himself: Alas, how condemned I have become 
because of my sense gratification! I have now fallen into material enjoyment, 
which is exactly like a covered well. I have had enough! I am not going to enjoy 
any more. Just see how I have become like a dancing monkey in the hands of my 
wife. Because of this, I am condemned.

By the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Maharaja Priyavrata 
reawakened to his senses. He divided all his earthly possessions among his 
obedient sons. He gave up everything, including his wife, with whom he had 
enjoyed so much sense gratification, and his great and opulent kingdom, and he 
completely renounced all attachment. His heart, having been cleansed, became a 
place of pastimes for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus he was able to 
return to the path of Krishna consciousness, spiritual life, and resume the 
position he had attained by the grace of the great saint Narada.

There are many famous verses regarding Maharaja Priyavrata's activities:      
"No one but the Supreme Personality of Godhead could do what Maharaja Priyavrata 
has done. Maharaja Priyavrata dissipated the darkness of night, and with the 
rims of his great chariot, he excavated seven oceans."

"To stop the quarreling among different peoples, Maharaja Priyavrata marked 
boundaries at rivers and at the edges of mountains and forests so that no one 
would trespass upon another's property."

"As a great follower and devotee of the sage Narada, Maharaja Priyavrata 
considered hellish the opulences he had achieved by dint of fruitive activities 
and mystic power, whether in the lower or heavenly planetary systems or in human 

Chapter Two : The Activities of Maharaja Agnidhra

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After his father, Maharaja Priyavrata, departed 
to follow the path of spiritual life by undergoing austerities, King Agnidhra 
completely obeyed his order. Strictly observing the principles of religion, he 
gave full protection to the inhabitants of Jambudvipa as if they were his own 
begotten sons.

Desiring to get a perfect son and become an inhabitant of Pitrloka, Maharaja 
Agnidhra once worshiped Lord Brahma, the master of those in charge of material 
creation. He went to a valley of Mandara Hill, where the damsels of the heavenly 
planets come down to stroll. There he collected garden flowers and other 
necessary paraphernalia and then engaged in severe austerities and worship.

Understanding King Agnidhra's desire, the first and most powerful created being 
of this universe, Lord Brahma, selected the best of the dancing girls in his 
assembly, whose name was Purvacitti, and sent her to the King.

The Apsara sent by Lord Brahma began strolling in a beautiful park near the 
place where the King was meditating and worshiping. The park was beautiful 
because of its dense green foliage and golden creepers. There were pairs of 
varied birds such as peacocks, and in a lake there were ducks and swans, all 
vibrating very sweet sounds. Thus the park was magnificently beautiful because 
of the foliage, the clear water, the lotus flowers and the sweet singing of 
various kinds of birds.

As Purvacitti passed by on the road in a very beautiful style and mood of her 
own, the pleasing ornaments on her ankles tinkled with her every step. Although 
Prince Agnidhra was controlling his senses, practicing yoga with half-open eyes, 
he could see her with his lotuslike eyes, and when he heard the sweet tinkling 
of her bangles, he opened his eyes slightly more and could see that she was just 

Like a honeybee, the Apsara smelled the beautiful and attractive flowers. She 
could attract the minds and vision of both humans and demigods by her playful 
movements, her shyness and humility, her glances, the very pleasing sounds that 
poured from her mouth as she spoke, and the motion of her limbs. By all these 
qualities, she opened for Cupid, who bears an arrow of flowers, a path of aural 
reception into the minds of men. When she spoke, nectar seemed to flow from her 
mouth. As she breathed, the bees, mad for the taste of her breath, tried to 
hover about her beautiful lotuslike eyes. Disturbed by the bees, she tried to 
move hastily, but as she raised her feet to walk quickly, her hair, the belt on 
her hips, and her breasts, which were like water jugs, also moved in a way that 
made her extremely beautiful and attractive. Indeed, she seemed to be making a 
path for the entrance of Cupid, who is most powerful. Therefore the prince, 
completely subdued by seeing her, spoke to her as follows.

The Prince mistakenly addressed the Apsara: O best of saintly persons, who are 
you? Why are you on this hill, and what do you want to do? Are you one of the 
illusory potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? You seem to be 
carrying two bows without strings, What is the reason you carry these bows? Is 
it for some purpose of your own or for the sake of a friend? Perhaps you carry 
them to kill the mad animals in this forest.

Then Agnidhra observed the glancing eyes of Purvacitti and said: My dear friend, 
you have two very powerful arrows, namely your glancing eyes. Those arrows have 
feathers like the petals of a lotus flower. Although they have no shafts, they 
are very beautiful, and they have very sharp, piercing points. They appear very 
peaceful, and thus it seems that they will not be shot at anyone. You must be 
loitering in this forest to shoot those arrows at someone, but I cannot 
understand whom. My intelligence is dull, and I cannot combat you. Indeed, no 
one can equal you in prowess, and therefore I pray that your prowess will be for 
my good fortune.

Seeing the bumblebees following Purvacitti, Maharaja Agnidhra said: My dear 
Lord, the bumblebees surrounding your body are like disciples surrounding your 
worshipable self. They are incessantly chanting the mantras of the Sama Veda and 
the Upanisads, thus offering prayers to you. Just as great sages resort to the 
branches of Vedic literatures, the bumblebees are enjoying the showers of 
flowers falling from your hair.

O brahmana, I can simply hear the tinkling of your ankle bells. Within those 
bells, tittiri birds seem to be chirping among themselves. Although I do not see 
their forms, I can hear how they are chirping. When I look at your beautiful 
circular hips, I see they are the lovely color of kadamba flowers, and your 
waist is encircled by a belt of burning cinders. Indeed, you seem to have 
forgotten to dress yourself.

Agnidhra then praised Purvacitti's raised breasts. He said: My dear brahmana 
your waist is very thin, yet with great difficulty you are carefully carrying 
two horns, to which my eyes have become attracted. What is filling those two 
beautiful horns? You seem to have spread fragrant red powder upon them, powder 
that is like the rising morning sun. O most fortunate one, I beg to inquire 
where you have gotten this fragrant powder that is perfuming my asrama, my place 
of residence.

O best friend, will you kindly show me the place where you reside? I cannot 
imagine how the residents of that place have gotten such wonderful bodily 
features as your raised breasts, which agitate the mind and eyes of a person 
like me who sees them. Judging by the sweet speech and kind smiles of those 
residents, I think that their mouths must contain nectar.

My dear friend, what do you eat to maintain your body? Because you are chewing 
betel, a pleasing scent is emanating from your mouth. This proves that you 
always eat the remnants of food offered to Vishnu. Indeed, you must also be an 
expansion of Lord Vishnu's body. Your face is as beautiful as a pleasing lake. 
Your jeweled earrings resemble two brilliant sharks with unblinking eyes like 
those of Vishnu, and your own eyes resemble two restless fish. Simultaneously, 
therefore, two sharks and two restless fish are swimming in the lake of your 
face. Besides them, the white rows of your teeth seem like rows of very 
beautiful swans in the water, and your scattered hair resembles swarms of 
bumblebees following the beauty of your face.

My mind is already restless, and by playing with a ball, moving it all about 
with your lotuslike palm, you are also agitating my eyes. Your curling black 
hair is now scattered, but you are not attentive to arranging it. Are you not 
going to arrange it? Like a man attached to women, the most cunning wind is 
trying to take off your lower garment. Are you not mindful of it?

O best among those performing austerities, where did you get this wonderful 
beauty that dismantles the austerities performed by others? Where have you 
learned this art? What austerity have you undergone to achieve this beauty, my 
dear friend? I desire that you join me to perform austerity and penance, for it 
may be that the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma, being pleased with me, has 
sent you to become my wife.

Lord Brahma, who is worshiped by the brahmanas, has very mercifully given you to 
me, and that is why I have met you. I do not want to give up your company, for 
my mind and eyes are fixed upon you and cannot be drawn away. O woman with 
beautiful raised breasts, I am your follower. You may take me wherever you like, 
and your friends may also follow me.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Maharaja Agnidhra, whose intelligence was like that 
of a demigod, knew the art of flattering women to win them to his side. He 
therefore pleased that celestial girl with his lusty words and gained her favor.

Attracted by the intelligence, learning, youth, beauty, behavior, opulence and 
magnanimity of Agnidhra, the King of Jambudvipa and master of all heroes, 
Purvacitti lived with him for many thousands of years and luxuriously enjoyed 
both worldly and heavenly happiness.

In the womb of Purvacitti, Maharaja Agnidhra, the best of kings, begot nine 
sons, named Nabhi, Kimpurusa, Harivarsa, Ilavrta, Ramyaka, Hiranmaya, Kuru, 
Bhadrasva and Ketumala.

Purvacitti gave birth to these nine sons, one each year, but after they grew up, 
she left them at home and again approached Lord Brahma to worship him.

Because of drinking the breast milk of their mother, the nine sons of Agnidhra 
naturally had strong, well-built bodies. Their father gave them each a kingdom 
in a different part of Jambudvipa. The kingdoms were named according to the 
names of the sons. Thus the sons of Agnidhra ruled the kingdoms they received 
from their father.

After Purvacitti's departure, King Agnidhra, his lusty desires not at all 
satisfied, always thought of her. Therefore, in accordance with the Vedic 
injunctions, the King, after his death, was promoted to the same planet as his 
celestial wife. That planet, which is called Pitrloka, is where the pitas, the 
forefathers, live in great delight.

After the departure of their father, the nine brothers married the nine 
daughters of Meru named Merudevi, Pratirupa, Ugradamstri, Lata, Ramya, Syama, 
Nari, Bhadra and Devaviti.

Chapter Three : Rsabhadeva's Appearance in the Womb of Merudevi,

Sukadeva Gosvami continued to speak: Maharaja Nabhi, the son of Agnidhra, wished 
to have sons, and therefore he attentively began to offer prayers and worship 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, the master and enjoyer of all 
sacrifices. Maharaja Nabhi's wife, Merudevi, who had not given birth to any 
children at that time, also worshiped Lord Vishnu along with her husband.

In the performance of a sacrifice, there are seven transcendental means to 
obtain the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead: (1) by sacrificing 
valuable things or eatables, (2) by acting in terms of place, (3) by acting in 
terms of time, (4) by offering hymns, (5) by going through the priest, (6) by 
offering gifts to the priests and (7) by observing the regulative principles. 
However, one cannot always obtain the Supreme Lord through this paraphernalia. 
Nonetheless, the Lord is affectionate to His devotee; therefore when Maharaja 
Nabhi, who was a devotee, worshiped and offered prayers to the Lord with great 
faith and devotion and with a pure uncontaminated mind, superficially performing 
some yajna in the line of pravargya, the kind Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
due to His affection for His devotees, appeared before King Nabhi in His 
unconquerable and captivating form with four hands. In this way, to fulfill the 
desire of His devotee, the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifested Himself in 
His beautiful body before His devotee. This body pleases the mind and eyes of 
the devotees.

Lord Vishnu appeared before King Nabhi with four arms. He was very bright, and 
He appeared to be the best of all personalities. Around the lower portion of His 
body, He wore a yellow silken garment. On His chest was the mark of Srivatsa, 
which always displays beauty. He carried a conchshell, lotus flower, disc and 
club, and He wore a garland of forest flowers and the Kaustubha gem. He was 
beautifully decorated with a helmet, earrings, bangles, belt, pearl necklace, 
armlets, ankle bells and other bodily ornaments bedecked with radiant jewels. 
Seeing the Lord present before them, King Nabhi and his priests and associates 
felt just like poor people who have suddenly attained great riches. They 
received the Lord and respectfully bent their heads and offered Him things in 

The priests began to offer prayers to the Lord, saying: O most worshipable one, 
we are simply Your servants. Although You are full in Yourself, please, out of 
Your causeless mercy, accept a little service from us, Your eternal servants. We 
are not actually aware of Your transcendental form, but we can simply offer our 
respectful obeisances again and again, as instructed by the Vedic literatures 
and authorized acaryas. Materialistic living entities are very much attracted to 
the modes of material nature, and therefore they are never perfect, but You are 
above the jurisdiction of all material conceptions. Your name, form and 
qualities are all transcendental and beyond the conception of experimental 
knowledge. Indeed, who can conceive of You? In the material world we can 
perceive only material names and qualities. We have no other power than to offer 
our respectful obeisances and prayers unto You, the transcendental person. The 
chanting of Your auspicious transcendental qualities will wipe out the sins of 
all mankind. That is the most auspicious activity for us, and we can thus 
partially understand Your supernatural position.

O Supreme Lord, You are full in every respect. You are certainly very satisfied 
when Your devotees offer You prayers with faltering voices and in ecstasy bring 
You tulasi leaves, water, twigs bearing new leaves, and newly grown grass. This 
surely makes You satisfied.

We have engaged in Your worship with many things and have offered sacrifices 
unto You, but we think that there is no need for so many arrangements to please 
Your Lordship.

All of life's goals and opulences are directly, self-sufficiently, unceasingly 
and unlimitedly increasing in You at every moment. Indeed, You are unlimited 
enjoyment and blissful existence itself. As far as we are concerned, O Lord, we 
are always after material enjoyment. You do not need all these sacrificial 
arrangements, but they are meant for us so that we may be benedicted by Your 
Lordship. All these sacrifices are performed for our fruitive results, aid they 
are not actually needed by You.

O Lord of lords, we are completely ignorant of the execution of dharma, artha, 
kama and moksa, the process of liberation, because we do not actually know the 
goal of life. You have appeared personally before us like a person soliciting 
worship, but actually You are present here just so we can see You. You have come 
out of Your abundant and causeless mercy in order to serve our purpose, our 
interest, and give us the benefit of Your personal glory called apavarga, 
liberation. You have come, although You are not properly worshiped by us due to 
our ignorance.

O most worshipable of all, You are the best of all benefactors, and Your 
appearance at saintly King Nabhi's sacrificial arena is meant for our 
benediction. Because You have been seen by us, You have bestowed upon us the 
most valuable benediction.

Dear Lord, all the great sages who are thoughtful and saintly persons 
incessantly recount Your spiritual qualities. These sages have already burned up 
all the unlimited dirty things and, by the fire of knowledge, strengthened their 
detachment from the material world. Thus they have attained Your qualities and 
are self-satisfied. Yet even for those who feel spiritual bliss in chanting Your 
attributes, Your personal presence is very rare.

Dear Lord, we may not be able to remember Your name, form and qualities due to 
stumbling, hunger, falling down, yawning or being in a miserable diseased 
condition at the time of death when there is a high fever. We therefore pray 
unto You, O Lord, for You are very affectionate to Your devotees. Please help us 
remember You and utter Your holy names, attributes and activities, which can 
dispel all the reactions of our sinful lives.

Dear Lord, here is the great King Nabhi, whose ultimate goal in life is to have 
a son like You. Your Lordship, his position is like that of a person approaching 
a very rich man and begging for a little grain. Maharaja Nabhi is so desirous of 
having a son that he is worshiping You for a son, although You can offer him any 
exalted position, including elevation to the heavenly planets or liberation back 
to Godhead.

Dear Lord, unless one worships the lotus feet of great devotees, one will be 
conquered by the illusory energy, and his intelligence will be bewildered. 
Indeed, who has not been carried away by the waves of material enjoyment, which 
are like poison? Your illusory energy is unconquerable. No one can see the path 
of this material energy or tell how it is working.

O Lord, You perform many wonderful activities. Our only aim was to acquire a son 
by performing this great sacrifice; therefore our intelligence is not very 
sharp. We are not experienced in ascertaining life's goal. By inviting You to 
this negligible sacrifice for some material motive, we have certainly committed 
a great offense at Your lotus feet. Therefore, O Lord of lords, please excuse 
our offense because of Your causeless mercy and equal mind.

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: The priests, who were even worshiped by King Nabhi, 
the Emperor of Bharata-varsa, offered prayers in prose [generally they were in 
poetry] and bowed down at the Lord's lotus feet. The Lord of lords, the ruler of 
the demigods, was very pleased with them, and He began to speak as follows.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead replied: O great sages, I am certainly very 
pleased with your prayers. You are all truthful. You have prayed for the 
benediction of a son like Me for King Nabhi, but this is very difficult to 
obtain. Since I am the Supreme Person without a second and since no one is equal 
to Me, another personality like Me is not possible to find. In any case, because 
you are all qualified brahmanas, your vibrations should not prove untrue. I 
consider the brahmanas who are well qualified with brahminical qualities to be 
as good as My own mouth.

Since I cannot find anyone equal to Me, I shall personally expand Myself into a 
plenary portion and thus advent Myself in the womb of Merudevi, the wife of 
Maharaja Nabhi, the son of Agnidhra.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After saying this, the Lord disappeared. The wife of 
King Nabhi, Queen Merudevi, was sitting by the side of her husband, and 
consequently she could hear everything the Supreme Lord had spoken.

O Vishnudatta, Pariksit Maharaja, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was pleased 
by the great sages at that sacrifice. Consequently the Lord decided to 
personally exhibit the method of executing religious principles [as observed by 
brahmacaris, sannyasis, vanaprasthas and grhasthas engaged in rituals] and also 
satisfy Maharaja Nabhi's desire. Consequently He appeared as the son of Merudevi 
in His original spiritual form, which is above the modes of material nature.

Chapter Four : The Characteristics of Rsabhadeva,

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: As soon as the Lord was born as the son of Maharaja 
Nabhi, He manifested symptoms of the Supreme Lord, such as marks on the bottoms 
of His feet [the flag, thunderbolt, etc.]. This son was equal to everyone and 
very peaceful. He could control His senses and His mind, and, possessing all 
opulence, He did not hanker for material enjoyment. Endowed with all these 
attributes, the son of Maharaja Nabhi became more powerful day after day. Due to 
this, the citizens, learned brahmanas, demigods and ministers wanted Rsabhadeva 
to be appointed ruler of the earth.

When the son of Maharaja Nabhi became visible, He evinced all good qualities 
described by the great poets--namely, a well-built body with all the symptoms of 
the Godhead, prowess, strength, beauty, name, fame, influence and enthusiasm. 
When the father, Maharaja Nabhi, saw all these qualities, he thought his son to 
be the best of human beings or the supreme being. Therefore he gave Him the name 

Indra, the King of heaven, who is very materially opulent, became envious of 
King Rsabhadeva. Consequently he stopped pouring water on the planet known as 
Bharata-varsa. At that time the Supreme Lord, Rsabhadeva, the master of all 
mystic power, understood King Indra's purpose and smiled a little. Then, by His 
own prowess, through yogamaya [His internal potency], He profusely poured water 
upon His own place, which was known as Ajanabha.

Due to getting a perfect son according to his desire, King Nabhi was always 
overwhelmed with transcendental bliss and was very affectionate to his son. It 
was with ecstasy and a faltering voice that he addressed Him, "My dear son, my 
darling." This mentality was brought about by yogamaya, whereby he accepted the 
Supreme Lord, the supreme father, as his own son. Out of His supreme good will, 
the Lord became his son and dealt with everyone as if He were an ordinary human 
being. Thus King Nabhi began to raise his transcendental son with great 
affection, and he was overwhelmed with transcendental bliss, joy and devotion.

King Nabhi understood that his son, Rsabhadeva, was very popular among the 
citizens and among government officers and ministers. Understanding the 
popularity of his son, Maharaja Nabhi enthroned Him as the emperor of the world 
to give protection to the general populace in terms of the Vedic religious 
system. To do this, he entrusted Him into the hands of learned brahmanas, who 
would guide Him in administrating the government. Then Maharaja Nabhi and his 
wife, Merudevi, went to Badarikasrama in the Himalaya Mountains, where the King 
engaged Himself very expertly in austerities and penances with great jubilation. 
In full samadhi he worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nara-Narayana, 
who is Krishna in His plenary expansion. By doing so, in course of time Maharaja 
Nabhi was elevated to the spiritual world known as Vaikuntha.

O Maharaja Pariksit, to glorify Maharaja Nabhi, the old sages composed two 
verses. One of them is this: "Who can attain the perfection of Maharaja Nabhi? 
Who can attain his activities? Because of his devotional service, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead agreed to become his son."

[The second prayer is this.] "Who is a better worshiper of brahmanas than 
Maharaja Nabhi? Because he worshiped the qualified brahmanas to their full 
satisfaction, the brahmanas, by their brahminical prowess, showed Maharaja Nabhi 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, in person."

After Nabhi Maharaja departed for Badarikasrama, the Supreme Lord, Rsabhadeva, 
understood that His kingdom was His field of activities. He therefore showed 
Himself as an example and taught the duties of a householder by first accepting 
brahmacarya under the direction of spiritual masters. He also went to live at 
the spiritual masters' place, gurukula. After His education was finished, He 
gave gifts (guru-daksina) to His spiritual masters and then accepted the life of 
a householder. He took a wife named Jayanti and begot one hundred sons who were 
as powerful and qualified as He Himself. His wife Jayanti had been offered to 
Him by Indra, the King of heaven. Rsabhadeva and Jayanti performed householder 
life in an exemplary way, carrying out ritualistic activities ordained by the 
sruti and smrti sastra.

Of Rsabhadeva's one hundred sons, the eldest, named Bharata, was a great, 
exalted devotee qualified with the best attributes. In his honor, this planet 
has become known as Bharata-varsa.

Following Bharata, there were ninety-nine other sons. Among these were nine 
elderly sons, named Kusavarta, Ilavarta, Brahmavarta, Malaya, Ketu, Bhadrasena, 
Indrasprk, Vidarbha and Kikata.

In addition to these sons were Kavi, Havi, Antariksa, Prabuddha, Pippalayana, 
Avirhotra, Drumila, Camasa and Karabhajana. These were all very exalted, 
advanced devotees and authorized preachers of Srimad-Bhagavatam. These devotees 
were glorified due to their strong devotion to Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead. Therefore they were very exalted. To satisfy the mind perfectly, I 
[Sukadeva Gosvami] shall hereafter describe the characteristics of these nine 
devotees when I discuss the conversation between Narada and Vasudeva.

In addition to these nineteen sons mentioned above, there were eighty-one 
younger ones, all born of Rsabhadeva and Jayanti. According to the order of 
their father, they became well cultured, well behaved, very pure in their 
activities and expert in Vedic knowledge and the performance of Vedic rituals. 
Thus they all became perfectly qualified brahmanas.

Being an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Rsabhadeva was 
fully independent because His form was spiritual, eternal and full of 
transcendental bliss. He eternally had nothing to do with the four principles of 
material misery [birth, death, old age and disease]. Nor was He materially 
attached. He was always equipoised, and He saw everyone on the same level. He 
was unhappy to see others unhappy, and He was the well-wisher of all living 
entities. Although He was a perfect personality, the Supreme Lord and controller 
of all, He nonetheless acted as if He were an ordinary conditioned soul. 
Therefore He strictly followed the principles of varnasrama-dharma and acted 
accordingly. In due course of time, the principles of varnasrama-dharma had 
become neglected; therefore through His personal characteristics and behavior, 
He taught the ignorant public how to perform duties within the varnasrama-
dharma. In this way He regulated the general populace in householder life, 
enabling them to develop religion and economic well-being and to attain 
reputations, sons and daughters, material pleasure and finally eternal life. By 
His instructions, He showed how people could remain householders and at the same 
time become perfect by following the principles of varnasrama-dharma.

Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow.

Although Lord Rsabhadeva knew everything about confidential Vedic knowledge, 
which includes information about all types of occupational duties, He still 
maintained Himself as a ksatriya and followed the instructions of the brahmanas 
as they related to mind control, sense control, tolerance and so forth. Thus He 
ruled the people according to the system of varnasrama-dharma, which enjoins 
that the brahmanas instruct the ksatriyas and the ksatriyas administer to the 
state through the vaisyas and sudras.

Lord Rsabhadeva performed all kinds of sacrifices one hundred times according to 
the instructions of the Vedic literatures. Thus He satisfied Lord Vishnu in 
every respect. All the rituals were enriched by first-class ingredients. They 
were executed in holy places according to the proper time by priests who were 
all young and faithful. In this way Lord Vishnu was worshiped, and the prasada 
was offered to all the demigods. Thus the functions and festivals were all 

No one likes to possess anything that is like a will-o'-the-wisp or a flower in 
the sky, for everyone knows very well that such things do not exist. When Lord 
Rsabhadeva ruled this planet of Bharatavarsa, even common men did not want to 
ask for anything, at any time or by any means. No one ever asks for a will-o'-
the-wisp. In other words, everyone was completely satisfied, and therefore there 
was no chance of anyone's asking for anything. The people were absorbed in great 
affection for the King. Since this affection was always expanding, they were not 
inclined to ask for anything.

Once while touring the world, Lord Rsabhadeva, the Supreme Lord, reached a place 
known as Brahmavarta. There was a great conference of learned brahmanas at that 
place, and all the King's sons attentively heard the instructions of the 
brahmanas there. At that assembly, within the hearing of the citizens, 
Rsabhadeva instructed His sons, although they were already very well behaved, 
devoted and qualified. He instructed them so that in the future they could rule 
the world very perfectly. Thus he spoke as follows.

Chapter Five : Lord Rsabhadeva's Teachings to His Sons

Lord Rsabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have 
accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form 
should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is 
available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance 
and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such 
activity, one's heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he 
attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness 
and which continues forever.

One can attain the path of liberation from material bondage only by rendering 
service to highly advanced spiritual personalities. These personalities are 
impersonalists and devotees. Whether one wants to merge into the Lord's 
existence or wants to associate with the Personality of Godhead, one should 
render service to the mahatmas. For those who are not interested in such 
activities, who associate with people fond of women and sex, the path to hell is 
wide open. The mahatmas are equipoised. They do not see any difference between 
one living entity and another. They are very peaceful and are fully engaged in 
devotional service. They are devoid of anger, and they work for the benefit of 
everyone. They do not behave in any abominable way. Such people are known as 

Those who are interested in reviving Krishna consciousness and increasing their 
love of Godhead do not like to do anything that is not related to Krishna. They 
are not interested in mingling with people who are busy maintaining their 
bodies, eating, sleeping, mating and defending. They are not attached to their 
homes, although they may be householders. Nor are they attached to wives, 
children, friends or wealth. At the same time, they are not indifferent to the 
execution of their duties. Such people are interested in collecting only enough 
money to keep the body and soul together.

When a person considers sense gratification the aim of life, he certainly 
becomes mad after materialistic living and engages in all kinds of sinful 
activity. He does not know that due to his past misdeeds he has already received 
a body which, although temporary, is the cause of his misery. Actually the 
living entity should not have taken on a material body, but he has been awarded 
the material body for sense gratification. Therefore I think it not befitting an 
intelligent man to involve himself again in the activities of sense 
gratification by which he perpetually gets material bodies one after another.

As long as one does not inquire about the spiritual values of life, one is 
defeated and subjected to miseries arising from ignorance. Be it sinful or 
pious, karma has its resultant actions. If a person is engaged in any kind of 
karma, his mind is called karmatmaka, colored with fruitive activity. As long as 
the mind is impure, consciousness is unclear, and as long as one is absorbed in 
fruitive activity, he has to accept a material body.

When the living entity is covered by the mode of ignorance, he does not 
understand the individual living being and the supreme living being, and his 
mind is subjugated to fruitive activity. Therefore, until one has love for Lord 
Vasudeva, who is none other than Myself, he is certainly not delivered from 
having to accept a material body again and again.

Even though one may be very learned and wise, he is mad if he does not 
understand that the endeavor for sense gratification is a useless waste of time. 
Being forgetful of his own interest, he tries to be happy in the material world, 
centering his interests around his home, which is based on sexual intercourse 
and which brings him all kinds of material miseries. In this way one is no 
better than a foolish animal.

The attraction between male and female is the basic principle of material 
existence. On the basis of this misconception, which ties together the hearts of 
the male and female, one becomes attracted to his body, home, property, 
children, relatives and wealth. In this way one increases life's illusions and 
thinks in terms of "I and mine."

When the strong knot in the heart of a person implicated in material life due to 
the results of past action is slackened, one turns away from his attachment to 
home, wife and children. In this way, one gives up the basic principle of 
illusion [I and mine] and becomes liberated. Thus one goes to the transcendental 

O My sons, you should accept a highly elevated paramahamsa, a spiritually 
advanced spiritual master. In this way, you should place your faith and love in 
Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You should detest sense gratification 
and tolerate the duality of pleasure and pain, which are like the seasonal 
changes of summer and winter. Try to realize the miserable condition of living 
entities, who are miserable even in the higher planetary systems. 
Philosophically inquire about the truth. Then undergo all kinds of austerities 
and penances for the sake of devotional service. Give up the endeavor for sense 
enjoyment and engage in the service of the Lord. Listen to discussions about the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, and always associate with devotees. Chant about 
and glorify the Supreme Lord, and look upon everyone equally on the spiritual 
platform. Give up enmity and subdue anger and lamentation. Abandon identifying 
the self with the body and the home, and practice reading the revealed 
scriptures. Live in a secluded place and practice the process by which you can 
completely control your life air, mind and senses. Have full faith in the 
revealed scriptures, the Vedic literatures, and always observe celibacy. Perform 
your prescribed duties and avoid unnecessary talks. Always thinking of the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, acquire knowledge from the right source. Thus 
practicing bhakti-yoga, you will patiently and enthusiastically be elevated in 
knowledge and will be able to give up the false ego.

As I have advised you, My dear sons, you should act accordingly. Be very 
careful. By these means you will be freed from the ignorance of the desire for 
fruitive activity, and the knot of bondage in the heart will be completely 
severed. For further advancement, you should also give up the means. That is, 
you should not become attached to the process of liberation itself.

If one is serious about going back home, back to Godhead, he must consider the 
mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the summum bonum and chief aim of 
life. If he is a father instructing his sons, a spiritual master instructing his 
disciples, or a king instructing his citizens, he must instruct them as I have 
advised. Without being angry, he should continue giving instructions, even if 
his disciple, son or citizen is sometimes unable to follow his order. Ignorant 
people who engage in pious and impious activities should be engaged in 
devotional service by all means. They should always avoid fruitive activity. If 
one puts into the bondage of karmic activity his disciple, son or citizen who is 
bereft of transcendental vision, how will one profit? It is like leading a blind 
man to a dark well and causing him to fall in.

Due to ignorance, the materialistic person does not know anything about his real 
self-interest, the auspicious path in life. He is simply bound to material 
enjoyment by lusty desires, and all his plans are made for this purpose. For 
temporary sense gratification, such a person creates a society of envy, and due 
to this mentality, he plunges into the ocean of suffering. Such a foolish person 
does not even know about this.

If someone is ignorant and addicted to the path of samsara, how can one who is 
actually learned, merciful and advanced in spiritual knowledge engage him in 
fruitive activity and thus further entangle him in material existence? If a 
blind man is walking down the wrong path, how can a gentleman allow him to 
continue on his way to danger? How can he approve this method? No wise or kind 
man can allow this.

"One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death 
should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a 
worshipable demigod".

My transcendental body [sac-cid-ananda-vigraha] looks exactly like a human form, 
but it is not a material human body. It is inconceivable. I am not forced by 
nature to accept a particular type of body; I take on a body by My own sweet 
will. My heart is also spiritual, and I always think of the welfare of My 
devotees. Therefore within My heart can be found the process of devotional 
service, which is meant for the devotees. Far from My heart have I abandoned 
irreligion [adharma] and nondevotional activities. They do not appeal to Me. Due 
to all these transcendental qualities, people generally pray to Me as 
Rsabhadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the best of all living entities.

My dear boys, you are all born of My heart, which is the seat of all spiritual 
qualities. Therefore you should not be like materialistic and envious men. You 
should accept your eldest brother, Bharata, who is exalted in devotional 
service. If you engage yourselves in Bharata's service, your service to him will 
include My service, and you will rule the citizens automatically.

Of the two energies manifest [spirit and dull matter], beings possessing living 
force [vegetables, grass, trees and plants] are superior to dull matter [stone, 
earth, etc.]. Superior to nonmoving plants and vegetables are worms and snakes, 
which can move. Superior to worms and snakes are animals that have developed 
intelligence. Superior to animals are human beings, and superior to human beings 
are ghosts because they have no material bodies. Superior to ghosts are the 
Gandharvas, and superior to them are the Siddhas. Superior to the Siddhas are 
the Kinnaras, and superior to them are the asuras. Superior to the asuras are 
the demigods, and of the demigods, Indra, the King of heaven, is supreme. 
Superior to Indra are the direct sons of Lord Brahma, sons like King Daksa, and 
supreme among Brahma's sons is Lord Shiva. Since Lord Shiva is the son of Lord 
Brahma, Brahma is considered superior, but Brahma is also subordinate to Me, the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because I am inclined to the brahmanas, the 
brahmanas are best of all.

O respectful brahmanas, as far as I am concerned, no one is equal or superior to 
the brahmanas in this world. I do not find anyone comparable to them. When 
people know My motive after performing rituals according to the Vedic 
principles, they offer food to Me with faith and love through the mouth of a 
brahmana. When food is thus offered unto Me, I eat it with full satisfaction. 
Indeed, I derive more pleasure from food offered in that way than from the food 
offered in the sacrificial fire.

The Vedas are My eternal transcendental sound incarnation. Therefore the Vedas 
are sabda-brahma. In this world, the brahmanas thoroughly study all the Vedas, 
and because they assimilate the Vedic conclusions, they are also to be 
considered the Vedas personified. The brahmanas are situated in the supreme 
transcendental mode of nature--sattva-guna. Because of this, they are fixed in 
mind control [sama], sense control [dama], and truthfulness [satya]. They 
describe the Vedas in their original sense, and out of mercy [anugraha] they 
preach the purpose of the Vedas to all conditioned souls. They practice penance 
[tapasya] and tolerance [titiksa], and they realize the position of the living 
entity and the Supreme Lord [anubhava]. These are the eight qualifications of 
the brahmanas. Therefore among all living entities, no one is superior to the 

I am fully opulent, almighty and superior to Lord Brahma and Indra, the King of 
the heavenly planets. I am also the bestower of all happiness obtained in the 
heavenly kingdom and by liberation. Nonetheless, the brahmanas do not seek 
material comforts from Me. They are very pure and do not want to possess 
anything. They simply engage in My devotional service. What is the need of their 
asking for material benefits from anyone else?

My dear sons, you should not envy any living entity--be he moving or nonmoving. 
Knowing that I am situated in them, you should offer respect to all of them at 
every moment. In this way, you offer respect to Me.

The true activity of the sense organs--mind, sight, words and all the knowledge-
gathering and working senses--is to engage fully in My service. Unless his 
senses are thus engaged, a living entity cannot think of getting out of the 
great entanglement of material existence, which is exactly like Yamaraja's 
stringent rope.

Sukadeva Gosvami said: Thus the great well-wisher of everyone, the Supreme Lord 
Rsabhadeva, instructed His own sons. Although they were perfectly educated and 
cultured, He instructed them just to set an example of how a father should 
instruct his sons before retiring from family life. Samnyasis, who are no longer 
bound by fruitive activity and who have taken to devotional service after all 
their material desires have been vanquished, also learn by these instructions. 
Lord Rsabhadeva instructed His one hundred sons, of whom the eldest, Bharata, 
was a very advanced devotee and a follower of Vaisnavas. In order to rule the 
whole world, the Lord enthroned His eldest son on the royal seat. Thereafter, 
although still at home, Lord Rsabhadeva lived like a madman, naked and with 
disheveled hair. Then the Lord took the sacrificial fire within Himself, and He 
left Brahmavarta to tour the whole world.

After accepting the feature of avadhuta, a great saintly person without material 
cares, Lord Rsabhadeva passed through human society like a blind, deaf and dumb 
man, an idle stone, a ghost or a madman. Although people called Him such names, 
He remained silent and did not speak to anyone.

Rsabhadeva began to tour through cities, villages, mines, countrysides, valleys, 
gardens, military camps, cow pens, the homes of cowherd men, transient hotels, 
hills, forests and hermitages. Wherever He traveled, all bad elements surrounded 
Him, just as flies surround the body of an elephant coming from a forest. He was 
always being threatened, beaten, urinated upon and spat upon. Sometimes people 
threw stones, stool and dust at Him, and sometimes people passed foul air before 
Him. Thus people called Him many bad names and gave Him a great deal of trouble, 
but He did not care about this, for He understood that the body is simply meant 
for such an end. He was situated on the spiritual platform, and, being in His 
spiritual glory, He did not care for all these material insults. In other words, 
He completely understood that matter and spirit are separate, and He had no 
bodily conception. Thus, without being angry at anyone, He walked through the 
whole world alone.

Lord Rsabhadeva's hands, feet and chest were very long. His shoulders, face and 
limbs were all very delicate and symmetrically proportioned. His mouth was 
beautifully decorated with His natural smile, and He appeared all the more 
lovely with His reddish eyes spread wide like the petals of a newly grown lotus 
flower covered with dew in the early morning. The irises of His eyes were so 
pleasing that they removed all the troubles of everyone who saw Him. His 
forehead, ears, neck, nose and all His other features were very beautiful. His 
gentle smile always made His face beautiful, so much so that He even attracted 
the hearts of married women. It was as though they had been pierced by arrows of 
Cupid. About His head was an abundance of curly, matted brown hair. His hair was 
disheveled because His body was dirty and not taken care of. He appeared as if 
He were haunted by a ghost.

When Lord Rsabhadeva saw that the general populace was very antagonistic to His 
execution of mystic yoga, He accepted the behavior of a python in order to 
counteract their opposition. Thus He stayed in one place and lay down. While 
lying down, He ate and drank, and He passed stool and urine and rolled in it. 
Indeed, He smeared His whole body with His own stool and urine so that opposing 
elements might not come and disturb Him.

Because Lord Rsabhadeva remained in that condition, the public did not disturb 
Him, but no bad aroma emanated from His stool and urine. Quite the contrary, His 
stool and urine were so aromatic that they filled eighty miles of the 
countryside with a pleasant fragrance.

In this way Lord Rsabhadeva followed the behavior of cows, deer and crows. 
Sometimes He moved or walked, and sometimes He sat down in one place. Sometimes 
He lay down, behaving exactly like cows, deer and crows. In that way, He ate, 
drank, passed stool and urine and cheated the people in this way.

O King Pariksit, just to show all the yogis the mystic process, Lord Rsabhadeva, 
the partial expansion of Lord Krishna, performed wonderful activities. Actually 
He was the master of liberation and was fully absorbed in transcendental bliss, 
which increased a thousandfold. Lord Krishna, Vasudeva, the son of Vasudeva, is 
the original source of Lord Rsabhadeva. There is no difference in Their 
constitution, and consequently Lord Rsabhadeva awakened the loving symptoms of 
crying, laughing and shivering. He was always absorbed in transcendental love. 
Due to this, all mystic powers automatically approached Him, such as the ability 
to travel in outer space at the speed of mind, to appear and disappear, to enter 
the bodies of others, and to see things far, far away. Although He could do all 
this, He did not exercise these powers.

Chapter Six :The Activities of Lord Rsabhadeva

King Pariksit asked Sukadeva Gosvami: My dear Lord, for those who are completely 
pure in heart, knowledge is attained by the practice of bhakti-yoga, and 
attachment for fruitive activity is completely burned to ashes. For such people, 
the powers of mystic yoga automatically arise. They do not cause distress. Why, 
then, did Rsabhadeva neglect them?

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami replied: My dear King, you have spoken correctly. 
However, after capturing animals, a cunning hunter does not put faith in them, 
for they might run away. Similarly, those who are advanced in spiritual life do 
not put faith in the mind. Indeed, they always remain vigilant and watch the 
mind's action.

All the learned scholars have given their opinion. The mind is by nature very 
restless, and one should not make friends with it. If we place full confidence 
in the mind, it may cheat us at any moment. Even Lord Shiva became agitated upon 
seeing the Mohini form of Lord Krishna, and Saubhari Muni also fell down from 
the mature stage of yogic perfection.

An unchaste woman is very easily carried away by paramours, and it sometimes 
happens that her husband is violently killed by her paramours. If the yogi gives 
his mind a chance and does not restrain it, his mind will give facility to 
enemies like lust, anger and greed, and they will doubtlessly kill the yogi.

The mind is the root cause of lust, anger, pride, greed, lamentation, illusion 
and fear. Combined, these constitute bondage to fruitive activity. What learned 
man would put faith in the mind?

Lord Rsabhadeva was the head of all kings and emperors within this universe, but 
assuming the dress and language of an avadhuta, He acted as if dull and 
materially bound. Consequently no one could observe His divine opulence. He 
adopted this behavior just to teach yogis how to give up the body. Nonetheless, 
He maintained His original position as a plenary expansion of Lord Vasudeva, 
Krishna. Remaining always in that state, He gave up His pastimes as Lord 
Rsabhadeva within the material world. If, following in the footsteps of Lord 
Rsabhadeva, one can give up his subtle body, there is no chance that one will 
accept a material body again.

Actually Lord Rsabhadeva had no material body, but due to yogamaya, He 
considered His body material, and therefore, because He played like an ordinary 
human being, He gave up the mentality of identifying with it. Following this 
principle, He began to wander all over the world. While traveling, He came to 
the province of Karnata in South India and passed through Konka, Venka and 
Kutaka. He had no plan to travel this way, but He arrived near Kutakacala and 
entered a forest there. He placed stones within His mouth and began to wander 
through the forest, naked and with His hair disheveled like a madman.

While He was wandering about, a wild forest fire began. This fire was caused by 
the friction of bamboos, which were being blown by the wind. In that fire, the 
entire forest near Kutakacala and the body of Lord Rsabhadeva were burnt to 

Sukadeva Gosvami continued speaking to Maharaja Pariksit: My dear King, the King 
of Konka, Venka and Kutaka whose name was Arhat, heard of the activities of 
Rsabhadeva and, imitating Rsabhadeva's principles, introduced a new system of 
religion. Taking advantage of Kali-yuga, the age of sinful activity, King Arhat, 
being bewildered, gave up the Vedic principles, which are free from risk, and 
concocted a new system of religion opposed to the Vedas. That was the beginning 
of the Jain dharma. Many other so-called religions followed this atheistic 

People who are lowest among men and bewildered by the illusory energy of the 
Supreme Lord will give up the original varnasrama-dharma and its rules and 
regulations. They will abandon bathing three times daily and worshiping the 
Lord. Abandoning cleanliness and neglecting the Supreme Lord, they will accept 
nonsensical principles. Not regularly bathing or washing their mouths regularly, 
they will always remain unclean, and they will pluck out their hair. Following a 
concocted religion, they will flourish. During this age of Kali, people are more 
inclined to irreligious systems. Consequently these people will naturally deride 
Vedic authority, the followers of Vedic authority, the brahmanas, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead and the devotees.

Low-class people, due to their gross ignorance, introduce a system of religion 
that deviates from the Vedic principles. Following their own mental concoctions, 
they automatically fall down into the darkest regions of existence.

In this age of Kali, people are overwhelmed by the modes of passion and 
ignorance. Lord Rsabhadeva incarnated Himself to deliver them from the clutches 
of maya.

Learned scholars chant about the transcendental qualities of Lord Rsabhadeva in 
this way: "Oh, this earthly planet contains seven seas and many islands and 
lands, of which Bharata-varsa is considered the most pious. People of Bharata-
varsa are accustomed to glorifying the activities of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead in His incarnations as Lord Rsabhadeva and others. All these activities 
are very auspicious for the welfare of humanity.

"Oh, what shall I say of the dynasty of Priyavrata, which is pure and very much 
celebrated. In that dynasty, the Supreme Person, the original Personality of 
Godhead, descended as an incarnation and executed religious principles that 
could free one from the results of fruitive activity.

"Who is that mystic yogi who can follow the examples of Lord Rsabhadeva even 
with his mind? Lord Rsabhadeva rejected all kinds of yogic perfection, which 
other yogis hanker to attain. Who is that yogi who can compare to Lord 

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Lord Rsabhadeva is the master of all Vedic 
knowledge, human beings, demigods, cows and brahmanas. I have already explained 
His pure, transcendental activities, which will vanquish the sinful activities 
of all living entities. This narration of Lord Rsabhadeva's pastimes is the 
reservoir of all auspicious things. Whoever attentively hears or speaks of them, 
following in the footsteps of the acaryas, will certainly attain unalloyed 
devotional service at the lotus feet of Lord Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead.

Devotees always bathe themselves in devotional service in order to be relieved 
from the various tribulations of material existence. By doing this, the devotees 
enjoy supreme bliss, and liberation personified comes to serve them. 
Nonetheless, they do not accept that service, even if it is offered by the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. For the devotees, liberation [mukti] is 
very unimportant because, having attained the Lord's transcendental loving 
service, they have attained everything desirable and have transcended all 
material desires.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, the Supreme Person, Mukunda, is 
actually the maintainer of all the members of the Pandava and Yadu dynasties. He 
is your spiritual master, worshipable Deity, friend, and the director of your 
activities. To say nothing of this, He sometimes serves your family as a 
messenger or servant. This means He worked just as ordinary servants do. Those 
engaged in getting the Lord's favor attain liberation from the Lord very easily, 
but He does not very easily give the opportunity to render direct service unto 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Rsabhadeva, was fully aware of His true 
identity; therefore He was self-sufficient, and He did not desire external 
gratification. There was no need for Him to aspire for success, since He was 
complete in Himself. Those who unnecessarily engage in bodily conceptions and 
create an atmosphere of materialism are always ignorant of their real self-
interest. Out of His causeless mercy, Lord Rsabhadeva taught the self's real 
identity and the goal of life. We therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto 
the Lord, who appeared as Lord Rsabhadeva.

Chapter Seven : The Activities of King Bharata

Sukadeva Gosvami continued speaking to Maharaja Pariksit: My dear King, Bharata 
Maharaja was a topmost devotee. Following the orders of his father, who had 
already decided to install him on the throne, he began to rule the earth 
accordingly. When Bharata Maharaja ruled the entire globe, he followed the 
orders of his father and married Pancajani, the daughter of Visvarupa.

Just as the false ego creates the subtle sense objects, Maharaja Bharata created 
five sons in the womb of Pancajani, his wife. These sons were named Sumati, 
Rastrabhrta, Sudarsana, Avarana and Dhumraketu.

Formerly this planet was known as Ajanabha-varsa, but since Maharaja Bharata's 
reign, it has become known as Bharata-varsa.

Maharaja Bharata was a very learned and experienced king on this earth. He 
perfectly ruled the citizens, being himself engaged in his own respective 
duties. Maharaja Bharata was as affectionate to the citizens as his father and 
grandfather had been. Keeping them engaged in their occupational duties, he 
ruled the earth.

With great faith King Bharata performed various kinds of sacrifice. He performed 
the sacrifices known as agni-hotra, darsa, purnamasa, caturmasya, pasu-yajna 
[wherein a horse is sacrificed] and soma-yajna [wherein a kind of beverage is 
offered]. Sometimes these sacrifices were performed completely and sometimes 
partially. In any case, in all the sacrifices the regulations of caturhotra were 
strictly followed. In this way Bharata Maharaja worshiped the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead.

After performing the preliminaries of various sacrifices, Maharaja Bharata 
offered the results in the name of religion to the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, Vasudeva. In other words, he performed all the yajnas for the 
satisfaction of Lord Vasudeva, Krishna. Maharaja Bharata thought that since the 
demigods were different parts of Vasudeva's body, He controls those who are 
explained in the Vedic mantras. By thinking in this way, Maharaja Bharata was 
freed from all material contamination, such as attachment, lust and greed. When 
the priests were about to offer the sacrificial ingredients into the fire, 
Maharaja Bharata expertly understood how the offering made to different demigods 
was simply an offering to the different limbs of the Lord. For instance, Indra 
is the arm of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Surya [the sun] is His 
eye. Thus Maharaja Bharata considered that the oblations offered to different 
demigods were actually offered unto the different limbs of Lord Vasudeva.

In this way, being purified by ritualistic sacrifices, the heart of Maharaja 
Bharata was completely uncontaminated. His devotional service unto Vasudeva, 
Lord Krishna, increased day after day. Lord Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, is the 
original Personality of Godhead manifest as the Supersoul [Paramatma] as well as 
the impersonal Brahman. Yogis meditate upon the localized Paramatma situated in 
the heart, jnanis worship the impersonal Brahman as the Supreme Absolute Truth, 
and devotees worship Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose 
transcendental body is described in the sastras. His body is decorated with the 
Srivatsa, the Kaustubha jewel and a flower garland, and His hands hold a 
conchshell, disc, club and lotus flower. Devotees like Narada always think of 
Him within their hearts.

Destiny fixed the time for Maharaja Bharata's enjoyment of material opulence at 
one thousand times ten thousand years. When that period was finished, he retired 
from family life and divided the wealth he had received from his forefathers 
among his sons. He left his paternal home, the reservoir of all opulence, and 
started for Pulahasrama, which is situated in Hardwar. The salagrama-silas are 
obtainable there.

At Pulaha-asrama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, out of His 
transcendental affection for His devotee, becomes visible to His devotee, 
satisfying His devotee's desires.

In Pulaha-asrama is the Gandaki River, which is the best of all rivers. The 
salagrama-sila, the marble pebbles, purify all those places. On each and every 
marble pebble, up and down, circles like navels are visible.

In the gardens of Pulaha-asrama, Maharaja Bharata lived alone and collected a 
variety of flowers, twigs and tulasi leaves. He also collected the water of the 
Gandaki River, as well as various roots, fruits and bulbs. With these he offered 
food to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, and, worshiping Him, he 
remained satisfied. In this way his heart was completely uncontaminated, and he 
did not have the least desire for material enjoyment. All material desires 
vanished. In this steady position, he felt full satisfaction and was situated in 
devotional service.

That most exalted devotee, Maharaja Bharata, in this way engaged constantly in 
the devotional service of the Lord. Naturally his love for Vasudeva, Krishna, 
increased more and more and melted his heart. Consequently he gradually lost all 
attachment for regulative duties. The hairs of his body stood on end, and all 
the ecstatic bodily symptoms were manifest. Tears flowed from his eyes, so much 
so that he could not see anything. Thus he constantly meditated on the reddish 
lotus feet of the Lord. At that time, his heart, which was like a lake, was 
filled with the water of ecstatic love. When his mind was immersed in that lake, 
he even forgot the regulative service to the Lord.

Maharaja Bharata appeared very beautiful. He had a wealth of curly hair on his 
head, which was wet from bathing three times daily. He dressed in a deerskin. He 
worshiped Lord Narayana, whose body was composed of golden effulgence and who 
resided within the sun. Maharaja Bharata worshiped Lord Narayana by chanting the 
hymns given in the Rg Veda, and he recited the following verse as the sun rose.

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in pure goodness. He illuminates 
the entire universe and bestows all benedictions upon His devotees. The Lord has 
created this universe from His own spiritual potency. According to His desire, 
the Lord entered this universe as the Supersoul, and by virtue of His different 
potencies, He is maintaining all living entities desiring material enjoyment. 
Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who is the giver of 

Chapter Eight : A Description of the Character of Bharata Maharaja

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, one day, after finishing his 
morning duties--evacuating, urinating and bathing--Maharaja Bharata sat down on 
the bank of the River Gandaki for a few minutes and began chanting his mantra, 
beginning with omkara.

O King, while Bharata Maharaja was sitting on the bank of that river, a doe, 
being very thirsty, came there to drink.

While the doe was drinking with great satisfaction, a lion, which was very 
close, roared very loudly. This was frightful to every living entity, and it was 
heard by the doe.

By nature the doe was always afraid of being killed by others, and it was always 
looking about suspiciously. When it heard the lion's tumultuous roar, it became 
very agitated. Looking here and there with disturbed eyes, the doe, although it 
had not fully satisfied itself by drinking water, suddenly leaped across the 

The doe was pregnant, and when it jumped out of fear, the baby deer fell from 
its womb into the flowing waters of the river.

Being separated from its flock and distressed by its miscarriage, the black doe, 
having crossed the river, was very much distressed. Indeed, it fell down in a 
cave and died immediately.

The great King Bharata, while sitting on the bank of the river, saw the small 
deer, bereft of its mother, floating down the river. Seeing this, he felt great 
compassion. Like a sincere friend, he lifted the infant deer from the waves, 
and, knowing it to be motherless, brought it to his asrama.

Gradually Maharaja Bharata became very affectionate toward the deer. He began to 
raise it and maintain it by giving it grass. He was always careful to protect it 
from the attacks of tigers and other animals. When it itched, he petted it, and 
in this way he always tried to keep it in a comfortable condition. He sometimes 
kissed it out of love. Being attached to raising the deer, Maharaja Bharata 
forgot the rules and regulations for the advancement of spiritual life, and he 
gradually forgot to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After a few 
days, he forgot everything about his spiritual advancement.

The great King Maharaja Bharata began to think: Alas, this helpless young deer, 
by the force of time, an agent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has now 
lost its relatives and friends and has taken shelter of me. It does not know 
anyone but me, as I have become its father, mother, brother and relatives. This 
deer is thinking in this way, and it has full faith in me. It does not know 
anyone but me; therefore I should not be envious and think that for the deer my 
own welfare will be destroyed. I should certainly raise, protect, gratify and 
fondle it. When it has taken shelter with me, how can I neglect it? Even though 
the deer is disturbing my spiritual life, I realize that a helpless person who 
has taken shelter cannot be neglected. That would be a great fault.

Even though one is in the renounced order, one who is advanced certainly feels 
compassion for suffering living entities. One should certainly neglect his own 
personal interests, although they may be very important, to protect one who has 

Due to attachment for the deer, Maharaja Bharata lay down with it, walked about 
with it, bathed with it and even ate with it. Thus his heart became bound to the 
deer in affection.

When Maharaja Bharata wanted to enter the forest to collect kusa grass, flowers, 
wood, leaves, fruits, roots and water, he would fear that dogs, jackals, tigers 
and other ferocious animals might kill the deer. He would therefore always take 
the deer with him when entering the forest.

When entering the forest, the animal would appear very attractive to Maharaja 
Bharata due to its childish behavior. Maharaja Bharata would even take the deer 
on his shoulders and carry it due to affection. His heart was so filled with 
great love for the deer that he would sometimes keep it on his lap or, when 
sleeping, on his chest. In this way he felt great pleasure in fondling the 

When Maharaja Bharata was actually worshiping the Lord or was engaged in some 
ritualistic ceremony, although his activities were unfinished, he would still, 
at intervals, get up and see where the deer was. In this way he would look for 
it, and when he could see that the deer was comfortably situated, his mind and 
heart would be very satisfied, and he would bestow his blessings upon the deer, 
saying, "My dear calf, may you be happy in all respects."

If Bharata Maharaja sometimes could not see the deer, his mind would be very 
agitated. He would become like a miser, who, having obtained some riches, had 
lost them and had then become very unhappy. When the deer was gone, he would be 
filled with anxiety and would lament due to separation. Thus he would become 
illusioned and speak as follows.

Bharata Maharaja would think: Alas, the deer is now helpless. I am now very 
unfortunate, and my mind is like a cunning hunter, for it is always filled with 
cheating propensities and cruelty. The deer has put its faith in me, just as a 
good man who has a natural interest in good behavior forgets the misbehavior of 
a cunning friend and puts his faith in him. Although I have proved faithless, 
will this deer return and place its faith in me?

Alas, is it possible that I shall again see this animal protected by the Lord 
and fearless of tigers and other animals? Shall I again see him wandering in the 
garden eating soft grass?

I do not know, but the deer might have been eaten by a wolf or a dog or by the 
boars that flock together or the tiger who travels alone.

Alas, when the sun rises, all auspicious things begin. Unfortunately, they have 
not begun for me. The sun-god is the Vedas personified, but I am bereft of all 
Vedic principles. That sun-god is now setting, yet the poor animal who trusted 
in me since its mother died has not returned.

That deer is exactly like a prince. When will it return? When will it again 
display its personal activities, which are so pleasing? When will it again 
pacify a wounded heart like mine? I certainly must have no pious assets, 
otherwise the deer would have returned by now.

Alas, the small deer, while playing with me and seeing me feigning meditation 
with closed eyes, would circumambulate me due to anger arising from love, and it 
would fearfully touch me with the points of its soft horns, which felt like 
drops of water.

When I placed all the sacrificial ingredients on the kusa grass, the deer, when 
playing, would touch the grass with its teeth and thus pollute it. When I 
chastised the deer by pushing it away, it would immediately become fearful and 
sit down motionless, exactly like the son of a saintly person. Thus it would 
stop its play.

After speaking like a madman in this way, Maharaja Bharata got up and went 
outside. Seeing the footprints of the deer on the ground, he praised the 
footprints out of love, saying: O unfortunate Bharata, your austerities and 
penances are very insignificant compared to the penance and austerity undergone 
by this earth planet. Due to the earth's severe penances, the footprints of this 
deer, which are small, beautiful, most auspicious and soft, are imprinted on the 
surface of this fortunate planet. This series of footprints show a person like 
me, who am bereaved due to loss of the deer, how the animal has passed through 
the forest and how I can regain my lost wealth. By these footprints, this land 
has become a proper place for brahmanas who desire heavenly planets or 
liberation to execute sacrifices to the demigods.

Maharaja Bharata continued to speak like a madman. Seeing above his head the 
dark marks on the rising moon, which resembled a deer, he said: Can it be that 
the moon, who is so kind to an unhappy man, might also be kind upon my deer, 
knowing that it has strayed from home and has become motherless? This moon has 
given the deer shelter near itself just to protect it from the fearful attacks 
of a lion.

After perceiving the moonshine, Maharaja Bharata continued speaking like a crazy 
person. He said: The deer's son was so submissive and dear to me that due to its 
separation I am feeling separation from my own son. Due to the burning fever of 
this separation, I am suffering as if inflamed by a forest fire. My heart, which 
is like the lily of the land, is now burning. Seeing me so distressed, the moon 
is certainly splashing its shining nectar upon me--just as a friend throws water 
on another friend who has a high fever. In this way, the moon is bringing me 

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, in this way Bharata Maharaja was 
overwhelmed by an uncontrollable desire which was manifest in the form of the 
deer. Due to the fruitive results of his past deeds, he fell down from mystic 
yoga, austerity and worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If it were 
not due to his past fruitive activity, how could he have been attracted to the 
deer after giving up the association of his own son and family, considering them 
stumbling blocks on the path of spiritual life? Mow could he show such 
uncontrollable affection for a deer? This was definitely due to his past karma. 
The King was so engrossed in petting and maintaining the deer that he fell down 
from his spiritual activities. In due course of time, insurmountable death, 
which is compared to a venomous snake that enters the hole created by a mouse, 
situated itself before him.

At the time of death, the King saw that the deer was sitting by his side, 
exactly like his own son, and was lamenting his death. Actually the mind of the 
King was absorbed in the body of the deer, and consequently--like those bereft 
of Krishna consciousness--he left the world, the deer, and his material body and 
acquired the body of a deer. However, there was one advantage. Although he lost 
his human body and received the body of a deer, he did not forget the incidents 
of his past life.

Although in the body of a deer, Bharata Maharaja, due to his rigid devotional 
service in his past life, could understand the cause of his birth in that body. 
Considering his past and present life, he constantly repented his activities, 
speaking in the following way.

In the body of a deer, Bharata Maharaja began to lament: What misfortune! I have 
fallen from the path of the self-realized. I gave up my real sons, wife and home 
to advance in spiritual life, and I took shelter in a solitary holy place in the 
forest. I became self-controlled and self-realized, and I engaged constantly in 
devotional service, hearing, thinking, chanting, worshiping and remembering the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. I was successful in my attempt, so 
much so that my mind was always absorbed in devotional service. However, due to 
my personal foolishness, my mind again became attached--this time to a deer. Now 
I have obtained the body of a deer and have fallen far from my devotional 

Although Bharata Maharaja received the body of a deer, by constant repentance he 
became completely detached from all material things. He did not disclose these 
things to anyone, but he left his mother deer in a place known as Kalanjara 
Mountain, where he was born. He again went to the forest of Salagrama and to the 
asrama of Pulastya and Pulaha.

Remaining in that asrama, the great King Bharata Maharaja was now very careful 
not to fall victim to bad association. Without disclosing his past to anyone, he 
remained in that asrama and ate dry leaves only. He was not exactly alone, for 
he had the association of the Supersoul. In this way he waited for death in the 
body of a deer. Bathing in that holy place, he finally gave up that body.

Chapter Nine : The Supreme Character of Jada Bharata

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, after giving up the body of a 
deer, Bharata Maharaja took birth in a very pure brahmana family. There was a 
brahmana who belonged to the dynasty of Angira. He was fully qualified with 
brahminical qualifications. He could control his mind and senses, and he had 
studied the Vedic literatures and other subsidiary literatures. He was expert in 
giving charity, and he was always satisfied, tolerant, very gentle, learned and 
nonenvious. He was self-realized and engaged in the devotional service of the 
Lord. He remained always in a trance. He had nine equally qualified sons by his 
first wife, and by his second wife he begot twins--a brother and a sister, of 
which the male child was said to be the topmost devotee and foremost of saintly 
kings--Bharata Maharaja. This, then, is the story of the birth he took after 
giving up the body of a deer.

Due to his being especially gifted with the Lord's mercy, Bharata Maharaja could 
remember the incidents of his past life. Although he received the body of a 
brahmana, he was still very much afraid of his relatives and friends who were 
not devotees. He was always very cautious of such association because he feared 
that he would again fall down. Consequently he manifested himself before the 
public eye as a madman--dull, blind and deaf--so that others would not try to 
talk to him. In this way he saved himself from bad association. Within he was 
always thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord and chanting the Lord's glories, 
which save one from the bondage of fruitive action. In this way he saved himself 
from the onslaught of nondevotee associates.

The brahmana father's mind was always filled with affection for his son, Jada 
Bharata [Bharata Maharaja]. Therefore he was always attached to Jada Bharata. 
Because Jada Bharata was unfit to enter the grhastha-asrama, he simply executed 
the purificatory process up to the end of the brahmacarya-asrama. Although Jada 
Bharata was unwilling to accept his father's instructions, the brahmana 
nonetheless instructed him in how to keep clean and how to wash, thinking that 
the son should be taught by the father.

Jada Bharata behaved before his father like a fool, despite his father's 
adequately instructing him in Vedic knowledge. He behaved in that way so that 
his father would know that he was unfit for instruction and would abandon the 
attempt to instruct him further. He would behave in a completely opposite way. 
Although instructed to wash his hands after evacuating, he would wash them 
before. Nonetheless, his father wanted to give him Vedic instructions during the 
spring and summer. He tried to teach him the Gayatri mantra along with omkara 
and vyahrti, but after four months, his father still was not successful in 
instructing him.

The brahmana father of Jada Bharata considered his son his heart and soul, and 
therefore he was very much attached to him. He thought it wise to educate his 
son properly, and being absorbed in this unsuccessful endeavor, he tried to 
teach his son the rules and regulations of brahmacarya--including the execution 
of the Vedic vows, cleanliness, study of the Vedas, the regulative methods, 
service to the spiritual master and the method of offering a fire sacrifice. He 
tried his best to teach his son in this way, but all his endeavors failed. In 
his heart he hoped that his son would be a learned scholar, but all his attempts 
were unsuccessful. Like everyone, this brahmana was attached to his home, and he 
had forgotten that someday he would die. Death, however, was not forgetful. At 
the proper time, death appeared and took him away.

Thereafter, the brahmana's younger wife, after entrusting her twin children--the 
boy and girl--to the elder wife, departed for Patiloka, voluntarily dying with 
her husband.

After the father died, the nine stepbrothers of Jada Bharata, who considered 
Jada Bharata dull and brainless, abandoned the father's attempt to give Jada 
Bharata a complete education. The stepbrothers of Jada Bharata were learned in 
the three Vedas--the Rg Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda--which very much 
encourage fruitive activity. The nine brothers were not at all spiritually 
enlightened in devotional service to the Lord. Consequently they could not 
understand the highly exalted position of Jada Bharata.

Degraded men are actually no better than animals. The only difference is that 
animals have four legs and such men have only two. These two-legged, animalistic 
men used to call Jada Bharata mad, dull, deaf and dumb. They mistreated him, and 
Jada Bharata behaved for them like a madman who was deaf, blind or dull. He did 
not protest or try to convince them that he was not so. If others wanted him to 
do something, he acted according to their desires. Whatever food he could 
acquire by begging or by wages, and whatever came of its own accord--be it a 
small quantity, palatable, stale or tasteless--he would accept and eat. He never 
ate anything for sense gratification because he was already liberated from the 
bodily conception, which induces one to accept palatable or unpalatable food. He 
was full in the transcendental consciousness of devotional service, and 
therefore he was unaffected by the dualities arising from the bodily conception. 
Actually his body was as strong as a bull's, and his limbs were very muscular. 
He didn't care for winter or summer, wind or rain, and he never covered his body 
at any time. He lay on the ground, and never smeared oil on his body or took a 
bath. Because his body was dirty, his spiritual effulgence and knowledge were 
covered, just as the splendor of a valuable gem is covered by dirt. He only wore 
a dirty loincloth and his sacred thread, which was blackish. Understanding that 
he was born in a brahmana family, people would call him a brahma-bandhu and 
other names. Being thus insulted and neglected by materialistic people, he 
wandered here and there.

Jada Bharata used to work only for food. His stepbrothers took advantage of this 
and engaged him in agricultural field work in exchange for some food, but 
actually he did not know how to work very well in the field. He did not know 
where to spread dirt or where to make the ground level or uneven. His brothers 
used to give him broken rice, oil cakes, the chaff of rice, worm-eaten grains 
and burned grains that had stuck to the pot, but he gladly accepted all this as 
if it were nectar. He did not hold any grudges and ate all this very gladly.

At this time, being desirous of obtaining a son, a leader of dacoits who came 
from a sudra family wanted to worship the goddess Bhadra Kali by offering her in 
sacrifice a dull man, who is considered no better than an animal.

The leader of the dacoits captured a man-animal for sacrifice, but he escaped, 
and the leader ordered his followers to find him. They ran in different 
directions but could not find him. Wandering here and there in the middle of the 
night, covered by dense darkness, they came to a paddy field where they saw the 
exalted son of the Angira family [Jada Bharata], who was sitting in an elevated 
place guarding the field against the attacks of deer and wild pigs.

The followers and servants of the dacoit chief considered Jada Bharata to 
possess qualities quite suitable for a man-animal, and they decided that he was 
a perfect choice for sacrifice. Their faces bright with happiness, they bound 
him with ropes and brought him to the temple of the goddess Kali.

After this, all the thieves, according to their imaginative ritual for killing 
animalistic men, bathed Jada Bharata, dressed him in new clothes, decorated him 
with ornaments befitting an animal, smeared his body with scented oils and 
decorated him with tilaka, sandalwood pulp and garlands. They fed him 
sumptuously and then brought him before the goddess Kali, offering her incense, 
lamps, garlands, parched grain, newly grown twigs, sprouts, fruits and flowers. 
In this way they worshiped the deity before killing the man-animal, and they 
vibrated songs and prayers and played drums and bugles. Jada Bharata was then 
made to sit down before the deity.

At this time, one of the thieves, acting as the chief priest, was ready to offer 
the blood of Jada Bharata, whom they imagined to be an animal-man, to the 
goddess Kali to drink as a liquor. He therefore took up a very fearsome sword, 
which was very sharp and, consecrating it by the mantra of Bhadra Kali, raised 
it to kill Jada Bharata.

All the rogues and thieves who had made arrangements for the worship of goddess 
Kali were low minded and bound to the modes of passion and ignorance. They were 
overpowered by the desire to become very rich; therefore they had the audacity 
to disobey the injunctions of the Vedas, so much so that they were prepared to 
kill Jada Bharata, a self-realized soul born in a brahmana family. Due to their 
envy, these dacoits brought him before the goddess Kali for sacrifice. Such 
people are always addicted to envious activities, and therefore they dared to 
try to kill Jada Bharata. Jada Bharata was the best friend of all living 
entities. He was no one's enemy, and he was always absorbed in meditation on the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was born of a good brahmana father, and 
killing him was forbidden, even though he might have been an enemy or aggressive 
person. In any case, there was no reason to kill Jada Bharata, and the goddess 
Kali could not bear this. She could immediately understand that these sinful 
dacoits were about to kill a great devotee of the Lord. Suddenly the deity's 
body burst asunder, and the goddess Kali personally emerged from it in a body 
burning with an intense and intolerable effulgence.

Intolerant of the offenses committed, the infuriated goddess Kali flashed her 
eyes and displayed her fierce, curved teeth. Her reddish eyes glowed, and she 
displayed her fearsome features. She assumed a frightening body, as if she were 
prepared to destroy the entire creation. Leaping violently from the altar, she 
immediately decapitated all the rogues and thieves with the very sword with 
which they had intended to kill Jada Bharata. She then began to drink the hot 
blood that flowed from the necks of the beheaded rogues and thieves, as if this 
blood were liquor. Indeed, she drank this intoxicant with her associates, who 
were witches and female demons. Becoming intoxicated with this blood, they all 
began to sing very loudly and dance as though prepared to annihilate the entire 
universe. At the same time, they began to play with the heads of the rogues and 
thieves, tossing them about as if they were balls.

When an envious person commits an offense before a great personality, he is 
always punished in the way mentioned above.

Sukadeva Gosvami then said to Maharaja Pariksit: O Vishnudatta, those who 
already know that the soul is separate from the body, who are liberated from the 
invincible knot in the heart, who are always engaged in welfare activities for 
all living entities and who never contemplate harming anyone are always 
protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who carries His disc [the 
Sudarsana cakra] and acts as supreme time to kill the demons and protect His 
devotees. The devotees always take shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord. 
Therefore at all times, even if threatened by decapitation, they remain 
unagitated. For them, this is not at all wonderful.

Chapter Ten :The Discussion Between

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, after this, King Rahugana, ruler of 
the states known as Sindhu and Sauvira, was going to Kapilasrama. When the 
King's chief palanquin carriers reached the banks of the River Iksumati, they 
needed another carrier. Therefore they began searching for someone, and by 
chance they came upon Jada Bharata. They considered the fact that Jada Bharata 
was very young and strong and had firm limbs. Like cows and asses, he was quite 
fit to carry loads. Thinking in this way, although the great soul Jada Bharata 
was unfit for such work, they nonetheless unhesitatingly forced him to carry the 

The palanquin, however, was very erratically carried by Jada Bharata due to his 
sense of nonviolence. As he stepped forward, he checked before him every three 
feet to see whether he was about to step on ants. Consequently he could not keep 
pace with the other carriers. Due to this, the palanquin was shaking, and King 
Rahugana immediately asked the carriers, "Why are you carrying this palanquin 
unevenly? Better carry it properly."

When the palanquin carriers heard the threatening words of Maharaja Rahugana, 
they became very afraid of his punishment and began to speak to him as follows.

O lord, please note that we are not at all negligent in discharging our duties. 
We have been faithfully carrying this palanquin according to your desire, but 
this man who has been recently engaged to work with us cannot walk very swiftly. 
Therefore we are not able to carry the palanquin with him.

King Rahugana could understand the speeches given by the carriers, who were 
afraid of being punished. He could also understand that simply due to the fault 
of one person, the palanquin was not being carried properly. Knowing this 
perfectly well and hearing their appeal, he became a little angry, although he 
was very advanced in political science and was very experienced. His anger arose 
due to his inborn nature as a king. Actually King Rahugana's mind was covered by 
the mode of passion, and he therefore spoke as follows to Jada Bharata, whose 
Brahman effulgence was not clearly visible, being covered like a fire covered by 

King Rahugana told Jada Bharata: How troublesome this is, my dear brother. You 
certainly appear very fatigued because you have carried this palanquin alone 
without assistance for a long time and for a long distance. Besides that, due to 
your old age you have become greatly troubled. My dear friend, I see that you 
are not very firm, nor very strong and stout. Aren't your fellow carriers 
cooperating with you?      In this way the King criticized Jada Bharata with 
sarcastic words, yet despite being criticized in this way, Jada Bharata had no 
bodily conception of the situation. He knew that he was not the body, for he had 
attained his spiritual identity. He was neither fat, lean nor thin, nor had he 
anything to do with a lump of matter, a combination of the five gross and three 
subtle elements. He had nothing to do with the material body and its two hands 
and legs. In other words, he had completely realized his spiritual identity 
[aham brahmasmi]. He was therefore unaffected by this sarcastic criticism from 
the King. Without saying anything, he continued carrying the palanquin as 

Thereafter, when the King saw that his palanquin was still being shaken by the 
carriers, he became very angry and said: You rascal, what are you doing? Are you 
dead despite the life within your body? Do you not know that I am your master? 
You are disregarding me and are not carrying out my order. For this disobedience 
I shall now punish you just as Yamaraja, the superintendent of death, punishes 
sinful people. I shall give you proper treatment so that you will come to your 
senses and do the correct thing.

Thinking himself a king, King Rahugana was in the bodily conception and was 
influenced by material nature's modes of passion and ignorance. Due to madness, 
he chastised Jada Bharata with uncalled-for and contradictory words. Jada 
Bharata was a topmost devotee and the dear abode of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead. Although considering himself very learned, the King did not know about 
the position of an advanced devotee situated in devotional service, nor did he 
know his characteristics. Jada Bharata was the residence of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead; he always carried the form of the Lord within his heart. 
He was the dear friend of all living beings, and he did not entertain any bodily 
conception. He therefore smiled and spoke the following words.

The great brahmana Jada Bharata said: My dear King and hero, whatever you have 
spoken sarcastically is certainly true. Actually these are not simply words of 
chastisement, for the body is the carrier. The load carried by the body does not 
belong to me, for I am the spirit soul. There is no contradiction in your 
statements because I am different from the body. I am not the carrier of the 
palanquin; the body is the carrier. Certainly, as you have hinted, I have not 
labored carrying the palanquin, for I am detached from the body. You have said 
that I am not stout and strong, and these words are befitting a person who does 
not know the distinction between the body and the soul. The body may be fat or 
thin, but no learned man would say such things of the spirit soul. As far as the 
spirit soul is concerned, I am neither fat nor skinny; therefore you are correct 
when you say that I am not very stout. Also, if the object of this journey and 
the path leading there were mine, there would be many troubles for me, but 
because they relate not to me but to my body, there is no trouble at all.

Fatness, thinness, bodily and mental distress, thirst, hunger, fear, 
disagreement, desires for material happiness, old age, sleep, attachment for 
material possessions, anger, lamentation, illusion and identification of the 
body with the self are all transformations of the material covering of the 
spirit soul. A person absorbed in the material bodily conception is affected by 
these things, but I am free from all bodily conceptions. Consequently I am 
neither fat nor skinny nor anything else you have mentioned.

My dear King, you have unnecessarily accused me of being dead though alive. In 
this regard, I can only say that this is the case everywhere because everything 
material has its beginning and end. As far as your thinking that you are the 
king and master and are thus trying to order me, this is also incorrect because 
these positions are temporary. Today you are a king and I am your servant, but 
tomorrow the position may be changed, and you may be my servant and I your 
master. These are temporary circumstances created by providence.

My dear King, if you still think that you are the King and that I am your 
servant, you should order me, and I should follow your order. I can then say 
that this differentiation is temporary, and it expands only from usage or 
convention. I do not see any other cause. In that case, who is the master, and 
who is the servant? Everyone is being forced by the laws of material nature; 
therefore no one is master, and no one is servant. Nonetheless, if you think 
that you are the master and that I am the servant, I shall accept this. Please 
order me. What can I do for you?

My dear King, you have said, "You rascal, you dull, crazy fellow! I am going to 
chastise you, and then you will come to your senses." In this regard, let me say 
that although I live like a dull, deaf and dumb man, I am actually a self-
realized person. What will you gain by punishing me? If your calculation is true 
and I am a madman, then your punishment will be like beating a dead horse. There 
will be no effect. When a madman is punished, he is not cured of his madness.

Sukadeva Gosvami said: O Maharaja Pariksit, when King Rahugana chastised the 
exalted devotee Jada Bharata with harsh words, that peaceful, saintly person 
tolerated it all and replied properly. Nescience is due to the bodily 
conception, and Jada Bharata was not affected by this false conception. Out of 
his natural humility, he never considered himself a great devotee, and he agreed 
to suffer the results of his past karma. Like an ordinary man, he thought that 
by carrying the palanquin, he was destroying the reactions of his past misdeeds. 
Thinking in this way, he began to carry the palanquin as before.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O best of the Pandu dynasty [Maharaja Pariksit], the 
King of the Sindhu and Sauvira states [Maharaja Rahugana] had great faith in 
discussions of the Absolute Truth. Being thus qualified, he heard from Jada 
Bharata that philosophical presentation which is approved by all scriptures on 
the mystic yoga process and which slackens the knot in the heart. His material 
conception of himself as a king was thus destroyed. He immediately descended 
from his palanquin and fell flat on the ground with his head at the lotus feet 
of Jada Bharata in such a way that he might be excused for his insulting words 
against the great brahmana. He then prayed as follows.

King Rahugana said: O brahmana, you appear to be moving in this world very much 
covered and unknown to others. Who are you? Are you a learned brahmana and 
saintly person? I see that you are wearing a sacred thread. Are you one of those 
exalted, liberated saints such as Dattatreya and other highly advanced, learned 
scholars? May I ask whose disciple you are? Where do you live? Why have you come 
to this place? Is your mission in coming here to do good for us? Please let me 
know who you are.

My dear sir, I am not at all afraid of the thunderbolt of King Indra, nor am I 
afraid of the serpentine, piercing trident of Lord Shiva. I do not care about 
the punishment of Yamaraja, the superintendent of death, nor am I afraid of 
fire, scorching sun, moon, wind, nor the weapons of Kuvera. Yet I am afraid of 
offending a brahmana. I am very much afraid of this.

My dear sir, it appears that the influence of your great spiritual knowledge is 
hidden. Factually you are bereft of all material association and fully absorbed 
in the thought of the Supreme. Consequently you are unlimitedly advanced in 
spiritual knowledge. Please tell me why you are wandering around like a dullard. 
O great, saintly person, you have spoken words approved by the yogic process, 
but it is not possible for us to understand what you have said. Therefore kindly 
explain it.

I consider your good self the most exalted master of mystic power. You know the 
spiritual science perfectly well. You are the most exalted of all learned sages, 
and you have descended for the benefit of all human society. You have come to 
give spiritual knowledge, and you are a direct representative of Kapiladeva, the 
incarnation of God and the plenary portion of knowledge. I am therefore asking 
you, O spiritual master, what is the most secure shelter in this world?

Is it not a fact that your good self is the direct representative of Kapiladeva, 
the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? To examine people and see 
who is actually a human being and who is not, you have presented yourself to be 
a deaf and dumb person. Are you not moving this way upon the surface of the 
world? I am very attached to family life and worldly activities, and I am blind 
to spiritual knowledge. Nonetheless, I am now present before you and am seeking 
enlightenment from you. How can I advance in spiritual life?

You have said, "I am not fatigued from labor." Although the soul is different 
from the body, there is fatigue because of bodily labor, and it appears to be 
the fatigue of the soul. When you are carrying the palanquin, there is certainly 
labor for the soul. This is my conjecture. You have also said that the external 
behavior exhibited between the master and the servant is not factual, but 
although in the phenomenal world it is not factual, the products of the 
phenomenal world can actually affect things. That is visible and experienced. As 
such, even though material activities are impermanent, they cannot be said to be 

King Rahugana continued: My dear sir, you have said that designations like 
bodily fatness and thinness are not characteristics of the soul. That is 
incorrect because designations like pain and pleasure are certainly felt by the 
soul. You may put a pot of milk and rice within fire, and the milk and rice are 
automatically heated one after the other. Similarly, due to bodily pains and 
pleasures, the senses, mind and soul are affected. The soul cannot be completely 
detached from this conditioning.

My dear sir, you have said that the relationship between the king and the 
subject or between the master and the servant are not eternal, but although such 
relationships are temporary, when a person takes the position of a king, his 
duty is to rule the citizens and punish those who are disobedient to the laws. 
By punishing them, he teaches the citizens to obey the laws of the state. Again, 
you have said that punishing a person who is deaf and dumb is like chewing the 
chewed or grinding the pulp; that is to say, there is no benefit in it. However, 
if one is engaged in his own occupational duty as ordered by the Supreme Lord, 
his sinful activities are certainly diminished. Therefore if one is engaged in 
his occupational duty by force, he benefits because he can vanquish all his 
sinful activities in that way.

Whatever you have spoken appears to me to be contradictory. O best friend of the 
distressed, I have committed a great offense by insulting you. I was puffed up 
with false prestige due to possessing the body of a king. For this I have 
certainly become an offender. Therefore I pray that you kindly glance at me with 
your causeless mercy. If you do so, I can be relieved from sinful activities 
brought about by insulting you.

O my dear lord, you are the friend of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is 
the friend of all living entities. You are therefore equal to everyone, and you 
are free from the bodily conception. Although I have committed an offense by 
insulting you, I know that there is no loss or gain for you due to my insult. 
You are fixed in your determination, but I have committed an offense. Because of 
this, even though I may be as strong as Lord Shiva, I shall be vanquished 
without delay due to my offense at the lotus feet of a Vaisnava.

Chapter Eleven : Jada Bharata Instructs King Rahugana

The brahmana Jada Bharata said: My dear King, although you are not at all 
experienced, you are trying to speak like a very experienced man. Consequently 
you cannot be considered an experienced person. An experienced person does not 
speak the way you are speaking about the relationship between a master and a 
servant or about material pains and pleasures. These are simply external 
activities. Any advanced, experienced man, considering the Absolute Truth, does 
not talk in this way.

My dear King, talks of the relationship between the master and the servant, the 
king and the subject and so forth are simply talks about material activities. 
People interested in material activities, which are expounded in the Vedas, are 
intent on performing material sacrifices and placing faith in their material 
activities. For such people, spiritual advancement is definitely not manifest.

A dream becomes automatically known to a person as false and immaterial, and 
similarly one eventually realizes that material happiness in this life or the 
next, on this planet or a higher planet, is insignificant. When one realizes 
this, the Vedas, although an excellent source, are insufficient to bring about 
direct knowledge of the truth.

As long as the mind of the living entity is contaminated by the three modes of 
material nature (goodness, passion and ignorance), his mind is exactly like an 
independent, uncontrolled elephant. It simply expands its jurisdiction of pious 
and impious activities by using the senses. The result is that the living entity 
remains in the material world to enjoy and suffer pleasures and pains due to 
material activity.

Because the mind is absorbed in desires for pious and impious activities, it is 
naturally subjected to the transformations of lust and anger. In this way, it 
becomes attracted to material sense enjoyment. In other words, the mind is 
conducted by the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. There are eleven 
senses and five material elements, and out of these sixteen items, the mind is 
the chief. Therefore the mind brings about birth in different types of bodies 
among demigods, human beings, animals and birds. When the mind is situated in a 
higher or lower position, it accepts a higher or lower material body.

The materialistic mind covering the living entity's soul carries it to different 
species of life. This is called continued material existence. Due to the mind, 
the living entity suffers or enjoys material distress and happiness. Being thus 
illusioned, the mind further creates pious and impious activities and their 
karma, and thus the soul becomes conditioned.

The mind makes the living entity within this material world wander through 
different species of life, and thus the living entity experiences mundane 
affairs in different forms as a human being, demigod, fat person, skinny person 
and so forth. Learned scholars say that bodily appearance, bondage and 
liberation are caused by the mind.

When the living entity's mind becomes absorbed in the sense gratification of the 
material world, it brings about his conditioned life and suffering within the 
material situation. However, when the mind becomes unattached to material 
enjoyment, it becomes the cause of liberation. When the flame in a lamp burns 
the wick improperly, the lamp is blackened, but when the lamp is filled with 
ghee and is burning properly, there is bright illumination. Similarly, when the 
mind is absorbed in material sense gratification, it causes suffering, and when 
detached from material sense gratification, it brings about the original 
brightness of Krishna consciousness.

There are five working senses and five knowledge-acquiring senses. There is also 
the false ego. In this way, there are eleven items for the mind's functions. O 
hero, the objects of the senses [such as sound and touch], the organic 
activities [such as evacuation] and the different types of bodies, society, 
friendship and personality are considered by learned scholars the fields of 
activity for the functions of the mind.

Sound, touch, form, taste and smell are the objects of the five knowledge-
acquiring senses. Speech, touch, movement, evacuation and sexual intercourse are 
the objects of the working senses. Besides this, there is another conception by 
which one thinks, "This is my body, this is my society, this is my family, this 
is my nation," and so forth. This eleventh function, that of the mind, is called 
the false ego. According to some philosophers, this is the twelfth function, and 
its field of activity is the body.

The physical elements, nature, the original cause, culture, destiny and the time 
element are all material causes. Agitated by these material causes, the eleven 
functions transform into hundreds of functions and then into thousands and then 
into millions. But all these transformations do not take place automatically by 
mutual combination. Rather, they are under the direction of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead.

The individual soul bereft of Krishna consciousness has many ideas and 
activities created in the mind by the external energy. They have been existing 
from time immemorial. Sometimes they are manifest in the wakening state and in 
the dream state, but during deep sleep [unconsciousness] or trance, they 
disappear. A person who is liberated in this life [jivan-mukta] can see all 
these things vividly.

There are two kinds of ksetrajna--the living entity, as explained above, and the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is explained as follows. He is the all-
pervading cause of creation. He is full in Himself and is not dependent on 
others. He is perceived by hearing and direct perception. He is self-effulgent 
and does not experience birth, death, old age or disease. He is the controller 
of all the demigods, beginning with Lord Brahma. He is called Narayana, and He 
is the shelter of living entities after the annihilation of this material world. 
He is full of all opulences, and He is the resting place of everything material. 
He is therefore known as Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By His 
own potency, He is present within the hearts of all living entities, just as the 
air or vital force is within the bodies of all beings, moving and nonmoving. In 
this way He controls the body. In His partial feature, the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead enters all bodies and controls them.

My dear King Rahugana, as long as the conditioned soul accepts the material body 
and is not freed from the contamination of material enjoyment, and as long as he 
does not conquer his six enemies and come to the platform of self-realization by 
awakening his spiritual knowledge, he has to wander among different places and 
different species of life in this material world.

The soul's designation, the mind, is the cause of all tribulations in the 
material world. As long as this fact is unknown to the conditioned living 
entity, he has to accept the miserable condition of the material body and wander 
within this universe in different positions. Because the mind is affected by 
disease, lamentation, illusion, attachment, greed and enmity, it creates bondage 
and a false sense of intimacy within this material world.

This uncontrolled mind is the greatest enemy of the living entity. If one 
neglects it or gives it a chance, it will grow more and more powerful and will 
become victorious. Although it is not factual, it is very strong. It covers the 
constitutional position of the soul. O King, please try to conquer this mind by 
the weapon of service to the lotus feet of the spiritual master and of the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Do this with great care.

Chapter Twelve : Conversation Between

King Rahugana said: O most exalted personality, you are not different from the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead. By the influence of your true self, all kinds of 
contradiction in the sastras have been removed. In the dress of a friend of a 
brahmana, you are hiding your transcendental blissful position. I offer my 
respectful obeisances unto you.

O best of the brahmanas, my body is filled with dirty things, and my vision has 
been bitten by the serpent of pride. Due to my material conceptions, I am 
diseased. Your nectarean instructions are the proper medicine for one suffering 
from such a fever, and they are cooling waters for one scorched by the heat.

Whatever doubts I have about a particular subject matter I shall ask you about 
later. For the time being, these mysterious yoga instructions you have given me 
for self-realization appear very difficult to understand. Please repeat them in 
a simple way so that I can understand them. My mind is very inquisitive, and I 
want to understand this clearly.

O master of yogic power, you said that fatigue resulting from moving the body 
here and there is appreciated by direct perception, but actually there is no 
fatigue. It simply exists as a matter of formality. By such inquiries and 
answers, no one can come to the conclusion of the Absolute Truth. Because of 
your presentation of this statement, my mind is a little disturbed.

The self-realized brahmana Jada Bharata said: Among the various material 
combinations and permutations, there are various forms and earthly 
transformations. For some reason, these move on the surface of the earth and are 
called palanquin carriers. Those material transformations which do not move are 
gross material objects like stones. In any case, the material body is made of 
earth and stone in the form of feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, torso, 
throat and head. Upon the shoulders is the wooden palanquin, and within the 
palanquin is the so-called King of Sauvira. The body of the King is simply 
another transformation of earth, but within that body Your Lordship is situated 
and falsely thinking that you are the King of the state of Sauvira.

It is a fact, however, that these innocent people carrying your palanquin 
without payment are certainly suffering due to this injustice. Their condition 
is very lamentable because you have forcibly engaged them in carrying your 
palanquin. This proves that you are cruel and unkind, yet due to false prestige 
you were thinking that you were protecting the citizens. This is ludicrous. You 
were such a fool that you could not have been adored as a great man in an 
assembly of persons advanced in knowledge.

All of us on the surface of the globe are living entities in different forms. 
Some of us are moving and some not moving. All of us come into existence, remain 
for some time and are annihilated when the body is again mingled with the earth. 
We are all simply different transformations of the earth. Different bodies and 
capacities are simply transformations of the earth that exist in name only, for 
everything grows out of the earth and when everything is annihilated it again 
mingles with the earth. In other words, we are but dust, and we shall but be 
dust. Everyone can consider this point.

One may say that varieties arise from the planet earth itself. However, although 
the universe may temporarily appear to be the truth, it ultimately has no real 
existence. The earth was originally created by a combination of atomic 
particles, but these particles are impermanent. Actually the atom is not the 
cause of the universe, although some philosophers think so. It is not a fact 
that the varieties found in this material world simply result from atomic 
juxtaposition or combination.

Since this universe has no real ultimate existence, the things within it--
shortness, differences, grossness, skinniness, smallness, bigness, result, 
cause, living symptoms, and materials--are all imagined. They are all pots made 
of the same substance, earth, but they are named differently. The differences 
are characterized by the substance, nature, predisposition, time and activity. 
You should know that all these are simply mechanical manifestations created by 
material nature.

What, then, is the ultimate truth? The answer is that nondual knowledge is the 
ultimate truth. It is devoid of the contamination of material qualities. It 
gives us liberation. It is the one without a second, all-pervading and beyond 
imagination. The first realization of that knowledge is Brahman. Then Paramatma, 
the Supersoul, is realized by the yogis who try to see Him without grievance. 
This is the second stage of realization. Finally, full realization of the same 
supreme knowledge is realized in the Supreme Person. All learned scholars 
describe the Supreme Person as Vasudeva, the cause of Brahman, Paramatma and 

My dear King Rahugana, unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body 
with the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realize the 
Absolute Truth. One cannot realize the Absolute Truth simply by observing 
celibacy [brahmacarya], strictly following the rules and regulations of 
householder life, leaving home as a vanaprastha, accepting sannyasa, or 
undergoing severe penances in winter by keeping oneself submerged in water or 
surrounding oneself in summer by fire and the scorching heat of the sun. There 
are many other processes to understand the Absolute Truth, but the Absolute 
Truth is only revealed to one who has attained the mercy of a great devotee.

Who are the pure devotees mentioned here? In an assembly of pure devotees, there 
is no question of discussing material subjects like politics and sociology. In 
an assembly of pure devotees, there is discussion only of the qualities, forms 
and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is praised and worshiped 
with full attention. In the association of pure devotees, by constantly hearing 
such topics respectfully, even a person who wants to merge into the existence of 
the Absolute Truth abandons this idea and gradually becomes attached to the 
service of Vasudeva.

In a previous birth I was known as Maharaja Bharata. I attained perfection by 
becoming completely detached from material activities through direct experience, 
and through indirect experience I received understanding from the Vedas. I was 
fully engaged in the service of the Lord, but due to my misfortune, I became 
very affectionate to a small deer, so much so that I neglected my spiritual 
duties. Due to my deep affection for the deer, in my next life I had to accept 
the body of a deer.

My dear heroic King, due to my past sincere service to the Lord, I could 
remember everything of my past life even while in the body of a deer. Because I 
am aware of the falldown in my past life, I always keep myself separate from the 
association of ordinary men. Being afraid of their bad, materialistic 
association, I wander alone unnoticed by others.

Simply by associating with exalted devotees, anyone can attain perfection of 
knowledge and with the sword of knowledge can cut to pieces the illusory 
associations within this material world. Through the association of devotees, 
one can engage in the service of the Lord by hearing and chanting [sravanam 
kirtanam]. Thus one can revive his dormant Krishna consciousness and, sticking 
to the cultivation of Krishna consciousness, return home, back to Godhead, even 
in this life.

Chapter Thirteen : Further Talks Between

Jada Bharata, who had fully realized Brahman, continued: My dear King Rahugana, 
the living entity wanders on the path of the material world, which is very 
difficult for him to traverse, and he accepts repeated birth and death. Being 
captivated by the material world under the influence of the three modes of 
material nature (sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna), the living entity can 
see only the three fruits of activities under the spell of material nature. 
These fruits are auspicious, inauspicious and mixed. He thus becomes attached to 
religion, economic development, sense gratification and the monistic theory of 
liberation (merging with the Supreme). He works very hard day and night exactly 
like a merchant who enters a forest to acquire some articles to sell later for 
profit. However, he cannot really achieve happiness within this material world.

O King Rahugana, in this forest of material existence there are six very 
powerful plunderers. When the conditioned soul enters the forest to acquire some 
material gain, the six plunderers misguide him. Thus the conditioned merchant 
does not know how to spend his money, and it is taken away by these plunderers. 
Like tigers, jackals and other ferocious animals in a forest that are ready to 
take away a lamb from the custody of its protector, the wife and children enter 
the heart of the merchant and plunder him in so many ways.

In this forest there are dense bowers composed of thickets of bushes, grass and 
creepers. In these bowers the conditioned soul is always disturbed by cruelly 
biting mosquitoes [envious people]. Sometimes he sees an imaginary palace in the 
forest, and sometimes he is bewildered by seeing a fleeting fiend or ghost, 
which appears like a meteor in the sky.

My dear King, the merchant on the forest path of the material world, his 
intelligence victimized by home, wealth, relatives and so forth, runs from one 
place to another in search of success. Sometimes his eyes are covered by the 
dust of a whirlwind--that is to say, in his lust he is captivated by the beauty 
of his wife, especially during her menstrual period. Thus his eyes are blinded, 
and he cannot see where to go or what he is doing.

Wandering in the forest of the material world, the conditioned soul sometimes 
hears an invisible cricket making harsh sounds, and his ears become very much 
aggrieved. Sometimes his heart is pained by the sounds of owls, which are just 
like the harsh words of his enemies. Sometimes he takes shelter of a tree that 
has no fruits or flowers. He approaches such a tree due to his strong appetite, 
and thus he suffers. He would like to acquire water, but he is simply illusioned 
by a mirage, and he runs after it.

Sometimes the conditioned soul jumps into a shallow river, or being short of 
food grains, he goes to beg food from people who are not at all charitable. 
Sometimes he suffers from the burning heat of household life, which is like a 
forest fire, and sometimes he becomes sad to have his wealth, which is as dear 
as life, plundered by kings in the name of heavy income taxes.

Sometimes, being defeated or plundered by a superior, powerful agent, a living 
entity loses all his possessions. He then becomes very morose, and lamenting 
their loss, he sometimes becomes unconscious. Sometimes he imagines a great 
palatial city in which he desires to live happily with his family members and 
riches. He thinks himself fully satisfied if this is possible, but such so-
called happiness continues only for a moment.

Sometimes the merchant in the forest wants to climb the hills and mountains, but 
due to insufficient footwear, his feet are pricked by small stone fragments and 
by thorns on the mountain. Being pricked by them, he becomes very aggrieved. 
Sometimes a person who is very attached to his family becomes overwhelmed with 
hunger, and due to his miserable condition he becomes furious with his family 

The conditioned soul in the material forest is sometimes swallowed by a python 
or crushed. At such a time he is left lying in the forest like a dead person, 
devoid of consciousness and knowledge. Sometimes other poisonous snakes bite 
him. Being blind to his consciousness, he falls down into a dark well of hellish 
life with no hope of being rescued.

Sometimes, in order to have a little insignificant sex enjoyment, one searches 
after debauched women. In this attempt, one is insulted and chastised by the 
women's kinsmen. This is like going to take honey from a beehive and being 
attacked by the bees. Sometimes, after spending lots of money, one may acquire 
another woman for some extra sense enjoyment. Unfortunately, the object of sense 
enjoyment, the woman, is taken away or kidnapped by another debauchee.

Sometimes the living entity is busy counteracting the natural disturbances of 
freezing cold, scorching heat, strong wind, excessive rainfall and so forth. 
When he is unable to do so, he becomes very unhappy. Sometimes he is cheated in 
business transactions one after another. In this way, by cheating, living 
entities create enmity among themselves.

On the forest path of material existence, sometimes a person is without wealth 
and due to this does not have a proper home, bed or sitting place, nor proper 
family enjoyment. He therefore goes to beg money from others, but when his 
desires are not fulfilled by begging, he wants to borrow or steal the property 
of others. Thus he is insulted in society.

Due to monetary transactions, relationships become very strained and end in 
enmity. Sometimes the husband and wife walk on the path of material progress, 
and to maintain their relationship they work very hard. Sometimes due to 
scarcity of money or due to diseased conditions, they are embarrassed and almost 

My dear King, on the forest path of material life, first a person is bereft of 
his father and mother, and after their death he becomes attached to his newly 
born children. In this way he wanders on the path of material progress and is 
eventually embarrassed. Nonetheless, no one knows how to get out of this, even 
up to the moment of death.

There were and are many political and social heroes who have conquered enemies 
of equal power, yet due to their ignorance in believing that the land is theirs, 
they fight one another and lay down their lives in battle. They are not able to 
take up the spiritual path accepted by those in the renounced order. Although 
they are big heroes and political leaders, they cannot take to the path of 
spiritual realization.

Sometimes the living entity in the forest of material existence takes shelter of 
creepers and desires to hear the chirping of the birds in those creepers. Being 
afraid of roaring lions in the forest, he makes friends with cranes, herons and 

Being cheated by them, the living entity in the forest of the material world 
tries to give up the association of these so-called yogis, svamis and 
incarnations and come to the association of real devotees, but due to misfortune 
he cannot follow the instructions of the spiritual master or advanced devotees; 
therefore he gives up their company and again returns to the association of 
monkeys who are simply interested in sense gratification and women. He derives 
satisfaction by associating with sense gratifiers and enjoying sex and 
intoxication. In this way he spoils his life simply by indulging in sex and 
intoxication. Looking into the faces of other sense gratifiers, he becomes 
forgetful and thus approaches death.

When the living entity becomes exactly like a monkey jumping from one branch to 
another, he remains in the tree of household life without any profit but sex. 
Thus he is kicked by his wife just like the he-ass. Unable to gain release, he 
remains helplessly in that position. Sometimes he falls victim to am incurable 
disease, which is like falling into a mountain cave. He becomes afraid of death, 
which is like the elephant in the back of that cave, and he remains stranded, 
grasping at the twigs and branches of a creeper.

O killer of enemies, Maharaja Rahugana, if the conditioned soul somehow or other 
gets out of his dangerous position, he again returns to his home to enjoy sex 
life, for that is the way of attachment. Thus, under the spell of the Lord's 
material energy, he continues to loiter in the forest of material existence. He 
does not discover his real interest even at the point of death.

My dear King Rahugana, you are also a victim of the external energy, being 
situated on the path of attraction to material pleasure. So that you may become 
an equal friend to all living entities, I now advise you to give up your kingly 
position and the rod by which you punish criminals. Give up attraction to the 
sense objects and take up the sword of knowledge sharpened by devotional 
service. Then you will be able to cut the hard knot of illusory energy and cross 
to the other side of the ocean of nescience.

King Rahugana said: This birth as a human being is the best of all. Even birth 
among the demigods in the heavenly planets is not as glorious as birth as a 
human being on this earth. What is the use of the exalted position of a demigod? 
In the heavenly planets, due to profuse material comforts, there is no 
possibility of associating with devotees.

It is not at all wonderful that simply by being covered by the dust of your 
lotus feet, one immediately attains the platform of pure devotional service to 
Adhoksaja, which is not available even to great demigods like Brahma. By 
associating with you just for a moment, I am now freed from all argument, false 
prestige and lack of discrimination, which are the roots of entanglement in the 
material world. Now I am free from all these problems.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the great personalities, whether they walk 
on the earth's surface as children, young boys, avadhutas or great brahmanas. 
Even if they are hidden under different guises, I offer my respects to all of 
them. By their mercy, may there be good fortune in the royal dynasties that are 
always offending them.

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, O son of mother Uttara, there 
were some waves of dissatisfaction in the mind of Jada Bharata due to his being 
insulted by King Rahugana, who made him carry his palanquin, but Jada Bharata 
neglected this, and his heart again became calm and quiet like an ocean. 
Although King Rahugana had insulted him, he was a great paramahamsa. Being a 
Vaisnava, he was naturally very kindhearted, and he therefore told the King 
about the constitutional position of the soul. He then forgot the insult because 
King Rahugana pitifully begged pardon at his lotus feet. After this, he began to 
wander all over the earth, just as before.

After receiving lessons from the great devotee Jada Bharata, King Rahugana of 
the state of Sauvira became completely aware of the constitutional position of 
the soul. He thus gave up the bodily conception completely. My dear King, 
whoever takes shelter of the servant of the servant of the Lord is certainly 
glorified because he can without difficulty give up the bodily conception.

King Pariksit then told Sukadeva Gosvami: My dear lord, O great devotee sage, 
you are omniscient. You have very nicely described the position of the 
conditioned soul, who is compared to a merchant in the forest. From these 
instructions intelligent men can understand that the senses of a person in the 
bodily conception are like rogues and thieves in that forest, and one's wife and 
children are like jackals and other ferocious animals. However, it is not very 
easy for the unintelligent to understand the purport of this story because it is 
difficult to extricate the exact meaning from the allegory. I therefore request 
Your Holiness to give the direct meaning.

Chapter Fourteen :The Material World as the

When King Pariksit asked Sukadeva Gosvami about the direct meaning of the 
material forest, Sukadeva Gosvami replied as follows: My dear King, a man 
belonging to the mercantile community [vanik] is always interested in earning 
money. Sometimes he enters the forest to acquire some cheap commodities like 
wood and earth and sell them in the city at good prices. Similarly, the 
conditioned soul, being greedy, enters this material world for some material 
profit. Gradually he enters the deepest part of the forest, not really knowing 
how to get out. Having entered the material world, the pure soul becomes 
conditioned by the material atmosphere, which is created by the external energy 
under the control of Lord Vishnu. Thus the living entity comes under the control 
of the external energy, daivi maya. Living independently and bewildered in the 
forest, he does not attain the association of devotees who are always engaged in 
the service of the Lord. Once in the bodily conception, he gets different types 
of bodies one after the other under the influence of material energy and 
impelled by the modes of material nature [sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna]. 
In this way the conditioned soul goes sometimes to the heavenly planets, 
sometimes to the earthly planets and sometimes to the lower planets and lower 
species. Thus he suffers continuously due to different types of bodies. These 
sufferings and pains are sometimes mixed. Sometimes they are very severe, and 
sometimes they are not. These bodily conditions are acquired due to the 
conditioned soul's mental speculation. He uses his mind and five senses to 
acquire knowledge, and these bring about the different bodies and different 
conditions. Using the senses under the control of the external energy, maya, the 
living entity suffers the miserable conditions of material existence. He is 
actually searching for relief, but he is generally baffled, although sometimes 
he is relieved after great difficulty. Struggling for existence in this way, he 
cannot get the shelter of pure devotees, who are like bumblebees engaged in 
loving service at the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu.

In the forest of material existence, the uncontrolled senses are like 
plunderers. The conditioned soul may earn some money for the advancement of 
Krishna consciousness, but unfortunately the uncontrolled senses plunder his 
money through sense gratification. The senses are plunderers because they make 
one spend his money unnecessarily for seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, 
hearing, desiring and willing. In this way the conditioned soul is obliged to 
gratify his senses, and thus all his money is spent. This money is actually 
acquired for the execution of religious principles, but it is taken away by the 
plundering senses.

My dear King, family members in this material world go under the names of wife 
and children, but actually they behave like tigers and jackals. A herdsman tries 
to protect his sheep to the best of his ability, but the tigers and foxes take 
them away by force. Similarly, although a miserly man wants to guard his money 
very carefully, his family members take away all his assets forcibly, even 
though he is very vigilant.

Every year the plowman plows over his grain field, completely uprooting all 
weeds. Nonetheless, the seeds lie there and, not being completely burned, again 
come up with the plants sown in the field. Even after being plowed under, the 
weeds come up densely. Similarly, the grhastha-asrama [family life] is a field 
of fruitive activity. Unless the desire to enjoy family life is completely 
burned out, it grows up again and again. Even though camphor may be removed from 
a pot, the pot nonetheless retains the aroma of camphor. As long as the seeds of 
desire are not destroyed, fruitive activities are not destroyed.

Sometimes the conditioned soul in household life, being attached to material 
wealth and possessions, is disturbed by gadflies and mosquitoes, and sometimes 
locusts, birds of prey and rats give him trouble. Nonetheless, he still wanders 
down the path of material existence. Due to ignorance he becomes lusty and 
engages in fruitive activity. Because his mind is absorbed in these activities, 
he sees the material world as permanent, although it is temporary like a 
phantasmagoria, a house in the sky.

Sometimes in this house in the sky [gandharva-pura] the conditioned soul drinks, 
eats and has sex. Being overly attached, he chases after the objects of the 
senses just as a deer chases a mirage in the desert.

Sometimes the living entity is interested in the yellow stool known as gold and 
runs after it. That gold is the source of material opulence and envy, and it can 
enable one to afford illicit sex, gambling, meat-eating and intoxication. Those 
whose minds are overcome by the mode of passion are attracted by the color of 
gold, just as a man suffering from cold in the forest runs after a 
phosphorescent light in a marshy land, considering it to be fire.

Sometimes the conditioned soul is absorbed in finding residential quarters or 
apartments and getting a supply of water and riches to maintain his body. 
Absorbed in acquiring a variety of necessities, he forgets everything and 
perpetually runs around the forest of material existence.

Sometimes, as if blinded by the dust of a whirlwind, the conditioned soul sees 
the beauty of the opposite sex, which is called pramada. Being thus bewildered, 
he is raised upon the lap of a woman, and at that time his good senses are 
overcome by the force of passion. He thus becomes almost blind with lusty desire 
and disobeys the rules and regulations governing sex life. He does not know that 
his disobedience is witnessed by different demigods, and he enjoys illicit sex 
in the dead of night, not seeing the future punishment awaiting him.

The conditioned soul sometimes personally appreciates the futility of sense 
enjoyment in the material world, and he sometimes considers material enjoyment 
to be full of miseries. However, due to his strong bodily conception, his memory 
is destroyed, and again and again he runs after material enjoyment, just as an 
animal runs after a mirage in the desert.

Sometimes the conditioned soul is very aggrieved by the chastisement of his 
enemies and government servants, who use harsh words against him directly or 
indirectly. At that time his heart and ears become very saddened. Such 
chastisement may be compared to the sounds of owls and crickets.

Due to his pious activities in previous lives, the conditioned soul attains 
material facilities in this life, but when they are finished, he takes shelter 
of wealth and riches, which cannot help him in this life or the next. Because of 
this, he approaches the living dead who possess these things. Such people are 
compared to impure trees, creepers and poisonous wells.

Sometimes, to mitigate distresses in this forest of the material world, the 
conditioned soul receives cheap blessings from atheists. He then loses all 
intelligence in their association. This is exactly like jumping in a shallow 
river. As a result one simply breaks his head. He is not able to mitigate his 
sufferings from the heat, and in both ways he suffers. The misguided conditioned 
soul also approaches so-called sadhus and svamis who preach against the 
principles of the Vedas. He does not receive benefit from them, either in the 
present or in the future.

In this material world, when the conditioned soul cannot arrange for his own 
maintenance, despite exploiting others, he tries to exploit his own father or 
son, taking away that relative's possessions, although they may be very 
insignificant. If he cannot acquire things from his father, son or other 
relatives, he is prepared to give them all kinds of trouble.

In this world, family life is exactly like a blazing fire in the forest. There 
is not the least happiness, and gradually one becomes more and more implicated 
in unhappiness. In household life, there is nothing favorable for perpetual 
happiness. Being implicated in home life, the conditioned soul is burned by the 
fire of lamentation. Sometimes he condemns himself as being very unfortunate, 
and sometimes he claims that he suffers because he performed no pious activities 
in his previous life.

Government men are always like carnivorous demons called Raksasas [man-eaters]. 
Sometimes these government men turn against the conditioned soul and take away 
all his accumulated wealth. Being bereft of his life's reserved wealth, the 
conditioned soul loses all enthusiasm. Indeed, it is as though he loses his 

Sometimes the conditioned soul imagines that his father or grandfather has again 
come in the form of his son or grandson. In this way he feels the happiness one 
sometimes feels in a dream, and the conditioned soul sometimes takes pleasure in 
such mental concoctions.

In household life one is ordered to execute many yajnas and fruitive activities, 
especially the vivaha-yajna [the marriage ceremony for sons and daughters] and 
the sacred thread ceremony. These are all the duties of a grhastha, and they are 
very extensive and troublesome to execute. They are compared to a big hill over 
which one must cross when one is attached to material activities. A person 
desiring to cross over these ritualistic ceremonies certainly feels pains like 
the piercing of thorns and pebbles endured by one attempting to climb a hill. 
Thus the conditioned soul suffers unlimitedly.

Sometimes, due to bodily hunger and thirst, the conditioned soul becomes so 
disturbed that he loses his patience and becomes angry with his own beloved 
sons, daughters and wife. Thus, being unkind to them, he suffers all the more.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued speaking to Maharaja Pariksit: My dear King, sleep is 
exactly like a python. Those who wander in the forest of material life are 
always devoured by the python of sleep. Being bitten by this python, they always 
remain in the darkness of ignorance. They are like dead bodies thrown in a 
distant forest. Thus the conditioned souls cannot understand what is going on in 

In the forest of the material world, the conditioned soul is sometimes bitten by 
envious enemies, which are compared to serpents and other creatures. Through the 
tricks of the enemy, the conditioned soul falls from his prestigious position. 
Being anxious, he cannot even sleep properly. He thus becomes more and more 
unhappy, and he gradually loses his intelligence and consciousness. In that 
state he becomes almost perpetually like a blind man who has fallen into a dark 
well of ignorance.

The conditioned soul is sometimes attracted to the little happiness derived from 
sense gratification. Thus he has illicit sex or steals another's property. At 
such a time he may be arrested by the government or chastised by the woman's 
husband or protector. Thus simply for a little material satisfaction, he falls 
into a hellish condition and is put into jail for rape, kidnapping, theft and so 

Learned scholars and transcendentalists therefore condemn the materialistic path 
of fruitive activity because it is the original source and breeding ground of 
material miseries, both in this life and in the next.

Stealing or cheating another person out of his money, the conditioned soul 
somehow or other keeps it in his possession and escapes punishment. Then another 
man, named Devadatta, cheats him and takes the money away. Similarly, another 
man, named Vishnumitra, steals the money from Devadatta and takes it away. In 
any case, the money does not stay in one place. It passes from one hand to 
another. Ultimately no one can enjoy the money, and it remains the property of 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Being unable to protect himself from the threefold miseries of material 
existence, the conditioned soul becomes very morose and lives a life of 
lamentation. These threefold miseries are miseries suffered by mental calamity 
at the hands of the demigods [such as freezing wind and scorching heat], 
miseries offered by other living entities, and miseries arising from the mind 
and body themselves.

As far as transactions with money are concerned, if one person cheats another by 
a farthing or less, they become enemies.

In this materialistic life, there are many difficulties, as I have just 
mentioned, and all of these are insurmountable. In addition, there are 
difficulties arising from so-called happiness, distress, attachment, hate, fear, 
false prestige, illusion, madness, lamentation, bewilderment, greed, envy, 
enmity, insult, hunger, thirst, tribulation, disease, birth, old age and death. 
All these combine together to give the materialistic conditioned soul nothing 
but misery.

Sometimes the conditioned soul is attracted by illusion personified (his wife or 
girl friend) and becomes eager to be embraced by a woman. Thus he loses his 
intelligence as well as knowledge of life's goal. At that time, no longer 
attempting spiritual cultivation, he becomes overly attached to his wife or girl 
friend and tries to provide her with a suitable apartment. Again, he becomes 
very busy under the shelter of that home and is captivated by the talks, glances 
and activities of his wife and children. In this way he loses his Krishna 
consciousness and throws himself in the dense darkness of material existence.

The personal weapon used by Lord Krishna, the disc, is called hari-cakra, the 
disc of Hari. This cakra is the wheel of time. It expands from the beginning of 
the atoms up to the time of Brahma's death, and it controls all activities. It 
is always revolving and spending the lives of the living entities, from Lord 
Brahma down to an insignificant blade of grass. Thus one changes from infancy, 
to childhood, to youth and maturity, and thus one approaches the end of life. It 
is impossible to check this wheel of time. This wheel is very exacting because 
it is the personal weapon of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sometimes the 
conditioned soul, fearing the approach of death, wants to worship someone who 
can save him from imminent danger. Yet he does not care for the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, whose weapon is the indefatigable time factor. The 
conditioned soul instead takes shelter of a man-made god described in 
unauthorized scriptures. Such gods are like buzzards, vultures, herons and 
crows. Vedic scriptures do not refer to them. Imminent death is like the attack 
of a lion, and neither vultures, buzzards, crows nor herons can save one from 
such an attack. One who takes shelter of unauthorized man-made gods cannot be 
saved from the clutches of death.

The pseudo svamis, yogis and incarnations who do not believe in the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead are known as pasandis. They themselves are fallen and 
cheated because they do not know the real path of spiritual advancement, and 
whoever goes to them is certainly cheated in his turn. When one is thus cheated, 
he sometimes takes shelter of the real followers of Vedic principles [brahmanas 
or those in Krishna consciousness], who teach everyone how to worship the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead according to the Vedic rituals. However, being 
unable to stick to these principles, these rascals again fall down and take 
shelter among sudras who are very expert in making arrangements for sex 
indulgence. Sex is very prominent among animals like monkeys, and such people 
who are enlivened by sex may be called descendants of monkeys.

In this way the descendants of the monkeys intermingle with each other, and they 
are generally known as sudras. Without hesitating, they live and move freely, 
not knowing the goal of life. They are captivated simply by seeing the faces of 
one another, which remind them of sense gratification. They are always engaged 
in material activities, known as gramya-karma, and they work hard for material 
benefit. Thus they forget completely that one day their small life spans will be 
finished and they will be degraded in the evolutionary cycle.

Just as a monkey jumps from one tree to another, the conditioned soul jumps from 
one body to another. As the monkey is ultimately captured by the hunter and is 
unable to get out of captivity, the conditioned soul, being captivated by 
momentary sex pleasure, becomes attached to different types of bodies and is 
encaged in family life. Family life affords the conditioned soul a festival of 
momentary sex pleasure, and thus he is completely unable to get out of the 
material clutches.

In this material world, when the conditioned soul forgets his relationship with 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead and does not care for Krishna consciousness, 
he simply engages in different types of mischievous and sinful activities. He is 
then subjected to the threefold miseries, and, out of fear of the elephant of 
death, he falls into the darkness found in a mountain cave.

The conditioned soul suffers many miserable bodily conditions, such as being 
affected by severe cold and strong winds. He also suffers due to the activities 
of other living beings and due to natural disturbances. When he is unable to 
counteract them and has to remain in a miserable condition, he naturally becomes 
very morose because he wants to enjoy material facilities.

Sometimes conditioned souls exchange money, but in due course of time, enmity 
arises because of cheating. Although there may be a tiny profit, the conditioned 
souls cease to be friends and become enemies.

Sometimes, having no money, the conditioned soul does not get sufficient 
accommodations. Sometimes he doesn't even have a place to sit, nor does he have 
the other necessities. In other words, he falls into scarcity, and at that time, 
when he is unable to secure the necessities by fair means, he decides to seize 
the property of others unfairly. When he cannot get the things he wants, he 
simply receives insults from others and thus becomes very morose.

Although people may be enemies, in order to fulfill their desires again and 
again, they sometimes get married. Unfortunately, these marriages do not last 
very long, and the people involved are separated again by divorce or other 

The path of this material world is full of material miseries, and various 
troubles disturb the conditioned souls. Sometimes he loses, and sometimes he 
gains. In either case, the path is full of danger. Sometimes the conditioned 
soul is separated from his father by death or other circumstances. Leaving him 
aside he gradually becomes attached to others, such as his children. In this 
way, the conditioned soul is sometimes illusioned and afraid. Sometimes he cries 
loudly out of fear. Sometimes he is happy maintaining his family, and sometimes 
he is overjoyed and sings melodiously. In this way he becomes entangled and 
forgets his separation from the Supreme Personality of Godhead since time 
immemorial. Thus he traverses the dangerous path of material existence, and on 
this path he is not at all happy. Those who are self-realized simply take 
shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in order to get out of this 
dangerous material existence. Without accepting the devotional path, one cannot 
get out of the clutches of material existence. The conclusion is that no one can 
be happy in material life. One must take to Krishna consciousness.

Saintly persons, who are friends to all living entities, have a peaceful 
consciousness. They have controlled their senses and minds, and they easily 
attain the path of liberation, the path back to Godhead. Being unfortunate and 
attached to the miserable material conditions, a materialistic person cannot 
associate with them.

There were many great saintly kings who were very expert in performing 
sacrificial rituals and very competent in conquering other kingdoms, yet despite 
their power they could not attain the loving service of the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead. This is because those great kings could not even conquer the false 
consciousness of "I am this body, and this is my property." Thus they simply 
created enmity with rival kings, fought with them and died without having 
discharged life's real mission.

When the conditioned soul accepts the shelter of the creeper of fruitive 
activity, he may be elevated by his pious activities to higher planetary systems 
and thus gain liberation from hellish conditions, but unfortunately he cannot 
remain there. After reaping the results of his pious activities, he has to 
return to the lower planetary systems. In this way he perpetually goes up and 
comes down.

Having summarized the teachings of Jada Bharata, Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear 
King Pariksit, the path indicated by Jada Bharata is like the path followed by 
Garuda, the carrier of the Lord, and ordinary kings are just like flies. Flies 
cannot follow the path of Garuda, and to date none of the great kings and 
victorious leaders could follow this path of devotional service, not even 

While in the prime of life, the great Maharaja Bharata gave up everything 
because he was fond of serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Uttamasloka. 
He gave up his beautiful wife, nice children, great friends and an enormous 
empire. Although these things were very difficult to give up, Maharaja Bharata 
was so exalted that he gave them up just as one gives up stool after evacuating. 
Such was the greatness of His Majesty.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, the activities of Bharata Maharaja are 
wonderful. He gave up everything difficult for others to give up. He gave up his 
kingdom, his wife and his family. His opulence was so great that even the 
demigods envied it, yet he gave it up. It was quite befitting a great 
personality like him to be a great devotee. He could renounce everything because 
he was so attracted to the beauty, opulence, reputation, knowledge, strength and 
renunciation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Krishna is so 
attractive that one can give up all desirable things for His sake. Indeed, even 
liberation is considered insignificant for those whose minds are attracted to 
the loving service of the Lord.

Even though in the body of a deer, Maharaja Bharata did not forget the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead; therefore when he was giving up the body of a deer, he 
loudly uttered the following prayer: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is 
sacrifice personified. He gives the results of ritualistic activity. He is the 
protector of religious systems, the personification of mystic yoga, the source 
of all knowledge, the controller of the entire creation, and the Supersoul in 
every living entity. He is beautiful and attractive. I am quitting this body 
offering obeisances unto Him and hoping that I may perpetually engage in His 
transcendental loving service." Uttering this, Maharaja Bharata left his body.

Devotees interested in hearing and chanting [sravanam kirtanam] regularly 
discuss the pure characteristics of Bharata Maharaja and praise his activities. 
If one submissively hears and chants about the all-auspicious Maharaja Bharata, 
one's life span and material opulences certainly increase. One can become very 
famous and easily attain promotion to the heavenly planets, or attain liberation 
by merging into the existence of the Lord. Whatever one desires can be attained 
simply by hearing, chanting and glorifying the activities of Maharaja Bharata. 
In this way, one can fulfill all his material and spiritual desires. One does 
not have to ask anyone else for these things, for simply by studying the life of 
Maharaja Bharata, one can attain all desirable things.

Chapter Fifteen : The Glories of the

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: The son of Maharaja Bharata known as Sumati 
followed the path of Rsabhadeva, but some unscrupulous people imagined him to be 
Lord Buddha himself. These people, who were actually atheistic and of bad 
character, took up the Vedic principles in an imaginary, infamous way to support 
their activities. Thus these sinful people accepted Sumati as Lord Buddhadeva 
and propagated the theory that everyone should follow the principles of Sumati. 
In this way they were carried away by mental concoction.

From Sumati, a son named Devatajit was born by the womb of his wife named 

Thereafter, in the womb of Asuri, the wife of Devatajit, a son named Devadyumna 
was begotten. Devadyumna begot in the womb of his wife, Dhenumati, a son named 
Paramesthi. Paramesthi begot a son named Pratiha in the womb of his wife, 

King Pratiha personally propagated the principles of self-realization. In this 
way, not only was he purified, but he became a great devotee of the Supreme 
Person, Lord Vishnu, and directly realized Him.

In the womb of his wife Suvarcala, Pratiha begot three sons, named Pratiharta, 
Prastota and Udgata. These three sons were very expert in performing Vedic 
rituals. Pratiharta begot two sons, named Aja and Bhuma, in the womb of his 
wife, named Stuti.

In the womb of his wife, Rsikulya, King Bhuma begot a son named Udgitha. From 
Udgitha's wife, Devakulya, a son named Prastava was born, and Prastava begot a 
son named Vibhu through his wife, Niyutsa. In the womb of his wife, Rati, Vibhu 
begot a son named Prthusena. Prthusena begot a son named Nakta in the womb of 
his wife, named Akuti. Nakta's wife was Druti, and from her womb the great King 
Gaya was born. Gaya was very famous and pious; he was the best of saintly kings. 
Lord Vishnu and His expansions, who are meant to protect the universe, are 
always situated in the transcendental mode of goodness, known as visuddha-
sattva. Being the direct expansion of Lord Vishnu, King Gaya was also situated 
in the visuddha-sattva. Because of this, Maharaja Gaya was fully equipped with 
transcendental knowledge. Therefore he was called Mahapurusa.

King Gaya gave full protection and security to the citizens so that their 
personal property would not be disturbed by undesirable elements. He also saw 
that there was sufficient food to feed all the citizens. [This is called 
posana.] He would sometimes distribute gifts to the citizens to satisfy them. 
[This is called prinana.] He would sometimes call meetings and satisfy the 
citizens with sweet words. [This is called upalalana.] He would also give them 
good instructions on how to become first-class citizens. [This is called 
anusasana.] Such were the characteristics of King Gaya's royal order. Besides 
all this, King Gaya was a householder who strictly observed the rules and 
regulations of household life. He performed sacrifices and was an unalloyed pure 
devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was called Mahapurusa because 
as a king he gave the citizens all facilities, and as a householder he executed 
all his duties so that at the end he became a strict devotee of the Supreme 
Lord. As a devotee, he was always ready to give respect to other devotees and to 
engage in the devotional service of the Lord. This is the bhakti-yoga process. 
Due to all these transcendental activites, King Gaya was always free from the 
bodily conception. He was full in Brahman realization, and consequently he was 
always jubilant. He did not experience material lamentation. Although he was 
perfect in all respects, he was not proud, nor was he anxious to rule the 

My dear King Pariksit, those who are learned scholars in the histories of the 
Puranas eulogize and glorify King Gaya with the following verses.

The great King Gaya used to perform all kinds of Vedic rituals. He was highly 
intelligent and expert in studying all the Vedic literatures. He maintained the 
religious principles and possessed all kinds of opulence. He was a leader among 
gentlemen and a servant of the devotees. He was a totally qualified plenary 
expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore who could equal him 
in the performance of gigantic ritualistic ceremonies?

All the chaste and honest daughters of Maharaja Daksa, such as Sraddha, Maitri 
and Daya, whose blessings were always effective, bathed Maharaja Gaya with 
sanctified water. Indeed, they were very satisfied with Maharaja Gaya. The 
planet earth personified came as a cow, and, as though she saw her calf, she 
delivered milk profusely when she saw all the good qualities of Maharaja Gaya. 
In other words, Maharaja Gaya was able to derive all benefits from the earth and 
thus satisfy the desires of his citizens. However, he personally had no desire.

Although King Gaya had no personal desire for sense gratification, all his 
desires were fulfilled by virtue of his performance of Vedic rituals. All the 
kings with whom Maharaja Gaya had to fight were forced to fight on religious 
principles. They were very satisfied with his fighting, and they would present 
all kinds of gifts to him. Similarly, all the brahmanas in his kingdom were very 
satisfied with King Gaya's munificent charities. Consequently the brahmanas 
contributed a sixth of their pious activities for King Gaya's benefit in the 
next life.

In Maharaja Gaya's sacrifices, there was a great supply of the intoxicant known 
as soma. King Indra used to come and become intoxicated by drinking large 
quantities of soma-rasa. Also, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu 
[the yajna-purusa] also came and personally accepted all the sacrifices offered 
unto Him with pure and firm devotion in the sacrificial arena.

When the Supreme Lord is pleased by a person's actions, automatically all the 
demigods, human beings, animals, birds, bees, creepers, trees, grass and all 
other living entities, beginning with Lord Brahma, are pleased. The Supreme 
Personality of Godhead is the Supersoul of everyone, and He is by nature fully 
pleased. Nonetheless, He came to the arena of Maharaja Gaya and said, "I am 
fully pleased."

In the womb of Gayanti, Maharaja Gaya begot three sons, named Citraratha, Sugati 
and Avarodhana. In the womb of his wife Urna, Citraratha begot a son named 
Samrat. The wife of Samrat was Utkala, and in her womb Samrat begot a son named 
Marici. In the womb of his wife Bindumati, Marici begot a son named Bindu. In 
the womb of his wife Saragha, Bindu begot a son named Madhu. In the womb of his 
wife named Sumana, Madhu begot a son named Viravrata. In the womb of his wife 
Bhoja, Viravrata begot two sons named Manthu and Pramanthu. In the womb of his 
wife Satya, Manthu begot a son named Bhauvana, and in the womb of his wife 
Dusana, Bhauvana begot a son named Tvasta. In the womb of his wife Virocana, 
Tvasta begot a son named Viraja. The wife of Viraja was Visuci, and in her womb 
Viraja begot one hundred sons and one daughter. Of all these sons, the son named 
Satajit was predominant.

There is a famous verse about King Viraja. "Because of his high qualities and 
wide fame, King Viraja became the jewel of the dynasty of King Priyavrata, just 
as Lord Vishnu, by His transcendental potency, decorates and blesses the 

Chapter Sixteen : A Description of Jambudvipa

King Pariksit said to Sukadeva Gosvami: O brahmana, you have already informed me 
that the radius of Bhu-mandala extends as far as the sun spreads its light and 
heat and as far as the moon and all the stars can be seen.

My dear Lord, the rolling wheels of Maharaja Priyavrata's chariot created seven 
ditches, in which the seven oceans came into existence. Because of these seven 
oceans, Bhu-mandala is divided into seven islands. You have given a very general 
description of their measurement, names and characteristics. Now I wish to know 
of them in detail. Kindly fulfill my desire.

When the mind is fixed upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His external 
feature made of the material modes of nature--the gross universal form--it is 
brought to the platform of pure goodness. In that transcendental position, one 
can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, who in His subtler 
form is self-effulgent and beyond the modes of nature. O my lord, please 
describe vividly how that form, which covers the entire universe, is perceived.

The great rsi Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, there is no limit to the 
expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's material energy. This material 
world is a transformation of the material qualities [sattva-guna, rajo-guna and 
tamo-guna], yet no one could possibly explain it perfectly, even in a lifetime 
as long as that of Brahma No one in the material world is perfect, and an 
imperfect person could not describe this material universe accurately, even 
after continued speculation. O King, I shall nevertheless try to explain to you 
the principal regions, such as Bhu-goloka [Bhuloka], with their names, forms, 
measurements and various symptoms.

The planetary system known as Bhu-mandala resembles a lotus flower, and its 
seven islands resemble the whorl of that flower. The length and breadth of the 
island known as Jambudvipa, which is situated in the middle of the whorl, are 
one million yojanas [eight million miles]. Jambudvipa is round like the leaf of 
a lotus flower.

In Jambudvipa there are nine divisions of land, each with a length of 9,000 
yojanas [72,000 miles]. There are eight mountains that mark the boundaries of 
these divisions and separate them nicely.

Amidst these divisions, or varsas, is the varsa named Ilavrta, which is situated 
in the middle of the whorl of the lotus. Within Ilavrta-varsa is Sumeru 
Mountain, which is made of gold. Sumeru Mountain is like the pericarp of the 
lotuslike Bhu-mandala planetary system. The mountain's height is the same as the 
width of Jambudvipa--or, in other words, 100,000 yojanas [800,000 miles]. Of 
that, 16,0O0 yojanas [128,000 miles] are within the earth, and therefore the 
mountain's height above the earth is 84,000 yojanas [672,000 miles]. The 
mountain's width is 32,000 yojanas [256,000 miles] at its summit and 16,000 
yojanas at its base.

Just north of Ilavrta-varsa--and going further northward, one after another--are 
three mountains named Nila, Sveta and Srngavan. These mark the borders of the 
three varsas named Ramyaka, Hiranmaya and Kuru and separate them from one 
another. The width of these mountains is 2,000 yojanas [16,000 miles]. 
Lengthwise, they extend east and west to the beaches of the ocean of salt water. 
Going from south to north, the length of each mountain is one tenth that of the 
previous mountain, but the height of them all is the same.

Similarly, south of Ilavrta-varsa and extending from east to west are three 
great mountains named (from north to south) Nisadha, Hemakuta and Himalaya. Each 
of them is 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles] high. They mark the boundaries of the 
three varsas named Hari-varsa, Kimpurusa-varsa and Bharata-varsa [India].

In the same way, west and east of Ilavrta-varsa are two great mountains named 
Malyavan and Gandhamadana respectively. These two mountains, which are 2,000 
yojanas [16,000 miles] high, extend as far as Nila Mountain in the north and 
Nisadha in the south. They indicate the borders of Ilavrta-varsa and also the 
varsas known as Ketumala and Bhadrasva.

On the four sides of the great mountain known as Sumeru are four mountains--
Mandara, Merumandara, Suparsva and Kumuda--which are like its belts. The length 
and height of these mountains are calculated to be 10,000 yojanas [80,000 

Standing like flagstaffs on the summits of these four mountains are a mango 
tree, a rose apple tree, a kadamba tree and a banyan tree. Those trees are 
calculated to have a width of 100 yojanas [800 miles] and a height of 1,100 
yojanas [8,800 miles]. Their branches also spread to a radius of 1,100 yojanas.

O Maharaja Pariksit, best of the Bharata dynasty, between these four mountains 
are four huge lakes. The water of the first tastes just like milk; the water of 
the second, like honey; and that of the third, like sugarcane juice. The fourth 
lake is filled with pure water. The celestial beings such as the Siddhas, 
Caranas and Gandharvas, who are also known as demigods, enjoy the facilities of 
those four lakes. Consequently they have the natural perfections of mystic yoga, 
such as the power to become smaller than the smallest or greater than the 
greatest. There are also four celestial gardens named Nandana, Caitraratha, 
Vaibhrajaka and Sarvatobhadra.

The best of the demigods, along with their wives, who are like ornaments of 
heavenly beauty, meet together and enjoy within those gardens, while their 
glories are sung by lesser demigods known as Gandharvas.

On the lower slopes of Mandara Mountain is a mango tree named Devacuta. It is 
1,100 yojanas high. Mangoes as big as mountain peaks and as sweet as nectar fall 
from the top of this tree for the enjoyment of the denizens of heaven.

When all those solid fruits fall from such a height, they break, and the sweet, 
fragrant juice within them flows out and becomes increasingly more fragrant as 
it mixes with other scents. That juice cascades from the mountain in waterfalls 
and becomes a river called Arunoda, which flows pleasantly through the eastern 
side of Ilavrta.

The pious wives of the Yaksas act as personal maidservants to assist Bhavani, 
the wife of Lord Shiva. Because they drink the water of the River Arunoda, their 
bodies become fragrant, and as the air carries away that fragrance, it perfumes 
the entire atmosphere for eighty miles around.

Similarly, the fruits of the jambu tree, which are full of pulp and have very 
small seeds, fall from a great height and break to pieces. Those fruits are the 
size of elephants, and the juice gliding from them becomes a river named Jambu-
nadi. This river falls a distance of 10,000 yojanas, from the summit of 
Merumandara to the southern side of Ilavrta, and floods the entire land of 
Ilavrta with juice.

The mud on both banks of the River Jambu-nadi, being moistened by the flowing 
juice and then dried by the air and the sunshine, produces huge quantities of 
gold called Jambu-nada. The denizens of heaven use this gold for various kinds 
of ornaments. Therefore all the inhabitants of the heavenly planets and their 
youthful wives are fully decorated with golden helmets, bangles and belts, and 
thus they enjoy life.

On the side of Suparsva Mountain stands a big tree called Mahakadamba, which is 
very celebrated. From the hollows of this tree flow five rivers of honey, each 
about five vyamas wide. This flowing honey falls incessantly from the top of 
Suparsva Mountain and flows all around Ilavrta-varsa, beginning from the western 
side. Thus the whole land is saturated with the pleasing fragrance.

The air carrying the scent from the mouths of those who drink that honey 
perfumes the land for a hundred yojanas around.

Similarly, on Kumuda Mountain there is a great banyan tree, which is called 
Satavalsa because it has a hundred main branches. From those branches come many 
roots, from which many rivers are flowing. These rivers flow down from the top 
of the mountain to the northern side of Ilavrta-varsa for the benefit of those 
who live there. Because of these flowing rivers, all the people have ample 
supplies of milk, yogurt, honey, clarified butter [ghee], molasses, food grains, 
clothes, bedding, sitting places and ornaments. All the objects they desire are 
sufficiently supplied for their prosperity, and therefore they are very happy.

The residents of the material world who enjoy the products of these flowing 
rivers have no wrinkles on their bodies and no grey hair. They never feel 
fatigue, and perspiration does not give their bodies a bad odor. They are not 
afflicted by old age, disease or untimely death, they do not suffer from chilly 
cold or scorching heat, nor do their bodies lose their luster. They all live 
very happily, without anxieties, until death.

There are other mountains beautifully arranged around the foot of Mount Meru 
like the filaments around the whorl of a lotus flower. Their names are Kuranga, 
Kurara, Kusumbha, Vaikanka, Trikuta, Sisira, Patanga, Rucaka, Nisadha, Sinivasa, 
Kapila, Sankha, Vaidurya, Jarudhi, Hamsa, Rsabha, Naga, Kalanjara and Narada.

On the eastern side of Sumeru Mountain are two mountains named Jathara and 
Devakuta, which extend to the north and south for 18,000 yojanas [144,000 
miles]. Similarly, on the western side of Sumeru are two mountains named Pavana 
and Pariyatra, which also extend north and south for the same distance. On the 
southern side of Sumeru are two mountains named Kailasa and Karavira, which 
extend east and west for 18,000 yojanas, and on the northern side of Sumeru, 
extending for the same distance east and west, are two mountains named Trisrnga 
and Makara. The width and height of all these mountains is 2,000 yojanas [16,000 
miles]. Sumeru, a mountain of solid gold shining as brilliantly as fire, is 
surrounded by these eight mountains.

In the middle of the summit of Meru is the township of Lord Brahma. Each of its 
four sides is calculated to extend for ten million yojanas [eighty million 
miles]. It is made entirely of gold, and therefore learned scholars and sages 
call it Satakaumbhi.

Surrounding Brahmapuri in all directions are the residences of the eight 
principal governors of the planetary systems, beginning with King Indra. These 
abodes are similar to Brahmapuri but are one fourth the size.

Chapter Seventeen : The Descent of the River Ganges

Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, Lord Vishnu, the enjoyer of all sacrifices, 
appeared as Vamanadeva in the sacrificial arena of Bali Maharaja. Then He 
extended His left foot to the end of the universe and pierced a hole in its 
covering with the nail of His big toe. Through the hole, the pure water of the 
Causal Ocean entered this universe as the Ganges River. Having washed the lotus 
feet of the Lord, which are covered with reddish powder, the water of the Ganges 
acquired a very beautiful pink color. Every living being can immediately purify 
his mind of material contamination by touching the transcendental water of the 
Ganges, yet its waters remain ever pure. Because the Ganges directly touches the 
lotus feet of the Lord before descending within this universe, she is known as 
Vishnupadi. Later she received other names like Jahnavi and Bhagirathi. After 
one thousand millenniums, the water of the Ganges descended on Dhruvaloka, the 
topmost planet in this universe. Therefore all learned sages and scholars 
proclaim Dhruvaloka to be Vishnupada ["situated on Lord Vishnu's lotus feet"].

Dhruva Mabaraja, the famous son of Maharaja Uttanapada, is known as the most 
exalted devotee of the Supreme Lord because of his firm determination in 
executing devotional service. Knowing that the sacred Ganges water washes the 
lotus feet of Lord Vishnu, Dhruva Maharaja, situated on his own planet, to this 
very day accepts that water on his head with great devotion. Because he 
constantly thinks of Krishna very devoutly within the core of his heart, he is 
overcome with ecstatic anxiety. Tears flow from his half-open eyes, and 
eruptions appear on his entire body.

The seven great sages [Marici, Vasistha, Atri and so on] reside on planets 
beneath Dhruvaloka. Well aware of the influence of the water of the Ganges, to 
this day they keep Ganges water on the tufts of hair on their heads. They have 
concluded that this is the ultimate wealth, the perfection of all austerities, 
and the best means of prosecuting transcendental life. Having obtained 
uninterrupted devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they 
neglect all other beneficial processes like religion, economic development, 
sense gratification and even merging into the Supreme. Just as jnanis think that 
merging into the existence of the Lord is the highest truth, these seven exalted 
personalities accept devotional service as the perfection of life.

After purifying the seven planets near Dhruvaloka [the polestar], the Ganges 
water is carried through the spaceways of the demigods in billions of celestial 
airplanes. Then it inundates the moon [Candraloka] and finally reaches Lord 
Brahma's abode atop Mount Meru.

On top of Mount Meru, the Ganges divides into four branches, each of which 
gushes in a different direction [east, west, north and south]. These branches, 
known by the names Sita, Alakananda, Caksu and Bhadra, flow down to the ocean.

The branch of the Ganges known as the Sita flows through Brahmapuri atop Mount 
Meru, and from there it runs down to the nearby peaks of the Kesaracala 
Mountains, which stand almost as high as Mount Meru itself. These mountains are 
like a bunch of filaments around Mount Meru. From the Kesaracala Mountains, the 
Ganges falls to the peak of Gandhamadana Mountain and then flows into the land 
of Bhadrasva-varsa. Finally it reaches the ocean of salt water in the west.

The branch of the Ganges known as Caksu falls onto the summit of Malyavan 
Mountain and from there cascades onto the land of Ketumala-varsa. The Ganges 
flows incessantly through Ketumala-varsa and in this way also reaches the ocean 
of salt water in the West.

The branch of the Ganges known as Bhadra flows from the northern side of Mount 
Meru. Its waters fall onto the peaks of Kumuda Mountain, Mount Nila, Sveta 
Mountain and Srngavan Mountain in succession. Then it runs down into the 
province of Kuru and, after crossing through that land, flows into the saltwater 
ocean in the north.

Similarly, the branch of the Ganges known as Alakananda flows from the southern 
side of Brahmapuri [Brahma-sadana]. Passing over the tops of mountains in 
various lands, it falls down with fierce force upon the peaks of the mountains 
Memakuta and Himakuta. After inundating the tops of those mountains, the Ganges 
falls down onto the tract of land known as Bharata-varsa, which she also 
inundates. Then the Ganges flows into the ocean of salt water in the south. 
Persons who come to bathe in this river are fortunate. It is not very difficult 
for them to achieve with every step the results of performing great sacrifices 
like the Rajasuya and Asvamedha yajnas.

Many other rivers, both big and small, flow from the top of Mount Meru. These 
rivers are like daughters of the mountain, and they flow to the various tracts 
of land in hundreds of branches.

Among the nine varsas, the tract of land known as Bharata-varsa is understood to 
be the field of fruitive activities. Learned scholars and saintly persons 
declare the other eight varsas to be meant for very highly elevated pious 
persons. After returning from the heavenly planets, they enjoy the remaining 
results of their pious activities in these eight earthly varsas.

In these eight varsas, or tracts of land, human beings live ten thousand years 
according to earthly calculations. All the inhabitants are almost like demigods. 
They have the bodily strength of ten thousand elephants. Indeed, their bodies 
are as sturdy as thunderbolts. The youthful duration of their lives is very 
pleasing, and both men and women enjoy sexual union with great pleasure for a 
long time. After years of sensual pleasure--when a balance of one year of life 
remains--the wife conceives a child. Thus the standard of pleasure for the 
residents of these heavenly regions is exactly like that of the human beings who 
lived during Treta-yuga.

In each of those tracts of land, there are many gardens filled with flowers and 
fruits according to the season, and there are beautifully decorated hermitages 
as well. Between the great mountains demarcating the borders of those lands lie 
enormous lakes of clear water filled with newly grown lotus flowers. Aquatic 
birds such as swans, ducks, water chickens, and cranes become greatly excited by 
the fragrance of lotus flowers, and the charming sound of bumblebees fills the 
air. The inhabitants of those lands are important leaders among the demigods. 
Always attended by their respective servants, they enjoy life in gardens 
alongside the lakes. In this pleasing situation, the wives of the demigods smile 
playfully at their husbands and look upon them with lusty desires. All the 
demigods and their wives are constantly supplied with sandalwood pulp and flower 
garlands by their servants. In this way, all the residents of the eight heavenly 
varsas enjoy, attracted by the activities of the opposite sex.

To show mercy to His devotees in each of these nine tracts of land, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead known as Narayana expands Himself in His quadruple 
principles of Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. In this way He 
remains near His devotees to accept their service.

Sukadeva Gosvami said: In the tract of land known as Ilavrta-varsa, the only 
male person is Lord Shiva, the most powerful demigod. Goddess Durga, the wife of 
Lord Shiva, does not like any man to enter that land. If any foolish man dares 
to do so, she immediately turns him into a woman. I shall explain this later [in 
the Ninth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam].

In Ilavrta-varsa, Lord Shiva is always encircled by ten billion maidservants of 
goddess Durga, who minister to him. The quadruple expansion of the Supreme Lord 
is composed of Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Sankarsana. Sankarsana, the 
fourth expansion, is certainly transcendental, but because his activities of 
destruction in the material world are in the mode of ignorance, He is known as 
tamasi, the Lord's form in the mode of ignorance. Lord Shiva knows that 
Sankarsana is the original cause of his own existence, and thus he always 
meditates upon Him in trance by chanting the following mantra.

The most powerful Lord Shiva says: O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I offer my 
respectful obeisances unto You in Your expansion as Lord Sankarsana. You are the 
reservoir of all transcendental qualities. Although You are unlimited, You 
remain unmanifest to the nondevotees.

O my Lord, You are the only worshipable person, for You are the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of all opulences. Your secure lotus feet 
are the only source of protection for all Your devotees, whom You satisfy by 
manifesting Yourself in various forms. O my Lord, You deliver Your devotees from 
the clutches of material existence. Nondevotees, however, remain entangled in 
material existence by Your will. Kindly accept me as Your eternal servant.

We cannot control the force of our anger. Therefore when we look at material 
things, we cannot avoid feeling attraction or repulsion for them. But the 
Supreme Lord is never affected in this way. Although He glances over the 
material world for the purpose of creating, maintaining and destroying it, He is 
not affected, even to the slightest degree. Therefore, one who desires to 
conquer the force of the senses must take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. 
Then he will be victorious.

For persons with impure vision, the Supreme Lord's eyes appear like those of 
someone who indiscriminately drinks intoxicating beverages. Thus bewildered, 
such unintelligent persons become angry at the Supreme Lord, and due to their 
angry mood the Lord Himself appears angry and very fearful. However, this is an 
illusion. When the wives of the serpent demon were agitated by the touch of the 
Lord's lotus feet, due to shyness they could proceed no further in their worship 
of Him. Yet the Lord remained unagitated by their touch, for He is equipoised in 
all circumstances. Therefore who will not worship the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead ?

Lord Shiva continued: All the great sages accept the Lord as the source of 
creation, maintenance and destruction, although He actually has nothing to do 
with these activities. Therefore the Lord is called unlimited. Although the Lord 
in His incarnation as Sesa holds all the universes on His hoods, each universe 
feels no heavier than a mustard seed to Him. Therefore, what person desiring 
perfection will not worship the Lord?

From that Supreme Personality of Godhead appears Lord Brahma, whose body is made 
from the total material energy, the reservoir of intelligence predominated by 
the passionate mode of material nature. From Lord Brahma, I myself am born as a 
representation of false ego known as Rudra. By my own power I create all the 
other demigods, the five elements and the senses. Therefore, I worship the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than any of us and under whose 
control are situated all the demigods, material elements and senses, and even 
Lord Brahma and I myself, like birds bound by a rope. Only by the Lord's grace 
can we create, maintain and annihilate the material world. Therefore I offer my 
respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Being.

The illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead binds all of us 
conditioned souls to this material world. Therefore, without being favored by 
Him, persons like us cannot understand how to get out of that illusory energy. 
Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who is the cause of 
creation and annihilation.

Chapter Eighteen : The Prayers Offered to the Lord

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: Bhadrasrava, the son of Dharmaraja, rules the tract 
of land known as Bhadrasva-varsa. Just as Lord Shiva worships Sankarsana in 
Ilavrta-varsa, Bhadrasrava, accompanied by his intimate servants and all the 
residents of the land, worships the plenary expansion of Vasudeva known as 
Hayasirsa. Lord Hayasirsa is very dear to the devotees, and He is the director 
of all religious principles. Fixed in the topmost trance, Bhadrasrava and his 
associates offer their respectful obeisances to the Lord and chant the following 
prayers with careful pronunciation.

The ruler Bhadrasrava and his intimate associates utter the following prayer: We 
offer our respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the 
reservoir of all religious principles, who cleanses the heart of the conditioned 
soul in this material world. Again and again we offer our respectful obeisances 
unto Him.

Alas! How wonderful it is that the foolish materialist does not heed the great 
danger of impending death! He knows that death will surely come, yet he is 
nevertheless callous and neglectful. If his father dies, he wants to enjoy his 
father's property, and if his son dies, he wants to enjoy his son's possessions 
as well. In either case, he heedlessly tries to enjoy material happiness with 
the acquired money.

O unborn one, learned Vedic scholars who are advanced in spiritual knowledge 
certainly know that this material world is perishable, as do other logicians and 
philosophers. In trance they realize the factual position of this world, and 
they preach the truth as well. Yet even they are sometimes bewildered by Your 
illusory energy. This is Your own wonderful pastime. Therefore, I can understand 
that Your illusory energy is very wonderful, and I offer my respectful 
obeisances unto You.

O Lord, although You are completely detached from the creation, maintenance and 
annihilation of this material world and are not directly affected by these 
activities, they are all attributed to You. We do not wonder at this, for Your 
inconceivable energies perfectly qualify You to be the cause of all causes. You 
are the active principle in everything, although You are separate from 
everything. Thus we can realize that everything is happening because of Your 
inconceivable energy.

At the end of the millennium, ignorance personified assumed the form of a demon, 
stole all the Vedas and took them down to the planet of Rasatala. The Supreme 
Lord, however, in His form of Hayagriva retrieved the Vedas and returned them to 
Lord Brahma when he begged for them. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the 
Supreme Lord, whose determination never fails.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, Lord Nrsimhadeva resides in the tract 
of land known as Hari-varsa. In the Seventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, I shall 
describe to you how Prahlada Maharaja caused the Lord to assume the form of 
Nrsimhadeva. Prahlada Maharaja, the topmost devotee of the Lord, is a reservoir 
of all the good qualities of great personalities. His character and activities 
have delivered all the fallen members of his demoniac family. Lord Nrsimhadeva 
is very dear to this exalted personality. Thus Prahlada Maharaja, along with his 
servants and all the denizens of Hari-varsa, worships Lord Nrsimhadeva by 
chanting the following mantra.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Nrsimhadeva, the source of all power. 
O my Lord who possesses nails and teeth just like thunderbolts, kindly vanquish 
our demonlike desires for fruitive activity in this material world. Please 
appear in our hearts and drive away our ignorance so that by Your mercy we may 
become fearless in the struggle for existence in this material world.

May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons 
be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for 
by accepting devotional service they will think of each other's welfare. 
Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord 
Sri Krishna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.

My dear Lord, we pray that we may never feel attraction for the prison of family 
life, consisting of home, wife, children, friends, bank balance, relatives and 
so on. If we do have some attachment, let it be for devotees, whose only dear 
friend is Krishna. A person who is actually self-realized and who has controlled 
his mind is perfectly satisfied with the bare necessities of life. He does not 
try to gratify his senses. Such a person quickly advances in Krishna 
consciousness, whereas others, who are too attached to material things, find 
advancement very difficult.

By associating with persons for whom the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
Mukunda, is the all in all, one can hear of His powerful activities and soon 
come to understand them. The activities of Mukunda are so potent that simply by 
hearing of them one immediately associates with the Lord. For a person who 
constantly and very eagerly hears narrations of the Lord's powerful activities, 
the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead in the form of sound vibrations, 
enters within his heart and cleanses it of all contamination. On the other hand, 
although bathing in the Ganges diminishes bodily contaminations and infections, 
this process and the process of visiting holy places can cleanse the heart only 
after a long time. Therefore who is the sane man who will not associate with 
devotees to quickly perfect his life?

All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and 
renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed 
devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. On the other hand, a 
person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no 
good qualities. Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest 
endeavor of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own 
mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord's external 
energy. How can there be any good qualities in such a man?

Just as aquatics always desire to remain in the vast mass of water, all 
conditioned living entities naturally desire to remain in the vast existence of 
the Supreme Lord. Therefore if someone very great by material calculations fails 
to take shelter of the Supreme Soul but instead becomes attached to material 
household life, his greatness is like that of a young, low-class couple. One who 
is too attached to material life loses all good spiritual qualities.

Therefore, O demons, give up the so-called happiness of family life and simply 
take shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nrsimhadeva, which are the actual shelter 
of fearlessness. Entanglement in family life is the root cause of material 
attachment, indefatigable desires, moroseness, anger, despair, fear and the 
desire for false prestige, all of which result in the repetition of birth and 

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: In the tract of land called Ketumala-varsa, Lord 
Vishnu lives in the form of Karadeva, only for the satisfaction of His devotees. 
These include Laksmiji [the goddess of fortune], the Prajapati Samvatsara and 
all of Samvatsara's sons and daughters. The daughters of Prajapati are 
considered the controlling deities of the nights, and his sons are considered 
the controllers of the days. The Prajapati's offspring number 36,000, one for 
each day and each night in the lifetime of a human being. At the end of each 
year, the Prajapati's daughters become very agitated upon seeing the extremely 
effulgent disc of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus they all suffer 

In Ketumala-varsa, Lord Kamadeva [Pradyumna] moves very graciously. His mild 
smile is very beautiful, and when He increases the beauty of His face by 
slightly raising His eyebrows and glancing playfully, He pleases the goddess of 
fortune. Thus He enjoys His transcendental senses.

Accompanied during the daytime by the sons of the Prajapati [the predominating 
deities of the days] and accompanied at night by his daughters [the deities of 
the nights], Laksmidevi worships the Lord during the period known as the 
Samvatsara in His most merciful form as Kamadeva. Fully absorbed in devotional 
service, she chants the following mantras.

Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
Lord Hrsikesa, the controller of all my senses and the origin of everything. As 
the supreme master of all bodily, mental and intellectual activities, He is the 
only enjoyer of their results. The five sense objects and eleven senses, 
including the mind, are His partial manifestations. He supplies all the 
necessities of life, which are His energy and thus nondifferent from Him, and He 
is the cause of everyone's bodily and mental prowess, which is also nondifferent 
from Him. Indeed, He is the husband and provider of necessities for all living 
entities. The purpose of all the Vedas is to worship Him. Therefore let us all 
offer Him our respectful obeisances. May He always be favorable toward us in 
this life and the next.

My dear Lord, You are certainly the fully independent master of all the senses. 
Therefore all women who worship You by strictly observing vows because they wish 
to acquire a husband to satisfy their senses are surely under illusion. They do 
not know that such a husband cannot actually give protection to them or their 
children. Nor can he protect their wealth or duration of life, for he himself is 
dependent on time, fruitive results and the modes of nature, which are all 
subordinate to You.

He alone who is never afraid but who, on the contrary, gives complete shelter to 
all fearful persons can actually become a husband and protector. Therefore, my 
Lord, you are the only husband, and no one else can claim this position. If you 
were not the only husband, You would be afraid of others. Therefore persons 
learned in all Vedic literature accept only Your Lordship as everyone's master, 
and they think no one else a better husband and protector than You.

My dear Lord, You automatically fulfill all the desires of a woman who worships 
Your lotus feet in pure love. However, if a woman worships Your lotus feet for a 
particular purpose, You also quickly fulfill her desires, but in the end she 
becomes broken-hearted and laments. Therefore one need not worship Your lotus 
feet for some material benefit.

O supreme unconquerable Lord, when they become absorbed in thoughts of material 
enjoyment, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, as well as other demigods and demons, 
undergo severe penances and austerities to receive my benedictions. But I do not 
favor anyone, however great he may be; unless he is always engaged in the 
service of Your lotus feet. Because I always keep You within my heart, I cannot 
favor anyone but a devotee.

O infallible one, Your lotus palm is the source of all benediction. Therefore 
Your pure devotees worship it, and You very mercifully place Your hand on their 
heads. I wish that You may also place Your hand on My head, for although You 
already bear my insignia of golden streaks on Your chest, I regard this honor as 
merely a kind of false prestige for me. You show Your real mercy to Your 
devotees, not to me. Of course, You are the supreme absolute controller, and no 
one can understand Your motives.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: In Ramyaka-varsa, where Vaivasvata Manu rules, the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as Lord Matsya at the end of the last 
era [the Caksusa-manvantara]. Vaivasvata Manu now worships Lord Matsya in pure 
devotional service and chants the following mantra.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is 
pure transcendence. He is the origin of all life, bodily strength, mental power 
and sensory ability. Known as Matsyavatara, the gigantic fish incarnation, He 
appears first among all the incarnations. Again I offer my obeisances unto Him.

My dear Lord, just as a puppeteer controls his dancing dolls and a husband 
controls his wife, Your Lordship controls all the living entities in the 
universe, such as the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. Although You are 
in everyone's heart as the supreme witness and commander and are outside 
everyone as well, the so-called leaders of societies, communities and countries 
cannot realize You. Only those who hear the vibration of the Vedic mantras can 
appreciate You.

My Lord, from the great leaders of the universe, such as Lord Brahma and other 
demigods, down to the political leaders of this world, all are envious of Your 
authority. Without Your help, however, they could neither separately nor 
concertedly maintain the innumerable living entities within the universe. You 
are actually the only maintainer of all human beings, of animals like cows and 
asses, and of plants, reptiles, birds, mountains and whatever else is visible 
within this material world.

O almighty Lord, at the end of the millennium this planet earth, which is the 
source of all kinds of herbs, drugs and trees, was inundated by water and 
drowned beneath the devastating waves. At that time, You protected me along with 
the earth and roamed the sea with great speed. O unborn one, You are the actual 
maintainer of the entire universal creation, and therefore You are the cause of 
all living entities. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: In Hiranmaya-varsa, the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, lives 
in the form of a tortoise [kurma-sarira]. This most dear and beautiful form is 
always worshiped there in devotional service by Aryama, the chief resident of 
Hiranmaya-varsa, along with the other inhabitants of that land. They chant the 
following hymns.

O my Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who have assumed the form 
of a tortoise. You are the reservoir of all transcendental qualities, and being 
entirely untinged by matter, You are perfectly situated in pure goodness. You 
move here and there in the water, but no one can discern Your position. 
Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. Because of Your 
transcendental position, You are not limited by past, present and future. You 
are present everywhere as the shelter of all things, and therefore I offer my 
respectful obeisances unto You again and again.

My dear Lord, this visible cosmic manifestation is a demonstration of Your own 
creative energy. Since the countless varieties of forms within this cosmic 
manifestation are simply a display of Your external energy, this virata-rupa 
[universal body] is not Your real form. Except for a devotee in transcendental 
consciousness, no one can perceive Your actual form. Therefore I offer my 
respectful obeisances unto You.

My dear Lord, You manifest Your different energies in countless forms: as living 
entities born from wombs, from eggs and from perspiration; as plants and trees 
that grow out of the earth; as all living entities, both moving and standing, 
including the demigods, the learned sages and the pitas; as outer space, as the 
higher planetary system containing the heavenly planets, and as the planet earth 
with its hills, rivers, seas, oceans and islands. Indeed, all the stars and 
planets are simply manifestations of Your different energies, but originally You 
are one without a second. Therefore there is nothing beyond You. This entire 
cosmic manifestation is therefore not false but is simply a temporary 
manifestation of Your inconceivable energy.

O my Lord, Your name, form and bodily features are expanded in countless forms. 
No one can determine exactly how many forms exist, yet You Yourself, in Your 
incarnation as the learned scholar Kapiladeva, have analyzed the cosmic 
manifestation as containing twenty-four elements. Therefore if one is interested 
in Sankhya philosophy, by which one can enumerate the different truths, he must 
hear it from You. Unfortunately, nondevotees simply count the different elements 
and remain ignorant of Your actual form. I offer my respectful obeisances unto 

Sukadeva Gosvami said: Dear King, the Supreme Lord in His boar incarnation, who 
accepts all sacrificial offerings, lives in the northern part of Jambudvipa. 
There, in the tract of land known as Uttarakuru-varsa, mother earth and all the 
other inhabitants worship Him with unfailing devotional service by repeatedly 
chanting the following Upanisad mantra.

O Lord, we offer our respectful obeisances unto You as the gigantic person. 
Simply by chanting mantras, we shall be able to understand You fully. You are 
yajna [sacrifice], and You are the kratu [ritual]. Therefore all the ritualistic 
ceremonies of sacrifice are part of Your transcendental body, and You are the 
only enjoyer of all sacrifices. Your form is composed of transcendental 
goodness. You are known as tri-yuga because in Kali-yuga You appeared as a 
concealed incarnation and because You always fully possess the three pairs of 

By manipulating a fire-generating stick, great saints and sages can bring forth 
the fire lying dormant within wood. In the same way, O Lord, those expert in 
understanding the Absolute Truth try to see You in everything--even in their own 
bodies. Yet you remain concealed. You are not to be understood by indirect 
processes involving mental or physical activities. Because You are self-
manifested, only when You see that a person is wholeheartedly engaged in 
searching for You do You reveal Yourself. Therefore I offer my respectful 
obeisances unto You.

The objects of material enjoyment [sound, form, taste, touch and smell], the 
activities of the senses, the controllers of sensory activities [the demigods], 
the body, eternal time and egotism are all creations of Your material energy. 
Those whose intelligence has become fixed by perfect execution of mystic yoga 
can see that all these elements result from the actions of Your external energy. 
They can also see Your transcendental form as Supersoul in the background of 
everything. Therefore I repeatedly offer my respectful obeisances unto You.

O Lord, You do not desire the creation, maintenance or annihilation of this 
material world, but You perform these activities for the conditioned souls by 
Your creative energy. Exactly as a piece of iron moves under the influence of a 
lodestone, inert matter moves when You glance over the total material energy.

My Lord, as the original boar within this universe, You fought and killed the 
great demon Hiranyaksa. Then You lifted me [the earth] from the Garbhodaka Ocean 
on the end of Your tusk, exactly as a sporting elephant plucks a lotus flower 
from the water. I bow down before You.

Chapter Nineteen : A Description of the Island of Jambudvipa

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, in Kimpurusa-varsa the great devotee 
Hanuman is always engaged with the inhabitants of that land in devotional 
service to Lord Ramacandra, the elder brother of Laksmana and dear husband of 

A host of Gandharvas is always engaged in chanting the glories of Lord 
Ramacandra. That chanting is always extremely auspicious. Hanumanji and 
Arstisena, the chief person in Kimpurusa-varsa, constantly hear those glories 
with complete attention. Hanuman chants the following mantras.

Let me please Your Lordship by chanting the bija-mantra omkara. I wish to offer 
my respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, who is the best among 
the most highly elevated personalities. Your Lordship is the reservoir of all 
the good qualities of Aryans, people who are advanced. Your character and 
behavior are always consistent, and You always control Your senses and mind. 
Acting just like an ordinary human being, You exhibit exemplary character to 
teach others how to behave. There is a touchstone that can be used to examine 
the quality of gold, but You are like a touchstone that can verify all good 
qualities. You are worshiped by brahmanas who are the foremost of all devotees. 
You, the Supreme Person, are the King of kings, and therefore I offer my 
respectful obeisances unto You.

The Lord, whose pure form [sac-cid-ananda-vigraha] is uncontaminated by the 
modes of material nature, can be perceived by pure consciousness. In the Vedanta 
He is described as being one without a second. Because of His spiritual potency, 
He is untouched by the contamination of material nature, and because He is not 
subjected to material vision, He is known as transcendental. He has no material 
activities, nor has He a material form or name. Only in pure consciousness, 
Krishna consciousness, can one perceive the transcendental form of the Lord. Let 
us be firmly fixed at the lotus feet of Lord Ramacandra, and let us offer our 
respectful obeisances unto those transcendental lotus feet.

It was ordained that Ravana, chief of the Raksasas, could not be killed by 
anyone but a man, and for this reason Lord Ramacandra, the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead, appeared in the form of a human being. Lord Ramacandra's mission, 
however, was not only to kill Ravana but also to teach mortal beings that 
material happiness centered around sex life or centered around one's wife is the 
cause of many miseries. He is the self-sufficient Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, and nothing is lamentable for Him. Therefore why else could He be 
subjected to tribulations by the kidnapping of mother Sita?

Since Lord Sri Ramacandra is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, He is 
not attached to anything in this material world. He is the most beloved 
Supersoul of all self-realized souls, and He is their very intimate friend. He 
is full of all opulences. Therefore He could not possibly have suffered because 
of separation from His wife, nor could He have given up His wife and Laksmana, 
His younger brother. To give up either would have been absolutely impossible.

One cannot establish a friendship with the Supreme Lord Ramacandra on the basis 
of material qualities such as one's birth in an aristocratic family, one's 
personal beauty, one's eloquence, one's sharp intelligence or one's superior 
race or nation. None of these qualifications is actually a prerequisite for 
friendship with Lord Sri Ramacandra. Otherwise how is it possible that although 
we uncivilized inhabitants of the forest have not taken noble births, although 
we have no physical beauty and although we cannot speak like gentlemen, Lord 
Ramacandra has nevertheless accepted us as friends?

Therefore, whether one is a demigod or a demon, a man or a creature other than 
man, such as a beast or bird, everyone should worship Lord Ramacandra, the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appears on this earth just like a human 
being. There is no need of great austerities or penances to worship the Lord, 
for Me accepts even a small service offered by His devotee. Thus He is 
satisfied, and as soon as He is satisfied, the devotee is successful. Indeed, 
Lord Sri Ramacandra brought all the devotees of Ayodhya back home, back to 
Godhead [Vaikuntha].

[Sukadeva Gosvami continued:] The glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead 
are inconceivable. He has appeared in the form of Nara-Narayana in the land of 
Bharata-varsa, at the place known as Badarikasrama, to favor His devotees by 
teaching them religion, knowledge, renunciation, spiritual power, sense control 
and freedom from false ego. He is advanced in the opulence of spiritual assets, 
and He engages in executing austerity until the end of this millennium. This is 
the process of self-realization.

In his own book, known as Narada Pancaratra, Bhagavan Narada has very vividly 
described how to work to achieve the ultimate goal of life--devotion--through 
knowledge and through execution of the mystic yoga system. He has also described 
the glories of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The great sage 
Narada instructed the tenets of this transcendental literature to Savarni Manu 
in order to teach those inhabitants of Bharata-varsa who strictly follow the 
principles of varnasrama-dharma how to achieve the devotional service of the 
Lord. Thus Narada Muni, along with the other inhabitants of Bharata-varsa, 
always engages in the service of Nara-Narayana, and he chants as follows.

Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Nara-Narayana, the best of all 
saintly persons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the most self-
controlled and self-realized, He is free from false prestige, and He is the 
asset of persons who have no material possessions. He is the spiritual master of 
all paramahamsas, who are the most exalted human beings, and He is the master of 
the self-realized. Let me offer my repeated obeisances at His lotus feet.

Narada, the most powerful saintly sage, also worships Nara-Narayana by chanting 
the following mantra: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of the 
creation, maintenance and annihilation of this visible cosmic manifestation, yet 
He is completely free from false prestige. Although to the foolish He appears to 
have accepted a material body like us, He is unaffected by bodily tribulations 
like hunger, thirst and fatigue. Although He is the witness who sees everything, 
His senses are unpolluted by the objects He sees. Let me offer my respectful 
obeisances unto that unattached, pure witness of the world, the Supreme Soul, 
the Personality of Godhead.

O my Lord, master of all mystic yoga, this is the explanation of the yogic 
process spoken of by Lord Brahma [Hiranyagarbha], who is self-realized. At the 
time of death, all yogis give up the material body with full detachment simply 
by placing their minds at Your lotus feet. That is the perfection of yoga.

Materialists are generally very attached to their present bodily comforts and to 
the bodily comforts they expect in the future. Therefore they are always 
absorbed in thoughts of their wives, children and wealth and are afraid of 
giving up their bodies, which are full of stool and urine. If a person engaged 
in Krishna consciousness, however, is also afraid of giving up his body, what is 
the use of his having labored to study the sastras? It was simply a waste of 

Therefore, O Lord, O Transcendence, kindly help us by giving us the power to 
execute bhakti-yoga so that we can control our restless minds and fix them upon 
You. We are all infected by Your illusory energy; therefore we are very attached 
to the body, which is full of stool and urine, and to anything related with the 
body. Except for devotional service, there is no way to give up this attachment. 
Therefore kindly bestow upon us this benediction.

In the tract of land known as Bharata-varsa, as in Ilavrta-varsa, there are many 
mountains and rivers. Some of the mountains are known as Malaya, Mangala-
prastha, Mainaka, Trikuta, Rsabha, Kutaka, Kollaka, Sabya, Devagiri, Rsyamuka, 
Sri-saila, Venkata, Mahendra, Varidhara, Vindhya, Suktiman, Rksagiri, Pariyatra, 
Drona, Citrakuta, Govardhana, Raivataka, Kakubha, Nila, Gokamukha, Indrakila and 
Kamagiri. Besides these, there are many other hills, with many large and small 
rivers flowing from their slopes.

Two of the rivers--the Brahmaputra and the Sona--are called nadas, or main 
rivers. These are other great rivers that are very prominent: Candravasa, 
Tamraparni, Avatoda, Krtamala, Vaihayasi, Kaveri, Veni, Payasvini, Sarkaravarta, 
Tungabhadra, Krishnavenya, Bhimarathi, Godavari, Nirvindhya, Payosni, Tapi, 
Reva, Surasa, Narmada, Carmanvati, Mahanadi, Vedasmrti, Rsikulya, Trisama, 
Kausiki, Mandakini, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Drsadvati, Gomati, Sarayu, Rodhasvati, 
Saptavati, Susoma, Satadru, Candrabhaga, Marudvrdha, Vitasta, Asikni and Visva. 
The inhabitants of Bharata-varsa are purified because they always remember these 
rivers. Sometimes they chant the names of these rivers as mantras, and sometimes 
they go directly to the rivers to touch them and bathe in them. Thus the 
inhabitants of Bharata-varsa become purified.

The people who take birth in this tract of land are divided according to the 
qualities of material nature--the modes of goodness [sattva-guna], passion 
[rajo-guna], and ignorance [tamo-guna]. Some of them are born as exalted 
personalities, some are ordinary human beings, and some are extremely 
abominable, for in Bharata-varsa one takes birth exactly according to one's past 
karma. If one's position is ascertained by a bona fide spiritual master and one 
is properly trained to engage in the service of Lord Vishnu according to the 
four social divisions [brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra] and the four 
spiritual divisions [brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa], one's life 
becomes perfect.

After many, many births, when the results of one's pious activities mature, one 
gets an opportunity to associate with pure devotees. Then one is able to cut the 
knot of bondage to ignorance, which bound him because of varied fruitive 
activities. As a result of associating with devotees, one gradually renders 
service to Lord Vasudeva, who is transcendental, free from attachment to the 
material world, beyond the mind and words, and independent of everything else. 
That bhakti-yoga, devotional service to Lord Vasudeva, is the real path of 

Since the human form of life is the sublime position for spiritual realization, 
all the demigods in heaven speak in this way: Mow wonderful it is for these 
human beings to have been born in the land of Bharata-varsa. They must have 
executed pious acts of austerity in the past, or the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead Himself must have been pleased with them. Otherwise, how could they 
engage in devotional service in so many ways? We demigods can only aspire to 
achieve human births in Bharata-varsa to execute devotional service, but these 
human beings are already engaged there.

The demigods continue: After performing the very difficult tasks of executing 
Vedic ritualistic sacrifices, undergoing austerities, observing vows and giving 
charity, we have achieved this position as inhabitants of the heavenly planets. 
But what is the value of this achievement? Here we are certainly very engaged in 
material sense gratification, and therefore we can hardly remember the lotus 
feet of Lord Narayana. Indeed, because of our excessive sense gratification, we 
have almost forgotten His lotus feet.

A short life in the land of Bharata-varsa is preferable to a life achieved in 
Brahmaloka for millions and billions of years because even if one is elevated to 
Brahmaloka, he must return to repeated birth and death. Although life in 
Bharata-varsa, in a lower planetary system, is very short, one who lives there 
can elevate himself to full Krishna consciousness and achieve the highest 
perfection, even in this short life, by fully surrendering unto the lotus feet 
of the Lord. Thus one attains Vaikunthaloka, where there is neither anxiety nor 
repeated birth in a material body.

An intelligent person does not take interest in a place, even in the topmost 
planetary system, if the pure Ganges of topics concerning the Supreme Lord's 
activities does not flow there, if there are not devotees engaged in service on 
the banks of such a river of piety, or if there are no festivals of sankirtana-
yajna to satisfy the Lord [especially since sankirtana-yajna is recommended in 
this age].

Bharata-varsa offers the proper land and circumstances in which to execute 
devotional service, which can free one from the results of jnana and karma. If 
one obtains a human body in the land of Bharata-varsa, with clear sensory organs 
with which to execute the sankirtana-yajna, but in spite of this opportunity he 
does not take to devotional service, he is certainly like liberated forest 
animals and birds that are careless and are therefore again bound by a hunter.

In India [Bharata-varsa], there are many worshipers of the demigods, the various 
officials appointed by the Supreme Lord, such as Indra, Candra and Surya, all of 
whom are worshiped differently. The worshipers offer the demigods their 
oblations, considering the demigods part and parcel of the whole, the Supreme 
Lord. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts these offerings and 
gradually raises the worshipers to the real standard of devotional service by 
fulfilling their desires and aspirations. Because the Lord is complete, He 
offers the worshipers the benedictions they desire even if they worship only 
part of His transcendental body.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead fulfills the material desires of a devotee 
who approaches Him with such motives, but He does not bestow benedictions upon 
the devotee that will cause him to demand more benedictions again. However, the 
Lord willingly gives the devotee shelter at His own lotus feet, even though such 
a person does not aspire for it, and that shelter satisfies all his desires. 
That is the Supreme Personality's special mercy.

We are now living in the heavenly planets, undoubtedly as a result of our having 
performed ritualistic ceremonies, pious activities and yajnas and having studied 
the Vedas. However, our lives here will one day be finished. We pray that at 
that time, if any merit remains from our pious activities, we may again take 
birth in Bharata-varsa as human beings able to remember the lotus feet of the 
Lord. The Lord is so kind that He personally comes to the land of Bharata-varsa 
and expands the good fortune of its people.

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, in the opinion of some learned 
scholars, eight smaller islands surround Jambudvipa. When the sons of Maharaja 
Sagara were searching all over the world for their lost horse, they dug up the 
earth, and in this way eight adjoining islands came into existence. The names of 
these islands are Svarnaprastha, Candrasukla, Avartana, Ramanaka, Mandara-
harina, Pancajanya, Simhala and Lanka.

My dear King Pariksit, O best of the descendants of Bharata Maharaja, I have 
thus described to you, as I myself have been instructed, the island of Bharata-
varsa and its adjoining islands. These are the islands that constitute 

Chapter Twenty : Studying the Structure of the Universe

The great sage Sukadeva Gosvami said: Hereafter I shall describe the dimensions, 
characteristics and forms of the six islands beginning with the island of 

As Sumeru Mountain is surrounded by Jambudvipa, Jambudvipa is also surrounded by 
an ocean of salt water. The breadth of Jambudvipa is 100,000 yojanas [800,000 
miles], and the breadth of the saltwater ocean is the same. As a moat around a 
fort is sometimes surrounded by gardenlike forest, the saltwater ocean 
surrounding Jambudvipa is itself surrounded by Plaksadvipa. The breadth of 
Plaksadvipa is twice that of the saltwater ocean--in other words 260,000 yojanas 
[1,600,000 miles]. On Plaksadvipa there is a tree shining like gold and as tall 
as the jambu tree on Jambudvipa. At its root is a fire with seven flames. It is 
because this tree is a plaksa tree that the island is called Plaksadvipa. 
Plaksadvipa was governed by Idhmajihva, one of the sons of Maharaja Priyavrata. 
He endowed the seven islands with the names of his seven sons, divided the 
islands among the sons, and then retired from active life to engage in the 
devotional service of the Lord.

The seven islands [varsas] are named according to the names of those seven sons-
-Shiva, Yavasa, Subhadra, Santa, Ksema, Amrta and Abhaya. In those seven tracts 
of land, there are seven mountains and seven rivers. The mountains are named 
Manikuta, Vajrakuta, Indrasena, Jyotisman, Suparna, Hiranyasthiva and Meghamala, 
and the rivers are named Aruna, Nrmna, Angirasi, Savitri, Suptabhata, Rtambhara 
and Satyambhara. One can immediately be free from material contamination by 
touching or bathing in those rivers, and the four castes of people who live in 
Plaksadvipa--the Hamsas, Patangas, Urdhvayanas and Satyangas--purify themselves 
in that way. The inhabitants of Plaksadvipa live for one thousand years. They 
are beautiful like the demigods, and they also beget children like the demigods. 
By completely performing the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas and 
by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead as represented by the sun-god, 
they attain the sun, which is a heavenly planet.

[This is the mantra by which the inhabitants of Plaksadvipa worship the Supreme 
Lord.] Let us take shelter of the sun-god, who is a reflection of Lord Vishnu, 
the all-expanding Supreme Personality of Godhead, the oldest of all persons. 
Vishnu is the only worshipable Lord. He is the Vedas, He is religion, and He is 
the origin of all auspicious and inauspicious results.

O King, longevity, sensory prowess, physical and mental strength, intelligence 
and bravery are naturally and equally manifested in all the inhabitants of the 
five islands headed by Plaksadvipa.

Plaksadvipa is surrounded by an ocean of sugarcane juice, equal in breadth to 
the island itself. Similarly, there is then another island--Salmalidvipa--twice 
as broad as Plaksadvipa [400,000 yojanas, or 3,200,000 miles] and surrounded by 
an equally broad body of water called Surasagara, the ocean that tastes like 

On Salmalidvipa there is a salmali tree, from which the island takes its name. 
That tree is as broad and tall as the plaksa tree--in other words 100 yojanas 
[800 miles] broad and 1,100 yojanas [8,800 miles] tall. Learned scholars say 
that this gigantic tree is the residence of Garuda, the king of all birds and 
carrier of Lord Vishnu. In that tree, Garuda offers Lord Vishnu his Vedic 

The son of Maharaja Priyavrata named Yajnabahu, the master of Salmalidvipa, 
divided the island into seven tracts of land, which he gave to his seven sons. 
The names of those divisions, which correspond to the names of the sons, are 
Surocana, Saumanasya, Ramanaka, Deva-varsa, Paribhadra, Apyayana and Avijnata.

In those tracts of land there are seven mountains--Svarasa, Sata-srnga, 
Vamadeva, Kunda, Mukunda, Puspa-varsa and Sahasra-sruti. There are also seven 
rivers--Anumati, Sinivali, Sarasvati, Kuhu, Rajani, Nanda and Raka. They are 
still existing.

Strictly following the cult of varnasrama-dhamna, the inhabitants of those 
islands, who are known as Srutidharas, Viryadharas, Vasundharas and Isandharas, 
all worship the expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead named Soma, the 

[The inhabitants of Salmalidvipa worship the demigod of the moon in the 
following words.] By his own rays, the moon-god has divided the month into two 
fortnights, known as sukla and krsna, for the distribution of food grains to the 
pitas and the demigods. The demigod of the moon is he who divides time, and he 
is the king of all the residents of the universe. We therefore pray that he may 
remain our king and guide, and we offer him our respectful obeisances.

Outside the ocean of liquor is another island, known as Kusadvipa, which is 
800,000 yojanas [6,400,000 miles] wide, twice as wide as the ocean of liquor. As 
Salmalidvipa is surrounded by a liquor ocean, Kusadvipa is surrounded by an 
ocean of liquid ghee as broad as the island itself. On Kusadvipa there are 
clumps of kusa grass, from which the island takes its name. This kusa grass, 
which was created by the demigods by the will of the Supreme Lord, appears like 
a second form of fire, but with very mild and pleasing flames. Its young shoots 
illuminate all directions.

O King, another son of Maharaja Priyavrata, Hiranyareta, was the king of this 
island. He divided it into seven parts, which he delivered to his seven sons 
according to the rights of inheritance. The King then retired from family life 
to engage in austerities. The names of those sons are Vasu, Vasudana, Krdharuci, 
Stutyavrata, Nabhigupta, Vivikta and Vamadeva.

In those seven islands there are seven boundary mountains, known as Cakra, 
Catuh-srnga, Kapila, Citrakuta, Devanika, Urdhvaroma and Dravina. There are also 
seven rivers, known as Ramakulya, Madhukulya, Mitravinda, Srutavinda, 
Devagarbha, Ghrtacyuta and Mantramala.

The inhabitants of the island of Kusadvipa are celebrated as the Kusalas, 
Kovidas, Abhiyuktas and Kulakas. They are like the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas 
and sudras respectively. By bathing in the waters of those rivers, they all 
become purified. They are expert in performing ritualistic ceremonies according 
to the orders of the Vedic scriptures. Thus they worship the Lord in His aspect 
as the demigod of fire.

[This is the mantra by which the inhabitants of Kusadvipa worship the fire-god.] 
O fire-god, you are a part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, and you 
carry to Him all the offerings of sacrifices. Therefore we request you to offer 
to the Supreme Personality of Godhead the yajnic ingredients we are offering the 
demigods, for the Lord is the real enjoyer.

Outside the ocean of clarified butter is another island, known as Krauncadvipa, 
which has a width of 1,600,000 yojanas [12,800,000 miles], twice the width of 
the ocean of clarified butter. As Kusadvipa is surrounded by an ocean of 
clarified butter, Krauncadvipa is surrounded by an ocean of milk as broad as the 
island itself. On Krauncadvipa there is a great mountain known as Kraunca, from 
which the island takes its name.

Although the vegetables living on the slopes of Mount Kraunca were attacked and 
devastated by the weapons of Karttikeya, the mountain has become fearless 
because it is always bathed on all sides by the ocean of milk and protected by 

The ruler of this island was another son of Maharaja Priyavrata. His name was 
Ghrtaprstha, and he was a very learned scholar. He also divided his own island 
among his seven sons. After dividing the island into seven parts, named 
according to the names of his sons, Ghrtaprstha Maharaja completely retired from 
family life and took shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord, the soul of all 
souls, who has all auspicious qualities. Thus he attained perfection.

The sons of Maharaja Ghrtaprstha were named Ama, Madhuruha, Meghaprstha, 
Sudhama, Bhrajistha, Lohitarna and Vanaspati. In their island there are seven 
mountains, which indicate the boundaries of the seven tracts of land, and there 
are also seven rivers. The mountains are named Sukla, Vardhamana, Bhojana, 
Upabarhina, Nanda, Nandana and Sarvatobhadra. The rivers are named Abhaya, 
Amrtaugha, Aryaka, Tirthavati, Rupavati, Pavitravati and Sukla.

The inhabitants of Krauncadvipa are divided into four castes, called the 
Purusas, Rabhas, Dravinas and Devakas. Using the waters of those sanctified 
rivers, they worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead by offering a palmful of 
water at the lotus feet of Varuna, the demigod who has a form of water.

[The inhabitants of Krauncadvipa worship with this mantra.] O water of the 
rivers, you have obtained energy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 
Therefore you purify the three planetary systems, known as Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka 
and Svarloka. By your constitutional nature, you take away sins, and that is why 
we are touching you. Kindly continue to purify us.

Outside the ocean of milk is another island, Sakadvipa, which has a width of 
3,200,000 yojanas [25,600,000 miles]. As Krauncadvipa is surrounded by its own 
ocean of milk, Sakadvipa is surrounded by an ocean of churned yogurt as broad as 
the island itself. In Sakadvipa there is a big saka tree, from which the island 
takes its name. This tree is very fragrant. Indeed, it lends its scent to the 
entire island.

The master of this island, also one of the sons of Priyavrata, was known as 
Medhatithi. He also divided his island into seven sections, named according to 
the names of his own sons, whom he made the kings of that island. The names of 
those sons are Purojava, Manojava, Pavamana, Dhumranika, Citrarepha, Bahurupa 
and Visvadhara. After dividing the island and situating his sons as its rulers, 
Medhatithi personally retired, and to fix his mind completely upon the lotus 
feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he entered a forest suitable for 

For these lands also, there are seven boundary mountains and seven rivers. The 
mountains are Isana, Urusrnga, Balabhadra, Satakesara, Sahasra-srota, Devapala 
and Mahanasa. The rivers are Anagha, Ayurda, Ubhayasprsti, Aparajita, Pancapadi, 
Sahasra-sruti and Nijadhrti.

The inhabitants of those islands are also divided into four castes--Rtavrata, 
Satyavrata, Danavrata and Anuvrata--which exactly resemble brahmana, ksatriya, 
vaisya and sudra. They practice pranayama and mystic yoga, and in trance they 
worship the Supreme Lord in the form of Vayu.

[The inhabitants of Sakadvipa worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the 
form of Vayu in the following words.] O Supreme Person, situated as the 
Supersoul within the body, You direct the various actions of the different airs, 
such as prana, and thus You maintain all living entities. O Lord, O Supersoul of 
everyone, O controller of the cosmic manifestation under whom everything exists, 
may You protect us from all dangers.

Outside the ocean of yogurt is another island, known as Puskaradvipa, which is 
6,400,000 yojanas [51,200,000 miles] wide, twice as wide as the ocean of yogurt. 
It is surrounded by an ocean of very tasteful water as broad as the island 
itself. On Puskaradvipa there is a great lotus flower with 100,000,000 pure 
golden petals, as effulgent as the flames of fire. That lotus flower is 
considered the sitting place of Lord Brahma, who is the most powerful living 
being and who is therefore sometimes called bhagavan.

In the middle of that island is a great mountain named Manasottara, which forms 
the boundary between the inner side and the outer side of the island. Its 
breadth and height are 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles]. On that mountain, in the 
four directions, are the residential quarters of demigods such as Indra. In the 
chariot of the sun-god, the sun travels on the top of the mountain in an orbit 
called the Samvatsara, encircling Mount Meru. The sun's path on the northern 
side is called Uttarayana, and its path on the southern side is called 
Daksinayana. One side represents a day for the demigods, and the other 
represents their night.

The ruler of this island, the son of Maharaja Priyavrata named Vitihotra, had 
two sons named Ramanaka and Dhataki. He granted the two sides of the island to 
these two sons and then personally engaged himself in activities for the sake of 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead like his elder brother Medhatithi.

For the fulfillment of material desires, the inhabitants of this tract of land 
worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead as represented by Lord Brahma. They 
offer prayers to the Lord as follows.

Lord Brahma is known as karma-maya, the form of ritualistic ceremonies, because 
by performing ritualistic ceremonies one may attain his position and because the 
Vedic ritualistic hymns become manifest from him. He is devoted to the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead without deviation, and therefore in one sense he is not 
different from the Lord. Nevertheless, he should be worshiped not as the monists 
worship him, but in duality. One should always remain a servitor of the Supreme 
Lord, the supreme worshipable Deity. We therefore offer our respectful 
obeisances unto Lord Brahma, the form of manifest Vedic knowledge.

Thereafter, beyond the ocean of sweet water and fully surrounding it, is a 
mountain named Lokaloka, which divides the countries that are full of sunlight 
from those not lit by the sun.

Beyond the ocean of sweet water is a tract of land as broad as the area between 
the middle of Mount Sumeru and the boundary of Manasottara Mountain. In that 
tract of land there are many living beings. Beyond it, extending to Lokaloka 
Mountain, is another land, which is made of gold. Because of its golden surface, 
it reflects light like the surface of a mirror, and any physical article that 
falls on that land can never be perceived again. All living entities, therefore, 
have abandoned that golden land.

Between the lands inhabited by living entities and those that are uninhabited 
stands the great mountain which separates the two and which is therefore 
celebrated as Lokaloka.

By the supreme will of Krishna, the mountain known as Lokaloka has been 
installed as the outer border of the three worlds--Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka and 
Svarloka--to control the rays of the sun throughout the universe. All the 
luminaries, from the sun up to Dhruvaloka, distribute their rays throughout the 
three worlds, but only within the boundary formed by this mountain. Because it 
is extremely high, extending even higher than Dhruvaloka, it blocks the rays of 
the luminaries, which therefore can never extend beyond it.

Learned scholars who are free from mistakes, illusions and propensities to cheat 
have thus described the planetary systems and their particular symptoms, 
measurements and locations. With great deliberation, they have established the 
truth that the distance between Sumeru and the mountain known as Lokaloka is one 
fourth of the diameter of the universe--or, in other words, 125,000,000 yojanas 
[1 billion miles].

On the top of Lokaloka Mountain are the four gaja-patis, the best of elephants, 
which were established in the four directions by Lord Brahma, the supreme 
spiritual master of the entire universe. The names of those elephants are 
Rsabha, Puskaracuda, Vamana and Aparajita. They are responsible for maintaining 
the planetary systems of the universe.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of all transcendental opulences 
and the master of the spiritual sky. He is the Supreme Person, Bhagavan, the 
Supersoul of everyone. The demigods, led by Indra, the King of heaven, are 
entrusted with seeing to the affairs of the material world. To benefit all 
living beings in all the varied planets and to increase the power of those 
elephants and of the demigods, the Lord manifests Himself on top of that 
mountain in a spiritual body, uncontaminated by the modes of material nature. 
Surrounded by His personal expansions and assistants like Visvaksena, He 
exhibits all His perfect opulences, such as religion and knowledge, and His 
mystic powers such as anima, laghima and mahima. He is beautifully situated, and 
He is decorated by the different weapons in His four hands.

The various forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such as Narayana and 
Vishnu, are beautifully decorated with different weapons. The Lord exhibits 
those forms to maintain all the varied planets created by His personal potency, 

My dear King, outside Lokaloka Mountain is the tract of land known as Aloka-
varsa, which extends for the same breadth as the area within the mountain--in 
other words, 125,000,000 yojanas [one billion miles]. Beyond Aloka-varsa is the 
destination of those who aspire for liberation from the material world. It is 
beyond the jurisdiction of the material modes of nature, and therefore it is 
completely pure. Lord Krishna took Arjuna through this place to bring back the 
sons of the brahmana.

The sun is situated [vertically] in the middle of the universe, in the area 
between Bhurloka and Bhuvarloka, which is called antariksa, outer space. The 
distance between the sun and the circumference of the universe is twenty-five 
koti yojanas [two billion miles].

The sun-god is also known as Vairaja, the total material body for all living 
entities. Because he entered this dull egg of the universe at the time of 
creation, he is also called Martanda. He is also known as Hiranyagarbha because 
he received his material body from Hiranyagarbha [Lord Brahma].

O King, the sun-god and the sun planet divide all the directions of the 
universe. It is only because of the presence of the sun that we can understand 
what the sky, the higher planets, this world and the lower planets are. It is 
also only because of the sun that we can understand which places are for 
material enjoyment, which are for liberation, which are hellish and 

All living entities, including demigods, human beings, animals, birds, insects, 
reptiles, creepers and trees, depend upon the heat and light given by the sun-
god from the sun planet. Furthermore, it is because of the sun's presence that 
all living entities can see, and therefore he is called drg-isvara, the 
Personality of Godhead presiding over sight.

Chapter Twenty-one : The Movements of the Sun

Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, I have thus far described the diameter of 
the universe [fifty crores of yojanas, or four billion miles] and its general 
characteristics, according to the estimations of learned scholars.

As a grain of wheat is divided into two parts and one can estimate the size of 
the upper part by knowing that of the lower, so, expert geographers instruct, 
one can understand the measurements of the upper part of the universe by knowing 
those of the lower part. The sky between the earthly sphere and heavenly sphere 
is called antariksa, or outer space. It adjoins the top of the sphere of earth 
and the bottom of that of heaven.

In the midst of that region of outer space [antariksa] is the most opulent sun, 
the king of all the planets that emanate heat, such as the moon. By the 
influence of its radiation, the sun heats the universe and maintains its proper 
order. It also gives light to help all living entities see. While passing toward 
the north, toward the south or through the equator, in accordance with the order 
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is said to move slowly, swiftly or 
moderately. According to its movements in rising above, going beneath or passing 
through the equator--and correspondingly coming in touch with various signs of 
the zodiac, headed by Makara [Capricorn]--days and nights are short, long or 
equal to one another.

When the sun passes through Mesa [Aries] and Tula [Libra], the durations of day 
and night are equal. When it passes through the five signs headed by Vrsabha 
[Taurus], the duration of the days increases [until Cancer], and then it 
gradually decreases by half an hour each month, until day and night again become 
equal [in Libra].

When the sun passes through the five signs beginning with Vrscika [Scorpio], the 
duration of the days decreases [until Capricorn], and then gradually it 
increases month after month, until day and night become equal [in Aries].

Until the sun travels to the south the days grow longer, and until it travels to 
the north the nights grow longer.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued; My dear King, as stated before, the learned say that 
the sun travels over all sides of Mahasottara Mountain in a circle whose length 
is 95,100,000 yojanas [760,800,000 miles]. On Manasottara Mountain, due east of 
Mount Sumeru, is a place known as Devadhani, possessed by King Indra. Similarly, 
in the south is a place known as Samyamani, possessed by Yamaraja, in the west 
is a place known as Nimlocani, possessed by Varuna, and in the north is a place 
named Vibhavari, possessed by the moon-god. Sunrise, midday, sunset and midnight 
occur in all those places according to specific times, thus engaging all living 
entities in their various occupational duties and also making them cease such 

The living entities residing on Sumeru Mountain are always very warm, as at 
midday, because for them the sun is always overhead. Although the sun moves 
counterclockwise, facing the constellations, with Sumeru Mountain on its left, 
it also moves clockwise and appears to have the mountain on its right because it 
is influenced by the daksinavarta wind. People living in countries at points 
diametrically opposite to where the sun is first seen rising will see the sun 
setting, and if a straight line were drawn from a point where the sun is at 
midday, the people in countries at the opposite end of the line would be 
experiencing midnight. Similarly, if people residing where the sun is setting 
were to go to countries diametrically opposite, they would not see the sun in 
the same condition.

When the sun travels from Devadhani, the residence of Indra, to Samyamani, the 
residence of Yamaraja, it travels 23,775,000 yojanas [190,200,000 miles] in 
fifteen ghatikas [six hours].

From the residence of Yamaraja the sun travels to Nimlocani, the residence of 
Varuna, from there to Vibhavari, the residence of the moon-god, and from there 
again to the residence of Indra. In a similar way, the moon, along with the 
other stars and planets, becomes visible in the celestial sphere and then sets 
and again becomes invisible.

Thus the chariot of the sun-god, which is trayimaya, or worshiped by the words 
om bhur bhuvah svah, travels through the four residences mentioned above at a 
speed of 3,400,800 yojanas [27,206,400 miles] in a muhurta.

The chariot of the sun-god has only one wheel, which is known as Samvatsara. The 
twelve months are calculated to be its twelve spokes, the six seasons are the 
sections of its rim, and the three catur-masya periods are its three-sectioned 
hub. One side of the axle carrying the wheel rests upon the summit of Mount 
Sumeru, and the other rests upon Manasottara Mountain. Affixed to the outer end 
of the axle, the wheel continuously rotates on Manasottara Mountain like the 
wheel of an oil-pressing machine.

As in an oil-pressing machine, this first axle is attached to a second axle, 
which is one-fourth as long [3,937,500 yojanas, or 31,500,000 miles]. The upper 
end of this second axle is attached to Dhruvaloka by a rope of wind.

My dear King, the carriage of the sun-god's chariot is estimated to be 3,600,000 
yojanas [28,800,000 miles] long and one-fourth as wide [900,00O yojanas, or 
7,200,000 miles]. The chariot's horses, which are named after Gayatri and other 
Vedic meters, are harnessed by Arunadeva to a yoke that is also 900,000 yojanas 
wide. This chariot continuously carries the sun-god.

Although Arunadeva sits in front of the sun-god and is engaged in driving the 
chariot and controlling the horses, he looks backward toward the sun-god.

There are sixty thousand saintly persons named Valikhilyas, each the size of a 
thumb, who are located in front of the sun-god and who offer him eloquent 
prayers of glorification.

Similarly, fourteen other saints, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Nagas, Yaksas, Raksasas 
and demigods, who are divided into groups of two, assume different names every 
month and continuously perform different ritualistic ceremonies to worship the 
Supreme Lord as the most powerful demigod Suryadeva, who holds many names.

My dear King, in his orbit through Bhu-mandala, the sun-god traverses a distance 
of 95,100,000 yojanas [760,800,0O0 miles] at the speed of 2,000 yojanas and two 
krosas [16,004 miles] in a moment.

Chapter Twenty-two : The Orbits of the Planets

King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: My dear lord, you have already 
affirmed the truth that the supremely powerful sun-god travels around Dhruvaloka 
with both Dhruvaloka and Mount Sumeru on his right. Yet at the same time the 
sun-god faces the signs of the zodiac and keeps Sumeru and Dhruvaloka on his 
left. How can we reasonably accept that the sun-god proceeds with Sumeru and 
Dhruvaloka on both his left and right simultaneously?

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami clearly answered: When a potter's wheel is moving and small 
ants located on that big wheel are moving with it, one can see that their motion 
is different from that of the wheel because they appear sometimes on one part of 
the wheel and sometimes on another. Similarly, the signs and constellations, 
with Sumeru and Dhruvaloka on their right, move with the wheel of time, and the 
antlike sun and other planets move with them. The sun and planets, however, are 
seen in different signs and constellations at different times. This indicates 
that their motion is different from that of the zodiac and the wheel of time 

The original cause of the cosmic manifestation is the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, Narayana. When great saintly persons, fully aware of the Vedic 
knowledge, offered prayers to the Supreme Person, He descended to this material 
world in the form of the sun to benefit all the planets and purify fruitive 
activities. He divided Himself into twelve parts and created seasonal forms, 
beginning with spring. In this way He created the seasonal qualities, such as 
heat, cold and so on.

According to the system of four varnas and four asramas, people generally 
worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, who is situated as the 
sun-god. With great faith they worship the Supreme Personality as the Supersoul 
according to ritualistic ceremonies handed down in the three Vedas, such as 
agnihotra and similar higher and lower fruitive acts, and according to the 
process of mystic yoga. In this way they very easily attain the ultimate goal of 

The sun-god, who is Narayana, or Vishnu, the soul of all the worlds, is situated 
in outer space between the upper and lower portions of the universe. Passing 
through twelve months on the wheel of time, the sun comes in touch with twelve 
different signs of the zodiac and assumes twelve different names according to 
those signs. The aggregate of those twelve months is called a samvatsara, or an 
entire year. According to lunar calculations, two fortnights--one of the waxing 
moon and the other of the waning--form one month. That same period is one day 
and night for the planet Pitrloka. According to stellar calculations, a month 
equals two and one quarter constellations. When the sun travels for two months, 
a season passes, and therefore the seasonal changes are considered parts of the 
body of the year.

Thus the time the sun takes to rotate through half of outer space is called an 
ayana, or its period of movement [in the north or in the south].

The sun-god has three speeds--slow, fast and moderate. The time he takes to 
travel entirely around the spheres of heaven, earth and space at these three 
speeds is referred to, by learned scholars, by the five names Samvatsara, 
Parivatsara, Idavatsara, Anuvatsara and Vatsara.

Above the rays of the sunshine by a distance of 100,000 yojanas [800,000 miles] 
is the moon, which travels at a speed faster than that of the sun. In two lunar 
fortnights the moon travels through the equivalent of a samvatsara of the sun, 
in two and a quarter days it passes through a month of the sun, and in one day 
it passes through a fortnight of the sun.

When the moon is waxing, the illuminating portions of it increase daily, thus 
creating day for the demigods and night for the pitas. When the moon is waning, 
however, it causes night for the demigods and day for the pitas. In this way the 
moon passes through each constellation of stars in thirty muhurtas [an entire 
day]. The moon is the source of nectarean coolness that influences the growth of 
food grains, and therefore the moon-god is considered the life of all living 
entities. He is consequently called Jiva, the chief living being within the 

Because the moon is full of all potentialities, it represents the influence of 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The moon is the predominating deity of 
everyone's mind, and therefore the moon-god is called Manomaya. He is also 
called Annamaya because he gives potency to all herbs and plants, and he is 
called Amrtamaya because he is the source of life for all living entities. The 
moon pleases the demigods, pitas, human beings, animals, birds, reptiles, trees, 
plants and all other living entities. Everyone is satisfied by the presence of 
the moon. Therefore the moon is also called Sarvamaya [all-pervading].

There are many stars located 200,000 yojanas [1,600,000 miles] above the moon. 
By the supreme will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are fixed to the 
wheel of time, and thus they rotate with Mount Sumeru on their right, their 
motion being different from that of the sun. There are twenty-eight important 
stars, headed by Abhijit.

Some 1,600,000 miles above this group of stars is the planet Venus, which moves 
at almost exactly the same pace as the sun according to swift, slow and moderate 
movements. Sometimes Venus moves behind the sun, sometimes in front of the sun 
and sometimes along with it. Venus nullifies the influence of planets that are 
obstacles to rainfall. Consequently its presence causes rainfall, and it is 
therefore considered very favorable for all living beings within this universe. 
This has been accepted by learned scholars.

Mercury is described to be similar to Venus, in that it moves sometimes behind 
the sun, sometimes in front of the sun and sometimes along with it. It is 
1,600,000 miles above Venus, or 7,200,000 miles above earth. Mercury, which is 
the son of the moon, is almost always very auspicious for the inhabitants of the 
universe, but when it does not move along with the sun, it forbodes cyclones, 
dust, irregular rainfall, and waterless clouds. In this way it creates fearful 
conditions due to inadequate or excessive rainfall.

Situated 1,600,000 miles above Mercury, or 8,800,000 miles above earth, is the 
planet Mars. If this planet does not travel in a crooked way, it crosses through 
each sign of the zodiac in three fortnights and in this way travels through all 
twelve, one after another. It almost always creates unfavorable conditions in 
respect to rainfall and other influences.

Situated 1,600,000 miles above Mars, or 10,400,000 miles above earth, is the 
planet Jupiter, which travels through one sign of the zodiac within the period 
of a Parivatsara. If its movement is not curved, the planet Jupiter is very 
favorable to the brahmanas of the universe.

Situated 1,600,000 miles above Jupiter, or 12,000,000 miles above earth, is the 
planet Saturn, which passes through one sign of the zodiac in thirty months and 
covers the entire zodiac circle in thirty Anuvatsaras. This planet is always 
very inauspicious for the universal situation.

Situated 8,800,000 miles above Saturn, or 20,800,000 miles above earth, are the 
seven saintly sages, who are always thinking of the well-being of the 
inhabitants of the universe. They circumambulate the supreme abode of Lord 
Vishnu, known as Dhruvaloka, the polestar.

Chapter Twenty-three : The Sisumara Planetary Systems

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, 1,300,000 yojanas [10,400,000 miles] 
above the planets of the seven sages is the place that learned scholars describe 
as the abode of Lord Vishnu. There the son of Maharaja Uttanapada, the great 
devotee Maharaja Dhruva, still resides as the life source of all the living 
entities who live until the end of the creation. Agni, Indra, Prajapati, Kasyapa 
and Dharma all assemble there to offer him honor and respectful obeisances. They 
circumambulate him with their right sides toward him. I have already described 
the glorious activities of Maharaja Dhruva [in the Fourth Canto of Srimad-

Established by the supreme will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the 
polestar, which is the planet of Maharaja Dhruva, constantly shines as the 
central pivot for all the stars and planets. The unsleeping, invisible, most 
powerful time factor causes these luminaries to revolve around the polestar 
without cessation.

When bulls are yoked together and tied to a central post to thresh rice, they 
tread around that pivot without deviating from their proper positions--one bull 
being closest to the post, another in the middle, and a third on the outside. 
Similarly, all the planets and all the hundreds and thousands of stars revolve 
around the polestar, the planet of Maharaja Dhruva, in their respective orbits, 
some higher and some lower. Fastened by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to 
the machine of material nature according to the results of their fruitive acts, 
they are driven around the polestar by the wind and will continue to be so until 
the end of creation. These planets float in the air within the vast sky, just as 
clouds with hundreds of tons of water float in the air or as the great syena 
eagles, due to the results of past activities, fly high in the sky and have no 
chance of falling to the ground.

This great machine, consisting of the stars and planets, resembles the form of a 
sisumara [dolphin] in the water. It is sometimes considered an incarnation of 
Krishna, Vasudeva. Great yogis meditate upon Vasudeva in this form because it is 
actually visible.

This form of the sisumara has its head downward and its body coiled. On the end 
of its tail is the planet of Dhruva, on the body of its tail are the planets of 
the demigods Prajapati, Agni, Indra and Dharma, and at the base of its tail are 
the planets of the demigods Dhata and Vidhata. Where the hips might be on the 
sisumara are the seven saintly sages like Vasistha and Angira. The coiled body 
of the Sisumara-cakra turns toward its right side, on which the fourteen 
constellations from Abhijit to Punarvasu are located. On its left side are the 
fourteen stars from Pusya to Uttarasadha. Thus its body is balanced because its 
sides are occupied by an equal number of stars. On the back of the sisumara is 
the group of stars known as Ajavithi, and on its abdomen is the Ganges that 
flows in the sky [the Milky Way].

On the right and left sides of where the loins might be on the Sisumara-cakra 
are the stars named Punarvasu and Pusya. Ardra and Aslesa are on its right and 
left feet, Abhijit and Uttarasadha are on its right and left nostrils, Sravana 
and Purvasadha are at its right and left eyes, and Dhanistha and Mula are on its 
right and left ears. The eight stars from Magha to Anuradha, which mark the 
southern course, are on the ribs of the left of its body, and the eight stars 
from Mrgasirsa to Purvabhadra, which mark the northern course, are on the ribs 
on the right side. Satabhisa and Jyestha are on the right and left shoulders.

On the upper chin of the sisumara is Agasti; on its lower chin, Yamaraja; on its 
mouth, Mars; on its genitals, Saturn; on the back of its neck, Jupiter; on its 
chest, the sun; and within the core of its heart, Narayana. Within its mind is 
the moon; on its navel, Venus; and on its breasts, the Asvini-kumaras. Within 
its life air, which is known as pranapana, is Mercury, on its neck is Rahu, all 
over its body are comets, and in its pores are the numerous stars.

My dear King, the body of the sisumara, as thus described, should be considered 
the external form of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Morning, 
noon and evening, one should silently observe the form of the Lord as the 
Sisumara-cakra and worship Him with this mantra: "O Lord who has assumed the 
form of time! O resting place of all the planets moving in different orbits! O 
master of all demigods, O Supreme Person, I offer my respectful obeisances unto 
You and meditate upon You."

The body of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, which forms the Sisumara-cakra, is the 
resting place of all the demigods and all the stars and planets. One who chants 
this mantra to worship that Supreme Person three times a day--morning, noon and 
evening--will surely be freed from all sinful reactions. If one simply offers 
his obeisances to this form or remembers this form three times a day, all his 
recent sinful activities will be destroyed.

Chapter Twenty-four : The Subterranean Heavenly Planets

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, some historians, the speakers of the 
Puranas, say that 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles] below the sun is the planet 
known as Rahu, which moves like one of the stars. The presiding deity of that 
planet, who is the son of Simhika, is the most abominable of all asuras, but 
although he is completely unfit to assume the position of a demigod or planetary 
deity, he has achieved that position by the grace of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead. Later I shall speak further about him.

The sun globe, which is a source of heat, extends for 10,000 yojanas [80,000 
miles]. The moon extends for 20,000 yojanas [160,000 miles], and Rahu extends 
for 30,000 yojanas [240,000 miles]. Formerly, when nectar was being distributed, 
Rahu tried to create dissension between the sun and moon by interposing himself 
between them. Rahu is inimical toward both the sun and the moon, and therefore 
he always tries to cover the sunshine and moonshine on the dark-moon day and 
full-moon night.

After hearing from the sun and moon demigods about Rahu's attack, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, engages His disc, known as the Sudarsana cakra, 
to protect them. The Sudarsana cakra is the Lord's most beloved devotee and is 
favored by the Lord. The intense heat of its effulgence, meant for killing non-
Vaisnavas, is unbearable to Rahu, and he therefore flees in fear of it. During 
the time Rahu disturbs the sun or moon, there occurs what people commonly know 
as an eclipse.

Below Rahu by 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles] are the planets known as Siddhaloka, 
Caranaloka and Vidyadhara-loka.

Beneath Vidyadhara-loka, Caranaloka and Siddhaloka, in the sky called antariksa, 
are the places of enjoyment for the Yaksas, Raksasas, Pisacas, ghosts and so on. 
Antariksa extends as far as the wind blows and the clouds float in the sky. 
Above this there is no more air.

Below the abodes of the Yaksas and Raksasas by a distance of 100 yojanas [800 
miles] is the planet earth. Its upper limits extend as high as swans, hawks, 
eagles and similar large birds can fly.

My dear King, beneath this earth are seven other planets, known as Atala, 
Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala. I have already 
explained the situation of the planetary systems of earth. The width and length 
of the seven lower planetary systems are calculated to be exactly the same as 
those of earth.

In these seven planetary systems, which are also known as the subterranean 
heavens [bila-svarga], there are very beautiful houses, gardens and places of 
sense enjoyment, which are even more opulent than those in the higher planets 
because the demons have a very high standard of sensual pleasure, wealth and 
influence. Most of the residents of these planets, who are known as Daityas, 
Danavas and Nagas, live as householders. Their wives, children, friends and 
society are all fully engaged in illusory, material happiness. The sense 
enjoyment of the demigods is sometimes disturbed, but the residents of these 
planets enjoy life without disturbances. Thus they are understood to be very 
attached to illusory happiness.

My dear King, in the imitation heavens known as bila-svarga there is a great 
demon named Maya Danava, who is an expert artist and architect. He has 
constructed many brilliantly decorated cities. There are many wonderful houses, 
walls, gates, assembly houses, temples, yards and temple compounds, as well as 
many hotels serving as residential quarters for foreigners. The houses for the 
leaders of these planets are constructed with the most valuable jewels, and they 
are always crowded with living entities known as Nagas and Asuras, as well as 
many pigeons, parrots and similar birds. All in all, these imitation heavenly 
cities are most beautifully situated and attractively decorated.

The parks and gardens in the artificial heavens surpass in beauty those of the 
upper heavenly planets. The trees in those gardens, embraced by creepers, bend 
with a heavy burden of twigs with fruits and flowers, and therefore they appear 
extraordinarily beautiful. That beauty could attract anyone and make his mind 
fully blossom in the pleasure of sense gratification. There are many lakes and 
reservoirs with clear, transparent water, agitated by jumping fish and decorated 
with many flowers such as lilies, kuvalayas, kahlaras and blue and red lotuses. 
Pairs of cakravakas and many other water birds nest in the lakes and always 
enjoy in a happy mood, making sweet, pleasing vibrations that are very 
satisfying and conducive to enjoyment of the senses.

Since there is no sunshine in those subterranean planets, time is not divided 
into days and nights, and consequently fear produced by time does not exist.

Many great serpents reside there with gems on their hoods, and the effulgence of 
these gems dissipates the darkness in all directions.

Since the residents of these planets drink and bathe in juices and elixirs made 
from wonderful herbs, they are freed from all anxieties and physical diseases. 
They have no experience of grey hair, wrinkles or invalidity, their bodily 
lusters do not fade, their perspiration does not cause a bad smell, and they are 
not troubled by fatigue or by lack of energy or enthusiasm due to old age.

They live very auspiciously and do not fear death from anything but death's 
established time, which is the effulgence of the Sudarsana cakra of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead.

When the Sudarsana disc enters those provinces, the pregnant wives of the demons 
all have miscarriages due to fear of its effulgence.

My dear King, now I shall describe to you the lower planetary systems, one by 
one, beginning from Atala. In Atala there is a demon, the son of Maya Danava 
named Bala, who created ninety-six kinds of mystic power. Some so-called yogis 
and svamis take advantage of this mystic power to cheat people even today. 
Simply by yawning, the demon Bala created three kinds of women, known as 
svairini, kamini and pumscali. The svairinis like to marry men from their own 
group, the kaminis marry men from any group, and the pumscalis change husbands 
one after another. If a man enters the planet of Atala, these women immediately 
capture him and induce him to drink an intoxicating beverage made with a drug 
known as hataka [cannabis indica]. This intoxicant endows the man with great 
sexual prowess, of which the women take advantage for enjoyment. A woman will 
enchant him with attractive glances, intimate words, smiles of love and then 
embraces. In this way she induces him to enjoy sex with her to her full 
satisfaction. Because of his increased sexual power, the man thinks himself 
stronger than ten thousand elephants and considers himself most perfect. Indeed, 
illusioned and intoxicated by false pride, he thinks himself God, ignoring 
impending death.

The next planet below Atala is Vitala, wherein Lord Shiva, who is known as the 
master of gold mines, lives with his personal associates, the ghosts and similar 
living entities. Lord Shiva, as the progenitor, engages in sex with Bhavani, the 
progenitress, to produce living entities, and from the mixture of their vital 
fluid the river named Hataki is generated. When fire, being made to blaze by the 
wind, drinks of this river and then sizzles and spits it out, it produces gold 
called Hataka. The demons who live on that planet with their wives decorate 
themselves with various ornaments made from that gold, and thus they live there 
very happily.

Below the planet Vitala is another planet, known as Sutala, where the great son 
of Maharaja Virocana, Bali Maharaja, who is celebrated as the most pious king, 
resides even now. For the welfare of Indra, the King of heaven, Lord Vishnu 
appeared in the form of a dwarf brahmacari as the son of Aditi and tricked Bali 
Maharaja by begging for only three paces of land but taking all the three 
worlds. Being very pleased with Bali Maharaja for giving all his possessions, 
the Lord returned his kingdom and made him richer than the opulent King Indra. 
Even now, Bali Maharaja engages in devotional service by worshiping the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead in the planet of Sutala.

My dear King, Bali Maharaja donated all his possessions to the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, Vamanadeva, but one should certainly not conclude that 
he achieved his great worldly opulence in bila-svarga as a result of his 
charitable disposition. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the source of 
life for all living entities, lives within everyone as the friendly Supersoul, 
and under His direction a living entity enjoys or suffers in the material world. 
Greatly appreciating the transcendental qualities of the Lord, Bali Maharaja 
offered everything at His lotus feet. His purpose, however, was not to gain 
anything material, but to become a pure devotee. For a pure devotee, the door of 
liberation is automatically opened. One should not think that Bali Maharaja was 
given so much material opulence merely because of his charity. When one becomes 
a pure devotee in love, he may also be blessed with a good material position by 
the will of the Supreme Lord. However, one should not mistakenly think that the 
material opulence of a devotee is the result of his devotional service. The real 
result of devotional service is the awakening of pure love for the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, which continues under all circumstances.

If one who is embarrassed by hunger or who falls down or stumbles chants the 
holy name of the Lord even once, willingly or unwillingly, he is immediately 
freed from the reactions of his past deeds. Karmis entangled in material 
activities face many difficulties in the practice of mystic yoga and other 
endeavors to achieve that same freedom.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in everyone's heart as the 
Supersoul, sells Himself to His devotees such as Narada Muni. In other words, 
the Lord gives pure love to such devotees and gives Himself to those who love 
Him purely. Great, self-realized mystic yogis such as the four Kumaras also 
derive great transcendental bliss from realizing the Supersoul within 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead did not award His mercy to Bali Maharaja by 
giving him material happiness and opulence, for these make one forget loving 
service to the Lord. The result of material opulence is that one can no longer 
absorb his mind in the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

When the Supreme Personality of Godhead could see no other means of taking 
everything away from Bali Maharaja, He adopted the trick of begging from him and 
took away all the three worlds. Thus only his body was left, but the Lord was 
still not satisfied. He arrested Bali Maharaja, bound him with the ropes of 
Varuna and threw him in a cave in a mountain. Nevertheless, although all his 
property was taken and he was thrown into a cave, Bali Maharaja was such a great 
devotee that he spoke as follows.

Alas, how pitiable it is for Indra, the King of heaven, that although he is very 
learned and powerful and although he chose Brhaspati as his prime minister to 
instruct him, he is completely ignorant concerning spiritual advancement. 
Brhaspati is also unintelligent because he did not properly instruct his 
disciple Indra. Lord Vamanadeva was standing at Indra's door, but King Indra, 
instead of begging Him for an opportunity to render transcendental loving 
service, engaged Him in asking me for alms to gain the three worlds for his 
sense gratification. Sovereignty over the three worlds is very insignificant 
because whatever material opulence one may possess lasts only for an age of 
Manu, which is but a tiny fraction of endless time.

Bali Maharaja said: My grandfather Prahlada Maharaja is the only person who 
understood his own self-interest. Upon the death of Prahlada's father, 
Hiranyakasipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva wanted to offer Prahlada his father's kingdom 
and even wanted to grant him liberation from material bondage, but Prahlada 
accepted neither. Liberation and material opulence, he thought, are obstacles to 
devotional service, and therefore such gifts from the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead are not His actual mercy. Consequently, instead of accepting the results 
of karma and jnana, Prahlada Maharaja simply begged the Lord for engagement in 
the service of His servant.

Bali Maharaja said: Persons like us, who are still attached to material 
enjoyment, who are contaminated by the modes of material nature and who lack the 
mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot follow the supreme path of 
Prahlada Maharaja, the exalted devotee of the Lord.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, how shall I glorify the character of 
Bali Maharaja? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the three 
worlds, who is most compassionate to His own devotee, stands with club in hand 
at Bali Maharaja's door. When Ravana, the powerful demon, came to gain victory 
over Bali Maharaja, Vamanadeva kicked him a distance of eighty thousand miles 
with His big toe. I shall explain the character and activities of Bali Maharaja 
later [in the Eighth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam].

Beneath the planet known as Sutala is another planet, called Talatala, which is 
ruled by the Danava demon named Maya. Maya is known as the acarya [master] of 
all the mayavis, who can invoke the powers of sorcery. For the benefit of the 
three worlds, Lord Shiva, who is known as Tripurari, once set fire to the three 
kingdoms of Maya, but later, being pleased with him, he returned his kingdom. 
Since that time, Maya Danava has been protected by Lord Shiva, and therefore he 
falsely thinks that he need not fear the Sudarsana cakra of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead.

The planetary system below Talatala is known as Mahatala. It is the abode of 
many-hooded snakes, descendants of Kadru, who are always very angry. The great 
snakes who are prominent are Kuhaka, Taksaka, Kaliya and Susena. The snakes in 
Mahatala are always disturbed by fear of Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu, but 
although they are full of anxiety, some of them nevertheless sport with their 
wives, children, friends and relatives.

Beneath Mahatala is the planetary system known as Rasatala, which is the abode 
of the demoniac sons of Diti and Danu. They are called Panis, Nivata-kavacas, 
Kaleyas and Hiranya-puravasis [those living in Hiranya-pura]. They are all 
enemies of the demigods, and they reside in holes like snakes. From birth they 
are extremely powerful and cruel, and although they are proud of their strength, 
they are always defeated by the Sudarsana cakra of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, who rules all the planetary systems. When a female messenger from Indra 
named Sarama chants a particular curse, the serpentine demons of Mahatala become 
very afraid of Indra.

Beneath Rasatala is another planetary system, known as Patala or Nagaloka, where 
there are many demoniac serpents, the masters of Nagaloka, such as Sankha, 
Kulika, Mahasankha, Sveta, Dhananjaya, Dhrtarastra, Sankhacuda, Kambala, 
Asvatara and Devadatta. The chief among them is Vasuki. They are all extremely 
angry, and they have many, many hoods--some snakes five hoods, some seven, some 
ten, others a hundred and others a thousand. These hoods are bedecked with 
valuable gems, and the light emanating from the gems illuminates the entire 
planetary system of bila-svarga.

Chapter Twenty-five : The Glories of Lord Ananta

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said to Maharaja Pariksit: My dear King, approximately 
240,000 miles beneath the planet Patala lives another incarnation of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead. He is the expansion of Lord Vishnu known as Lord Ananta 
or Lord Sankarsana. He is always in the transcendental position, but because He 
is worshiped by Lord Shiva, the deity of tamo-guna or darkness, He is sometimes 
called tamasi. Lord Ananta is the predominating Deity of the material mode of 
ignorance as well as the false ego of all conditioned souls. When a conditioned 
living being thinks, "I am the enjoyer, and this world is meant to be enjoyed by 
me," this conception of life is dictated to him by Sankarsana. Thus the mundane 
conditioned soul thinks himself the Supreme Lord.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: This great universe, situated on one of Lord 
Anantadeva's thousands of hoods, appears just like a white mustard seed. It is 
infinitesimal compared to the hood of Lord Ananta.

At the time of devastation, when Lord Anantadeva desires to destroy the entire 
creation, He becomes slightly angry. Then from between His two eyebrows appears 
three-eyed Rudra, carrying a trident. This Rudra, who is known as Sankarsana, is 
the embodiment of the eleven Rudras, or incarnations of Lord Shiva. He appears 
in order to devastate the entire creation.

The pink, transparent toenails on the Lord's lotus feet are exactly like 
valuable gems polished to a mirror finish. When the unalloyed devotees and the 
leaders of the snakes offer their obeisances to Lord Sankarsana with great 
devotion, they become very joyful upon seeing their own beautiful faces 
reflected in His toenails. Their cheeks are decorated with glittering earrings, 
and the beauty of their faces is extremely pleasing to see.

Lord Ananta's arms are attractively long, beautifully decorated with bangles and 
completely spiritual. They are white, and so they appear like silver columns. 
When the beautiful princesses of the serpent kings, hoping for the Lord's 
auspicious blessing, smear His arms with aguru pulp, sandalwood pulp and 
kunkuma, the touch of His limbs awakens lusty desires within them. Understanding 
their minds, the Lord looks at the princesses with a merciful smile, and they 
become bashful, realizing that He knows their desires. Then they smile 
beautifully and look upon the Lord's lotus face, which is beautified by reddish 
eyes rolling slightly from intoxication and delighted by love for His devotees.

Lord Sankarsana is the ocean of unlimited spiritual qualities, and thus He is 
known as Anantadeva. He is nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 
For the welfare of all living entities within this material world, He resides in 
His abode, restraining His anger and intolerance.

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: The demigods, the demons, the Uragas [serpentine 
demigods], the Siddhas, the Gandharvas, the Vidyadharas and many highly elevated 
sages constantly offer prayers to the Lord. Because He is intoxicated, the Lord 
looks bewildered, and His eyes, appearing like flowers in full bloom, move to 
and fro. He pleases His personal associates, the heads of the demigods, by the 
sweet vibrations emanating from His mouth. Dressed in bluish garments and 
wearing a single earring, He holds a plow on His back with His two beautiful and 
well-constructed hands. Appearing as white as the heavenly King Indra, He wears 
a golden belt around His waist and a vaijayanti garland of ever-fresh tulasi 
blossoms around His neck. Bees intoxicated by the honeylike fragrance of the 
tulasi flowers hum very sweetly around the garland, which thus becomes more and 
more beautiful. In this way, the Lord enjoys His very magnanimous pastimes.

If persons who are very serious about being liberated from material life hear 
the glories of Anantadeva from the mouth of a spiritual master in the chain of 
disciplic succession, and if they always meditate upon Sankarsana, the Lord 
enters the cores of their hearts, vanquishes all the dirty contamination of the 
material modes of nature, and cuts to pieces the hard knot within the heart, 
which has been tied tightly since time immemorial by the desire to dominate 
material nature through fruitive activities. Narada Muni, the son of Lord 
Brahma, always glorifies Anantadeva in his father's assembly. There he sings 
blissful verses of his own composition, accompanied by his stringed instrument 
[or a celestial singer] known as Tumburu.

By His glance, the Supreme Personality of Godhead enables the modes of material 
nature to act as the causes of universal creation, maintenance and destruction. 
The Supreme Soul is unlimited and beginningless, and although He is one, He has 
manifested Himself in many forms. How can human society understand the ways of 
the Supreme?

This manifestation of subtle and gross matter exists within the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead. Out of causeless mercy toward His devotees, He exhibits 
various forms, which are all transcendental. The Supreme Lord is most liberal, 
and He possesses all mystic power. To conquer the minds of His devotees and give 
pleasure to their hearts, He appears in different incarnations and manifests 
many pastimes.

Even if he be distressed or degraded, any person who chants the holy name of the 
Lord, having heard it from a bona fide spiritual master, is immediately 
purified. Even if he chants the Lord's name jokingly or by chance, he and anyone 
who hears him are freed from all sins. Therefore how can anyone seeking 
disentanglement from the material clutches avoid chanting the name of Lord Sesa? 
Of whom else should one take shelter?

Because the Lord is unlimited, no one can estimate His power. This entire 
universe, filled with its many great mountains, rivers, oceans, trees and living 
entities, is resting just like an atom on one of His many thousands of hoods. Is 
there anyone, even with thousands of tongues, who can describe His glories?

There is no end to the great and glorious qualities of that powerful Lord 
Anantadeva. Indeed, His prowess is unlimited. Though self-sufficient, He Himself 
is the support of everything. He resides beneath the lower planetary systems and 
easily sustains the entire universe.

My dear King, as I heard of it from my spiritual master, I have fully described 
to you the creation of this material world according to the fruitive activities 
and desires of the conditioned souls. Those conditioned souls, who are full of 
material desires, achieve various situations in different planetary systems, and 
in this way they live within this material creation.

My dear King, I have thus described how people generally act according to their 
different desires and, as a result, get different types of bodies in higher or 
lower planets. You inquired of these things from me, and I have explained to you 
whatever I have heard from authorities. What shall I speak of now?

Chapter Twenty-six : A Description of the Hellish Planets

King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: My dear sir, why are the living 
entities put into different material situations? Kindly explain this to me.

The great sage Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, in this material world there 
are three kinds of activities--those in the mode of goodness, the mode of 
passion and the mode of ignorance. Because all people are influenced by the 
three modes of material nature, the results of their activities are also divided 
into three. One who acts in the mode of goodness is religious and happy, one who 
acts in passion achieves mixed misery and happiness, and one who acts under the 
influence of ignorance is always unhappy and lives like an animal. Because of 
the varying degrees to which the living entities are influenced by the different 
modes of nature, their destinations are also of different varieties.

Just as by executing various pious activities one achieves different positions 
in heavenly life, by acting impiously one achieves different positions in 
hellish life. Those who are activated by the material mode of ignorance engage 
in impious activities, and according to the extent of their ignorance, they are 
placed in different grades of hellish life. If one acts in the mode of ignorance 
because of madness, his resulting misery is the least severe. One who acts 
impiously but knows the distinction between pious and impious activities is 
placed in a hell of intermediate severity. And for one who acts impiously and 
ignorantly because of atheism, the resultant hellish life is the worst. Because 
of ignorance, every living entity has been carried by various desires into 
thousands of different hellish planets since time immemorial. I shall try to 
describe them as far as possible.

King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: My dear lord, are the hellish 
regions outside the universe, within the covering of the universe, or in 
different places on this planet?

The great sage Sukadeva Gosvami answered: All the hellish planets are situated 
in the intermediate space between the three worlds and the Garbhodaka Ocean. 
They lie on the southern side of the universe, beneath Bhu-mandala, and slightly 
above the water of the Garbhodaka Ocean. Pitrloka is also located in this region 
between the Garbhodaka Ocean and the lower planetary systems. All the residents 
of Pitrloka, headed by Agnisvatta, meditate in great samadhi on the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead and always wish their families well.

The King of the pitas is Yamaraja, the very powerful son of the sun-god. He 
resides in Pitrloka with his personal assistants and, while abiding by the rules 
and regulations set down by the Supreme Lord, has his agents, the Yamadutas, 
bring all the sinful men to him immediately upon their death. After bringing 
them within his jurisdiction, he properly judges them according to their 
specific sinful activities and sends them to one of the many hellish planets for 
suitable punishments.

Some authorities say that there is a total of twenty-one hellish planets, and 
some say twenty-eight. My dear King, I shall outline all of them according to 
their names, forms and symptoms. The names of the different hells are as 
follows: Tamisra, Andhatamisra, Raurava, Maharaurava, Kumbhipaka, Kalasutra, 
Asi-patravana, Sukaramukha, Andhakupa, Krmibhojana, Sandamsa, Taptasurmi, 
Vajrakantaka-salmali, Vaitarani, Puyoda, Pranarodha, Visasana, Lalabhaksa, 
Sarameyadana, Avici, Ayahpana, Ksarakardama, Raksogana-bhojana, Sulaprota, 
Dandasuka, Avata-nirodhana, Paryavartana and Sucimukha. All these planets are 
meant for punishing the living entities.

My dear King, a person who appropriates another's legitimate wife, children or 
money is arrested at the time of death by the fierce Yamadutas, who bind him 
with the rope of time and forcibly throw him into the hellish planet known as 
Tamisra. On this very dark planet, the sinful man is chastised by the Yamadutas, 
who beat and rebuke him. He is starved, and he is given no water to drink. Thus 
the wrathful assistants of Yamaraja cause him severe suffering, and sometimes he 
faints from their chastisement.

The destination of a person who slyly cheats another man and enjoys his wife and 
children is the hell known as Andhatamisra. There his condition is exactly like 
that of a tree being chopped at its roots. Even before reaching Andhatamisra, 
the sinful living being is subjected to various extreme miseries. These 
afflictions are so severe that he loses his intelligence and sight. It is for 
this reason that learned sages call this hell Andhatamisra.

A person who accepts his body as his self works very hard day and night for 
money to maintain his own body and the bodies of his wife and children. While 
working to maintain himself and his family, he may commit violence against other 
living entities. Such a person is forced to give up his body and his family at 
the time of death, when he suffers the reaction for his envy of other creatures 
by being thrown into the hell called Raurava.

In this life, an envious person commits violent acts against many living 
entities. Therefore after his death, when he is taken to hell by Yamaraja, those 
living entities who were hurt by him appear as animals called rurus to inflict 
very severe pain upon him. Learned scholars call this hell Raurava. Not 
generally seen in this world, the ruru is more envious than a snake.

Punishment in the hell called Maharaurava is compulsory for a person who 
maintains his own body by hurting others. In this hell, ruru animals known as 
kravyada torment him and eat his flesh.

For the maintenance of their bodies and the satisfaction of their tongues, cruel 
persons cook poor animals and birds alive. Such persons are condemned even by 
man-eaters. In their next lives they are carried by the Yamadutas to the hell 
known as Kumbhipaka, where they are cooked in boiling oil.

The killer of a brahmana is put into the hell known as Kalasutra, which has a 
circumference of eighty thousand miles and which is made entirely of copper. 
Heated from below by fire and from above by the scorching sun, the copper 
surface of this planet is extremely hot. Thus the murderer of a brahmana suffers 
from being burned both internally and externally. Internally he is burning with 
hunger and thirst, and externally he is burning from the scorching heat of the 
sun and the fire beneath the copper surface. Therefore he sometimes lies down, 
sometimes sits, sometimes stands up and sometimes runs here and there. He must 
suffer in this way for as many thousands of years as there are hairs on the body 
of an animal.

If a person deviates from the path of the Vedas in the absence of an emergency, 
the servants of Yamaraja put him into the hell called Asi-patravana, where they 
beat him with whips. When he runs hither and thither, fleeing from the extreme 
pain, on all sides he runs into palm trees with leaves like sharpened swords. 
Thus injured all over his body and fainting at every step, he cries out, "Oh, 
what shall I do now! How shall I be saved!" This is how one suffers who deviates 
from the accepted religious principles.

In his next life, a sinful king or governmental representative who punishes an 
innocent person, or who inflicts corporal punishment upon a brahmana, is taken 
by the Yamadutas to the hell named Sukaramukha, where the most powerful 
assistants of Yamaraja crush him exactly as one crushes sugarcane to squeeze out 
the juice. The sinful living entity cries very pitiably and faints, just like an 
innocent man undergoing punishments. This is the result of punishing a faultless 

By the arrangement of the Supreme Lord, low-grade living beings like bugs and 
mosquitoes suck the blood of human beings and other animals. Such insignificant 
creatures are unaware that their bites are painful to the human being. However, 
first-class human beings--brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisyas--are developed in 
consciousness, and therefore they know how painful it is to be killed. A human 
being endowed with knowledge certainly commits sin if he kills or torments 
insignificant creatures, who have no discrimination. The Supreme Lord punishes 
such a man by putting him into the hell known as Andhakupa, where he is attacked 
by all the birds and beasts, reptiles, mosquitoes, lice, worms, flies, and any 
other creatures he tormented during his life. They attack him from all sides, 
robbing him of the pleasure of sleep. Unable to rest, he constantly wanders 
about in the darkness. Thus in Andhakupa his suffering is just like that of a 
creature in the lower species.

A person is considered no better than a crow if after receiving some food, he 
does not divide it among guests, old men and children, but simply eats it 
himself, or if he eats it without performing the five kinds of sacrifice. After 
death he is put into the most abominable hell, known as Krmibhojana. In that 
hell is a lake becomes a worm in that lake and feeds on the other worms there, 
who also feed on him. Unless he atones for his actions before his death, such a 
sinful man remains in the hellish lake of Krmibhojana for as many years as there 
are yojanas in the width of the lake.

My dear King, a person who in the absence of an emergency robs a brahmana--or, 
indeed, anyone else--of his gems and gold is put into a hell known as Sandamsa. 
There his skin is torn and separated by red-hot iron balls and tongs. In this 
way, his entire body is cut to pieces.

A man or woman who indulges in sexual intercourse with an unworthy member of the 
opposite sex is punished after death by the assistants of Yamaraja in the hell 
known as Taptasurmi. There such men and women are beaten with whips. The man is 
forced to embrace a red-hot iron form of a woman, and the woman is forced to 
embrace a similar form of a man. Such is the punishment for illicit sex.

A person who indulges in sex indiscriminately--even with animals--is taken after 
death to the hell known as Vajrakantaka-salmali. In this hell there is a silk-
cotton tree full of thorns as strong as thunderbolts. The agents of Yamaraja 
hang the sinful man on that tree and pull him down forcibly so that the thorns 
very severely tear his body.

A person who is born into a responsible family--such as a ksatriya, a member of 
royalty or a government servant--but who neglects to execute his prescribed 
duties according to religious principles, and who thus becomes degraded, falls 
down at the time of death into the river of hell known as Vaitarani. This river, 
which is a moat surrounding hell, is full of ferocious aquatic animals. When a 
sinful man is thrown into the River Vaitarani, the aquatic animals there 
immediately begin to eat him, but because of his extremely sinful life, he does 
not leave his body. He constantly remembers his sinful activities and suffers 
terribly in that river, which is full of stool, urine, pus, blood, hair, nails, 
bones, marrow, flesh and fat.

The shameless husbands of lowborn sudra women live exactly like animals, and 
therefore they have no good behavior, cleanliness or regulated life. After 
death, such persons are thrown into the hell called Puyoda, where they are put 
into an ocean filled with pus, stool, urine, mucus, saliva and similar things. 
Sudras who could not improve themselves fall into that ocean and are forced to 
eat those disgusting things.

If in this life a man of the higher classes [brahmana, ksatriya and vaisya] is 
very fond of taking his pet dogs, mules or asses into the forest to hunt and 
kill animals unnecessarily, he is placed after death into the hell known as 
Pranarodha. There the assistants of Yamaraja make him their targets and pierce 
him with arrows.

A person who in this life is proud of his eminent position, and who heedlessly 
sacrifices animals simply for material prestige, is put into the hell called 
Visasana after death. There the assistants of Yamaraja kill him after giving him 
unlimited pain.

If a foolish member of the twice-born classes [brahmana, ksatriya and vaisya] 
forces his wife to drink his semen out of a lusty desire to keep her under 
control, he is put after death into the hell known as Lalabhaksa. There he is 
thrown into a flowing river of semen, which he is forced to drink.

In this world, some persons are professional plunderers who set fire to others' 
houses or administer poison to them. Also, members of the royalty or government 
officials sometimes plunder mercantile men by forcing them to pay income tax and 
by other methods. After death such demons are put into the hell known as 
Sarameyadana. On that planet there are 720 dogs with teeth as strong as 
thunderbolts. Under the orders of the agents of Yamaraja, these dogs voraciously 
devour such sinful people.

A person who in this life bears false witness or lies while transacting business 
or giving charity is severely punished after death by the agents of Yamaraja. 
Such a sinful man is taken to the top of a mountain eight hundred miles high and 
thrown headfirst into the hell known as Avicimat. This hell has no shelter and 
is made of strong stone resembling the waves of water. There is no water there, 
however, and thus it is called Avicimat [waterless]. Although the sinful man is 
repeatedly thrown from the mountain and his body broken to tiny pieces, he still 
does not die but continuously suffers chastisement.

Any brahmana or brahmana's wife who drinks liquor is taken by the agents of 
Yamaraja to the hell known as Ayahpana. This hell also awaits any ksatriya, 
vaisya, or person under a vow who in illusion drinks soma-rasa. In Ayahpana the 
agents of Yamaraja stand on their chests and pour hot melted iron into their 

A lowborn and abominable person who in this life becomes falsely proud, thinking 
"I am great," and who thus fails to show proper respect to one more elevated 
than he by birth, austerity, education, behavior, caste or spiritual order, is 
like a dead man even in this lifetime, and after death he is thrown headfirst 
into the hell known as Ksarakardama. There he must great suffer great 
tribulation at the hands of the agents of Yamaraja.

There are men and women in this world who sacrifice human beings to Bhairava or 
Bhadra Kali and then eat their victims' flesh. Those who perform such sacrifices 
are taken after death to the abode of Yamaraja, where their victims, having 
taken the form of Raksasas, cut them to pieces with sharpened swords. Just as in 
this world the man-eaters drank their victims' blood, dancing and singing in 
jubilation, their victims now enjoy drinking the blood of the sacrificers and 
celebrating in the same way.

In this life some people give shelter to animals and birds that come to them for 
protection in the village or forest, and after making them believe that they 
will be protected, such people pierce them with lances or threads and play with 
them like toys, giving them great pain. After death such people are brought by 
the assistants of Yamaraja to the hell known as Sulaprota, where their bodies 
are pierced with sharp, needlelike lances. They suffer from hunger and thirst, 
and sharp-beaked birds such as vultures and herons come at them from all sides 
to tear at their bodies. Tortured and suffering, they can then remember the 
sinful activities they committed in the past.

Those who in this life are like envious serpents, always angry and giving pain 
to other living entities, fall after death into the hell known as Dandasuka. My 
dear King, in this hell there are serpents with five or seven hoods. These 
serpents eat such sinful persons just as snakes eat mice.

Those who in this life confine other living entities in dark wells, granaries or 
mountain caves are put after death into the hell known as Avata-nirodhana. There 
they themselves are pushed into dark wells, where poisonous fumes and smoke 
suffocate them and they suffer very severely.

A householder who receives guests or visitors with cruel glances, as if to burn 
them to ashes, is put into the hell called Paryavartana, where he is gazed at by 
hard-eyed vultures, herons, crows and similar birds, which suddenly swoop down 
and pluck out his eyes with great force.

One who in this world or this life is very proud of his wealth always thinks, "I 
am so rich. Who can equal me?" His vision is twisted, and he is always afraid 
that someone will take his wealth. Indeed, he even suspects his superiors. His 
face and heart dry up at the thought of losing his wealth, and therefore he 
always looks like a wretched fiend. He is not in any way able to obtain actual 
happiness, and he does not know what it is to be free from anxiety. Because of 
the sinful things he does to earn money, augment his wealth and protect it, he 
is put into the hell called Sucimukha, where the officials of Yamaraja punish 
him by stitching thread through his entire body like weavers manufacturing 

My dear King Pariksit, in the province of Yamaraja there are hundreds and 
thousands of hellish planets. The impious people I have mentioned--and also 
those I have not mentioned--must all enter these various planets according to 
the degree of their impiety. Those who are pious, however, enter other planetary 
systems, namely the planets of the demigods. Nevertheless, both the pious and 
impious are again brought to earth after the results of their pious or impious 
acts are exhausted.

In the beginning [the Second and Third Cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam] I have 
already described how one can progress on the path of liberation. In the Puranas 
the vast universal existence, which is like an egg divided into fourteen parts, 
is described. This vast form is considered the external body of the Lord, 
created by His energy and qualities. It is generally called the virata-rupa. If 
one reads the description of this external form of the Lord with great faith, or 
if one hears about it or explains it to others to propagate bhagavata-dharma, or 
Krishna consciousness, his faith and devotion in spiritual consciousness, 
Krishna consciousness, will gradually increase. Although developing this 
consciousness is very difficult, by this process one can purify himself and 
gradually come to an awareness of the Supreme Absolute Truth.

One who is interested in liberation, who accepts the path of liberation and is 
not attracted to the path of conditional life, is called yati, or a devotee. 
Such a person should first control his mind by thinking of the virata-rupa, the 
gigantic universal form of the Lord, and then gradually think of the spiritual 
form of Krishna [sac-cid-ananda-vigraha] after hearing of both forms. Thus one's 
mind is fixed in samadhi. By devotional service one can then realize the 
spiritual form of the Lord, which is the destination of devotees. Thus his life 
becomes successful.

My dear King, I have now described for you this planet earth, other planetary 
systems, and their lands [varsas], rivers and mountains. I have also described 
the sky, the oceans, the lower planetary systems, the directions, the hellish 
planetary systems and the stars. These constitute the virata-rupa, the gigantic 
material form of the Lord, on which all living entities repose. Thus I have 
explained the wonderful expanse of the external body of the Lord.

Hosted by