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Fourth Skanda

Chapter 24: The Song Sung by Lord Shiva

(1) Maitreya said: ‘The son of Prithu who became known as Vijitâs’va because of his great actions, offered, because he cared a lot about them, his younger brothers the different directions of the world. (2) He, the master, offered Haryaksha the eastern part, the south to Dhûmrakes’a, the western side to his brother called Vrika and the northern part to Dravina. (3) To what he had done upon the disappearance [of the sacrificial horse – he didn’t attack Indra], was he honored with the name of Antardhâna [which means disappearance, see 4.19: 18]. In S’ikhandinî, his wife he begot three children that were approved by everyone. (4) They were named Pâvaka, Pavamâna and S’uci and had, while they had formerly been the gods of fire, because of a curse of sage Vasishthha in the past now taken birth again in order to regain that status by the progress of yoga. (5) He who was called Antardhâna begot in his wife named Nabhasvatî a son called Havirdhâna [‘the offering won’] as the father hadn’t killed Indra despite of the fact that he knew he had stolen the horse. (6) The institution of taxes, punishments and fines and such, that make up the livelihood of kings, he considered to be something most severe, so that he abolished them in favor of sacrifices that in the past had been given up. (7) Despite of being committed to the job of ending the distress [of others], achieved he, as a realized soul, by the worship of the Original Personality, the so beloved Supersoul, the reality of His abode easily by always keeping to his ecstasy. (8) Havirdhânî, the name of the wife of Havirdhâna, o Vidura, gave birth to six sons named Barhishat, Gaya, S’ukla, Krishna, Satya and Jitavrata. (9) He who by Havirdhâna was named Barhishat was that fortunate in his fruitive actions and refraining in yoga, that he was considered the Prajâpati [the founding father], o best of the Kurus. (10) With this practice of continually, and spread all over the world, pleasing the gods of sacrifice, kept he the kus’agrass [of the ceremonial sitting places] facing the east. (11) On the advise of the god of gods [Brahmâ] married he the daughter of the ocean named S’atadruti to whom he [the fire-god…] was drawn as much as Agni was to S’ukî, the moment he saw her, charming in all her limbs, youthful and richly decorated, circumambulating during the marriage ceremony. (12) The learned, the ones of desire, the ones of heaven, the sages and the perfect ones, the ones of the earth and of the snakes, were all captivated by the tinkling alone of the new bride her ankle bells heard everywhere. (13) From [Prâcîna]Barhi there appeared ten sons in the womb of S’atadruti, who, all deeply vowed to the dharma, together were called the Pracetâs [from prâcîna: the being turned eastward]. (14) Ordered by their father to beget children settled they, for ascesis, near a large lake to worship by their austerity the Master of Penance for a ten thousand years. (15) On that path they met with Lord S’iva who, most pleased with the great command of their meditation, mantra practice and worship, spoke to them.’

(16) Vidura asked: ‘O brahmin please tell us in clear words all about how it happened that the Pracetâs on their path met with Lord S’iva, as also what the Lordship so pleased with them imparted. (17) O best among the learned, in this world being caught in a physical body it certainly rarely happens that sages fully detached, engaged in meditation desiring him, find association with Lord S’iva. (18) Although he is satisfied within himself is he, the great Lord S’iva, when he has manifested within this world and for the sake of its existence is engaged with its forces, horrible to experience in his actions [through Kâlî or Durgâ or Virabâdhra, see 4.5].’

(19) Maitreya said: ‘All the sons of father Prâcînabarhi had accepted the words of their father all piously on their heads [in full surrender], and had left in the direction of the west being serious in their heart about the austerities. (20) They reached to a very large expanse of water as vast as the nearby ocean, harboring a great soul and mind as clear and joyful as its water was. (21) The water home to red and blue lotuses, Kahlâras and Indîvaras, vibrated with the sounds of swans, cranes, ducks [cakravâkas] and other birds [kârandava]. (22) Mad bumblebees joyfully hummed loudly with their little hairy bodies; it was a festival of creepers, trees and lotuses whirling their saffron in all directions into the air. (23) All the sons of the king were amazed about the harmonious sounds of the music of all the heavenly drums and kettle drums together that one continually could hear there.

(24-25) At that time they were as fortunate to see the chief of the demigods [S’iva], coming out of the water in the company of an association of great souls glorifying him. Seeing the golden shine, his bodily features, his blue throat, three eyes and merciful beautiful face offered they their obeisances, all aroused in their amazement. (26) He who dispels all dangers, the Great Lord and caretaker of the religion then talked to them, pleased as he was with the past of their observance of the principles and their good and gentle manners. (27) Rudra said: ‘All you sons of Barhi, knowing of your actions and desires have I, wishing all of you the best, in order to show you my mercy, thus granted you my audience. (28) Whichever living beings, known as individual souls, that surrender to Vâsudeva the Supreme Lord, to the transcendental of His control over the three modes directly, are no doubt very dear to me. (29) A person fixed on his duty for the time of a hundred lives gets the position of Brahmâ [Brahmaloka] and on top of that not failing the Supreme Lord is one sure to attain therefore to me [S’ivaloka] thereafter. Devotees of Lord Vishnu attain a post [Vaikunthhaloka] like that of me and the other demigods, when the time of the world has come to an end. (30) That is why all of you devotees are as dear to me as the Supreme Lord Himself; and therefore is there also never anybody as much loved by the devotees as I am. (31) In particular this what I am going to tell you now is what you always should attend to and pray, for it is very pure, auspicious, transcendental and beneficial.’

(32) Maitreya said: ‘Thus there were the words that the kindhearted Lord spoke to them, the sons of the king, who with folded hands stood before Lord S’iva, the greatest devotee of Nârâyana. (33) Rudra said: ‘All glories unto You, the One of Selfrealization, the best, the auspicious of the auspicious. Let there by You, the all-perfect and worshipable soul of all, the Supersoul, be of me, my obeisances. (34) All my respects unto You Vâsudeva, from whose navel the lotus sprouted, who art the origin of the senses and the sense objects and the supreme and constant enlightenment of eternal peace. (35) My obeisances unto Sankarshana [the master of ego and integration], the origin of the subtle unmanifest and the unsurpassable master of [also the] disintegration; as also unto the master of evolution, unto Pradyumna [the master of intelligence and] the soul in the beyond. (36) All glories to You, my respects again unto You as Aniruddha [Lord of the mind, of whom the sun-god is an expansion see also 3.1-34], the master and director of the senses; my obeisances unto the Supreme of the perfection and the complete, who stands apart from this material creation*; (37) unto the heavenly abode, the path of liberation, the gateway of the eternal, the purest of the pure – my obeisances unto You. All my respects to the golden of the semen, who is the vedic sacrifices [câtur-hotra] and the one of expansion. (38) All praise to the provider of the ancestors and the godly, the master of the three Vedas and the sacrifices, the predominating deity of the moon who pleases everyone; all my respects unto the Supersoul pervading all living beings. (39) Unto the strength and power of all existence, the body and the self of the diversity of the material world [the virâth rûpa] and the maintainer of the three worlds, my obeisances. (40) All glories to the sky revealing the meaning, the within and without of the self, the supreme effulgence; my obeisances unto the beyond of death and the purpose of all pious action. (41) Unto the inclining as well as disinclining God of the forefathers, the final outcome of all fruitive action and unto You as death itself, the cause of all sorts of misery resulting from irreligion, I offer my respects. (42) Because You are the topmost bestower of benediction, the mastermind [of all mantras], the causal its self, I offer You my respects; all glory to You as the greatest of all religious principles, unto You Krishna whose judgment is fully independent, You are the oldest of the old, the Original Personality and master of yogic analysis [sânkya-yoga]. (43) Unto the reservoir of the three energies [of the doer, the sense-activities and the resultant workload see B.G.. 18a: 18], unto the reason of the material identification of the soul [egotism] named Rudra and unto the embodiment of knowledge and zeal and the voice of all powers, my obeisances. (44) Please show us, desirous for Your presence, the form that as the dearmost is worshiped by the devotees, which is the form that pleases them in every respect of their senses. (45-46) Glistening as the rain from the dense clouds during the rainy season You are the summit of all beauty: beautiful are the features of Your four-handed form, of the greatest is Your pleasant face, Your eyes are as beautiful as the petals in the whorl of a lotusflower, beautiful are Your eyebrows, straight nose, shining teeth, high forehead, and the full decoration of Your face and perfect ears. (47-48) The beauty of Your merciful smile and sidelong glances, Your curly hair and the clothing of the saffron color of the lotus, is supported by the glittering earrings and shiny helmet, the bangles, necklace, ankle bells, belt, conchshell disc, club, and lotus flower, garland and the best of pearls that make You look even more beautiful. (49) The shoulders under Your coils of hair that are like those of a lion and Your neck, fortunate of bearing the jewel glittering on Your chest named Kaustubha, give You a never decreasing beauty that defeats each touchstone. (50) Your inhaling and exhaling stirs beautifully the folds in Your belly that looks like a banana leaf, and the whirling deep of Your navel is as the spiraling of the galaxy. (51) The darkness of Your skin below Your waist is extra pleasing with as well the beauty of Your dress and symmetrical golden belt as lower, with Your lotus feet, calves and thighs that are of a great beauty. (52) By the so very pleasing lotus feet that are like the petals of a lotus flower in autumn, by the effulgence of Your nails, You drive away all things temporary; just show us the path of those two Lotus Feet [also understood as the first two cantos of this Bhâgavatam] that reduce the trouble of the material world, o teacher, o spiritual master of all who suffer the darkness. (53) Yours is the form one must meditate upon; it purifies the self of all those who of the devotional service desire the factual fearlessness that is found in the performance of one’s own duty. (54) Your good Self obtainable for the devotee is very difficult to obtain for all other embodied souls, even for the ones belonging to the king of heaven Indra or for the selfrealized for whom the goal of oneness is the ultimate to be reached. (55) What, out of it, would one else desire but Your lotusfeet, when one by pure devotional service has been of the worship for You that even for the most virtuous is difficult to attain!(56) Therein constitutes the invincible time no threat to a soul of complete surrender, while He in his prowess and majesty, with simly the raising of His eyebrows vanquishes the entire universe. (57) He, who in the company of the Supreme Lord, but even for the shortest while associates, enjoys the advantage that doesn’t compare to the lead of light or to the indistinct of love; what now would be the blessing of the materially conditioned ones? (58) Let there therefore for us, who dip in and step out of the Ganges again to wash out the ruminations of sin, be the mercy and grace of this association that glorifies Your feet of defeat that for the normal living beings are the benediction of the fullest of goodness. (59) He whose heart, bewildered in the pit of darkness by the external influence, got purified by entering the favor of that bhakti-yoga, I dare say will be very happy to see the thoughtfulness therein of Your way. (60) That impersonal of transcendence within and without, that alike the sky full of light is spread out everywhere and has manifested as the apparent of the universe of Your cosmic creation – that is the manifestation of You Yourself. (61) I can understand that an existence as that of You, You as the one who by this manifestation of the manifold of the energies [internal, external and marginal], creates, maintains and again dissolves, You as that unchanged sense for the diversity which is the eternal, gives one trouble to relate to You who art so independent, o my sweet Lord. (62) Those transcedentalists are experts in the field of the Vedas and the scriptures thereto who, for their perfection, with faith and conviction duly, by a range of organized actions, glorify You as identified by matters of fact, by the senses and by the heart. (63) You are the One Original Person, from whom of the dormant energy the complete has originated, from which the passion, goodness and ignorance are known and the totalilty is found of the material energy, the ego, sky, air, fire, water, earth, and the virtuous, the sages and all the living beings. (64) In this creation, out of Your own potency, You afterwards enter in the form of the four kinds of bodies [as born from embryos, eggs, perspiration and seeds, see also 2.10: 40], and do You thus by Your own parts and parcels know him, the person, who from within enjoys through his senses as someone who relishes the sweetness of honey. (65) However, Your Lordship, when one sees how in due course of time that very great force destroys all the planetary systems, and how all beings are finished by others, can one only guess about the Absolute Reality that is alike the wind that scatters the clouds in the sky. (66) The mad cry out aloud what all should be done, but the greed heavily developed of such desire in hankering for material enjoyment is by the complete of Your Transcendence as the Destroyer in an instant devoured like a mouse is by the hunger of the greedy tongue of a snake. (67) What man of wisdom would avoid Your Lotus feet in deriding You? No doubt he would only waste his life; wasn’t it our spiritual teacher and father [Brahmâ] who worshiped You without hesitation in the past just like the fourteen Manus did [after him, see Canto 2: 3:9, 6:30, 10:4]? (68) Therefore are You for us, the ones who learned, the Supreme Brahman, the Soul of the Soul, the Supersoul, the destination of those who are undoubtedly free from fear for the Destroyer Rudra who is feared by the entire universe.’

(69) ‘Praying this way, will there be fortune for all of you, o purified sons of the king that have given up in respect of the Supreme Lord, when you do your duty with all faith that is in you. (70) Unto Him, being sure of the Supreme Soul situated within your hearts as well as the hearts of all other living beings, just be of worship always extolling the Lord and meditating upon Him. (71) All of you, read this instruction of yoga over and over and close it in your heart; take to the vow of silence of always with intelligence being absorbed within, practicing with the greatest reverence. (72) This was first taught by the great Lord [Brahmâ], the master of the creators of the universe and the great sages headed by Bhrigu, who as his sons in charge of the world desired to create. [compare 4.1: 12-15]. (73) All of us controllers of man, were, when the population was created, on His order this way freed from all kinds of ignorance and thus we brought about the different forms of life. (74) Thus regularly repeating this to oneself with great attention, does a person absorbed in this without delay achieve the auspiciousness of being devoted to Vâsudeva [Krishna as the Lord of Consciousness]. (75) Of all benedictions in this world is knowledge the supreme transcendental benefit of happiness of every person, as it is the boat of knowledge with which one crosses over the insurmountable ocean of danger. (76) Anyone who devotedly attached and with faith regularly studies this song of me, this prayer offered to the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Personality so difficult to respect, such a person will be able to be of worship. (77) A person can from the Soul of Power achieve whatever he desires when he is fixed on the song as sung by me; thus pleased is He the dearmost of all benedictions. (78) He who in the early morning after getting up does this, folding his hands in faith, and thus absorbed personally chants and hears and makes others listen, that human being will be freed from all kinds of karmic reactions. (79) O sons of the king, by the intelligence of the one-pointed praying and chanting of this song of the Supreme Person, the Supersoul, that was sung by me, will you, concluding that practice which equals the greatest austerities, achieve the results you longed for.’