Srimad Bhagavatam: The First Step in God Realization (Canto 2, Chapter 1)

Text 1
S’rî S’uka said: ‘This inquiry of yours for the good of all people is the best thing you can do, because this subject of study, oh King, carries the approval of the transcendentalists and constitutes the supreme of all that is worth the attention.

Text 2
Oh Emperor, there are countless subject matters to hear about in human society that are of interest to those who, attached to their household life, are materially engrossed and are blind to the reality of the soul. 

Text 3
They spend their lives, oh King, with sleeping and making love during the night and with making money and taking care of their family during the day.

Text 4
Overly attached to the fallible allies of the body, the children, the wife and everything thereto, they, despite their experience, do not see the finality of these matters.

Text 5 
For that reason, oh descendant of Bharata, He must be discussed, glorified and remembered who as the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality, the controller and vanquishing Lord, frees those who are of desire from their anxieties.

Text 6

All this analyzing in the knowledge of yoga of one’s particular nature and how a person after being born should attain the full awareness of the Supreme, in the end only concerns the remembrance of Nârâyana [Krishna as the Supreme Personality].

Text 7

In general it are the sages who, free from the material modes having mastered the prescriptions and restrictions, oh King, take pleasure in especially describing the glories of the Lord.

Text 8

This story called the Bhâgavatam contains the essence of the Vedas and was by me, at the end of this Dvâpara-yuga [the age of honoring monarchs], studied under the guidance of my father Dvaipâyana Vyâsa.

Text 9

Despite being fully accomplished in transcendence the enlightened verses about the [Lord’s] pastimes drew my attention, oh saintly King, and thus I studied them.

Text 10

I will recite it to you, because you, oh goodness, are a most sincere devotee. They who respectfully dedicate their full attention to it very soon will realize an unflinching faithin Mukunda [Krishna as the Lord granting liberation].

Text 11

For both those who crave free from piously exercising respect and for yoga practitioners who are free from fear and doubts, oh King, the, according to the tradition, repeating of the name of the Lord constitutes the approved method.

Text 12

What is the use of spending one’s years as an ignoramus in this world without having [this] experience? The hour one deliberately spends in service of the higher cause is the better one.

Text 13

The saintly king known as Khathvânga cast aside everything when he knew that he had but a moment to live longer in this world and thus experienced the full security of the Lord.

Text 14

Oh member of the Kuru family, therefore also your life’s duration that is limited to seven days, should inspire you to perform everything that traditionally belongs to the rituals for a next life.

Text 15

Facing the end of one’s life one should be free from the fear of death by cutting, with the help of the weapon of non-attachment, with one’s desires and everything material associated with them.

Text 16

In pious self control leaving one’s home behind, one should head for a sacred place and properly cleansed in solitude sit down in a position in accordance with the regulations.

Text 17

The mind should then be turned to the three sacred transcendental letters [A-U-M]. Regulating one’s breath one thus should get the mind under control so that the primary cause of the absolute Spirit [Brahman] is not forgotten.  

Text 18

With the intelligence as the driver, the [horses of the] senses with the help of the mind should be led away from their objects. The mind that is motivated for results should for that purpose consciously be fixed on the auspicious cause [of the Lord]. 

Text 19

Not allowing to be distracted by the outside world, one thereafter consecutively focusses one’s mind on the different parts of His body. One should thereto not think of anything else but the refuge [constituted by the feet] of the Supreme Lord Vishnu who thus pacifies the mind.

Text 20

Because of the passion and inertia of nature the mind is always agitated and bewildered, but one will get that under control in the concentration of the ones pacified, in the focus that puts an end to all impurity.

Text 21

They who fixed in the habit of such a systematic remembrance seek unification and hold on to this devotion will soon be of success under the shelter of the yoga that approves this.’

Text 22

The king, attentive to what was said, asked: ‘Oh brahmin, what is in summary the idea of the way by which a person may directly put an end to the impurities of his  mind?’

Text 23

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

Text 24

His personal body is this gross material world in which we experience all that belongs to the past, the present and the future of this universe in existence.

Text 25

This outer shell of the universe that we know as a body consisting of seven coverings [see kos’as], constitutes the notion of the object of the Universal Form of the Purusha [the Original Person] who is the Supreme Lord.

Text 26

The lower worlds are by the ones who studied it recognized as the soles of His feet [called Pâtâla] of which His heels and toes are called Rasâtala, His ankles Mahâtala while the shanks of the gigantic person are called the Talâtala worlds.

Text 27

The two knees of the Universal Form are called Sutala, the thighs Vitala and Atala and the hips are named Mahîtala, oh King. Outer space is accepted as the depression of His navel.


Text 28

The higher, illumined worlds are His chest, with above it the neck called Mahar. His mouth is called Jana while Tapas is the name of the worlds of the forehead with Satyaloka [the world of Truth] as the uppermost of the [middle] worlds of the Original Personality who has a thousand heads.

Text 29

The gods headed by Indra are His arms, the four directions are His ears and sound is His sense of hearing. The nostrils of the Supreme One are the As’vinî-Kumâras [a type of demigods] while fragrance is His sense of smell and His mouth the blazing fire.

Text 30

The sphere of outer space constitutes the pits of His eyes, while the eyeball of the sun makes up His seeing. The eyelids of Vishnu are the day and night, the movements of His eyebrows are the supreme entity [Brahmâ and the other demigods], His palate is the director of water [Varuna] and His tongue is the nectarine juice.

Text 31

They say that the Vedic hymns are the thought process of the Unlimited One, that His jaws make up Yamarâja [the Lord of death], His teeth are His affection and that His smile is the most alluring, unsurpassable material energy [mâyâ]. Material creation is only the casting of His glance.

Text 32

Modesty is His upper lip, His chin stands for the hankering, religion is His breast and the path of irreligion is His back. Brahmâ is His genitals, His testicles are the Mitrâ-varunas [the friends], His waist the oceans and the stack of His bones are the mountains.

Text 33

His veins are the rivers and the plants and trees are the hairs on the body of the Universal Form, oh King. The air is His omnipotent breathing, the passing of the ages, Time, is His movement and the constant operation of the modes of material nature is His activity.

Text 34

Let me tell you that the hairs on the head of the Supreme One are the clouds, oh best of the Kurus, and that the intelligence of the Almighty One is the prime cause of the material creation, so one says. His mind, the reservoir of all changes, is known as the moon.

Text 35

The great principle constitutes His consciousness, so one says, while Lord S’iva is the cause within [His ego, His self]. The horse, mule, camel and elephant are His nails, and all other game and quadrupeds are represented in the region of His belt.

Text 36

The singing of the birds is His artistic sense and Manu, the father of man, forms the contents of His thought with humanity as His residence. The angelic and celestial beings [the GandharvasVidyâdharas and Caranas] constitute His musical rhythm while the remembrance of terrorizing soldiers represents His prowess.

Text 37

With the intellectuals [brahmins] for the face and the rulers [kshatriyas] for the arms of the Universal Form, the traders [vais’yas] are the thighs and the laborers [s’ûdras, the dark or ‘krishna’-class] occupy His feet. Through the various names of the demigods He gains in stature with the provision of feasible goods [that appease Him] by means of the performance of sacrifices.

Text 38

 explained all these locations in the Form of the Supreme Lord to you so that anyone who concentrates his mind on this virâth-rûpa Universal Form can attain his goal byintelligence. Beyond Him after all, there is nothing else to be found in the gross of matter.

Text 39

He who as the Supersoul in so many ways can be seen present in all kinds of forms, just like a dreamer can see himself [in different situations], is the one and only Supreme Truth and ocean of bliss. One must direct oneself to Him alone and nothing else if one does not want to see oneself degraded by attachments.’

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