Srimad-Bhagavatam 03.20 – Conversations Between Maitreya and Vidura

Updated : Sep 18, 2019 in Articles

Srimad-Bhagavatam 03.20 – Conversations Between Maitreya and Vidura


Sri Saunaka inquired: O Suta Gosvami, after the earth was again situated
in its orbit, what did Svayambhuva Manu do to show the path of liberation to persons
who were to take birth later on? Saunaka Rsi inquired about Vidura, who was
a great devotee and friend of Lord Krsna and who gave up the company of his elder brother
because the latter, along with his sons, played tricks against the desires of the Lord.
Vidura was born from the body of Veda-vyasa and was not less than he. Thus he accepted
the lotus feet of Krsna wholeheartedly and was attached to His devotees.
Vidura was purified of all passion by wandering in sacred places, and at last he reached Hardwar,
where he met the great sage who knew the science of spiritual life, and he inquired from him.
Saunaka Rsi therefore asked: What more did Vidura inquire from Maitreya?
Saunaka inquired about the conversation between Vidura and Maitreya: There must have been
many narrations of the spotless pastimes of the Lord. The hearing of such narrations is
exactly like bathing in the water of the Ganges, for it can free one from all sinful reactions.
O Suta Gosvami, all good fortune to you! Please narrate the activities of the Lord, which
are all magnanimous and worth glorifying. What sort of devotee can be satiated by hearing
the nectarean pastimes of the Lord? On being asked to speak by the great sages
of Naimisaranya, the son of Romaharsana, Suta Gosvami, whose mind was absorbed in the transcendental
pastimes of the Lord, said: Please hear what I shall now speak.
Suta Gosvami continued: Vidura, the descendant of Bharata, was delighted to hear the story
of the Lord, who, having assumed by His own divine potency the form of a boar, had enacted
the sport of lifting the earth from the bottom of the ocean and indifferently killing the
demon Hiranyaksa. Vidura then spoke to the sage as follows.
Vidura said: Since you know of matters inconceivable to us, tell me, O holy sage, what did Brahma
do to create living beings after evolving the Prajapatis, the progenitors of living
beings? Vidura inquired: How did the Prajapatis [such
progenitors of living entities as Marici and Svayambhuva Manu] create according to the
instruction of Brahma, and how did they evolve this manifested universe?
Did they evolve the creation in conjunction with their respective wives, did they remain
independent in their action, or did they all jointly produce it?
Maitreya said: When the equilibrium of the combination of the three modes of nature was
agitated by the unseen activity of the living entity, by Maha-Visnu and by the force of
time, the total material elements were produced. As impelled by the destiny of the jiva, the
false ego, which is of three kinds, evolved from the mahat-tattva, in which the element
of rajas predominates. From the ego, in turn, evolved many groups of five principles.
Separately unable to produce the material universe, they combined with the help of the
energy of the Supreme Lord and were able to produce a shining egg.
For over one thousand years the shiny egg lay on the waters of the Causal Ocean in the
lifeless state. Then the Lord entered it as Garbhodakasayi Visnu.
From the navel of the Personality of Godhead Garbhodakasayi Visnu sprouted a lotus flower
effulgent like a thousand blazing suns. This lotus flower is the reservoir of all conditioned
souls, and the first living entity who came out of the lotus flower was the omnipotent
Brahma When that Supreme Personality of Godhead who
is lying on the Garbhodaka Ocean entered the heart of Brahma, Brahma brought his intelligence
to bear, and with the intelligence invoked he began to create the universe as it was
before. First of all, Brahma created from his shadow
the coverings of ignorance of the conditioned souls. They are five in number and are called
tamisra, andha-tamisra, tamas, moha and maha-moha. Out of disgust, Brahma threw off the body
of ignorance, and taking this opportunity, Yaksas and Raksasas sprang for possession
of the body, which continued to exist in the form of night. Night is the source of hunger
and thirst. Overpowered by hunger and thirst, they ran
to devour Brahma from all sides and cried, “Spare him not! Eat him up!”
Brahma, the head of the demigods, full of anxiety, asked them, “Do not eat me, but
protect me. You are born from me and have become my sons. Therefore you are Yaksas and
Raksasas.” He then created the chief demigods, who were
shining with the glory of goodness. He dropped before them the effulgent form of daytime,
and the demigods sportingly took possession of it.
Lord Brahma then gave birth to the demons from his buttocks, and they were very fond
of sex. Because they were too lustful, they approached him for copulation.
The worshipful Brahma first laughed at their stupidity, but finding the shameless asuras
close upon him, he grew indignant and ran in great haste out of fear.
He approached the Personality of Godhead, who bestows all boons and who dispels the
agony of His devotees and of those who take shelter of His lotus feet. He manifests His
innumerable transcendental forms for the satisfaction of His devotees.
Lord Brahma, approaching the Lord, addressed Him thus: My Lord, please protect me from
these sinful demons, who were created by me under Your order. They are infuriated by an
appetite for sex and have come to attack me. My Lord, You are the only one capable of ending
the affliction of the distressed and inflicting agony on those who never resort to Your feet.
The Lord, who can distinctly see the minds of others, perceived Brahma’s distress and
said to him: “Cast off this impure body of yours.” Thus commanded by the Lord, Brahma
cast off his body. The body given up by Brahma took the form
of the evening twilight, when the day and night meet, a time which kindles passion.
The asuras, who are passionate by nature, dominated as they are by the element of rajas,
took it for a damsel, whose lotus feet resounded with the tinkling of anklets, whose eyes were
wide with intoxication and whose hips were covered by fine cloth, over which shone a
girdle. Her breasts projected upward because of their
clinging to each other, and they were too contiguous to admit any intervening space.
She had a shapely nose and beautiful teeth; a lovely smile played on her lips, and she
cast a sportful glance at the asuras. Adorned with dark tresses, she hid herself,
as it were, out of shyness. Upon seeing that girl, the asuras were all infatuated with
an appetite for sex. The demons praised her: Oh, what a beauty!
What rare self-control! What a budding youth! In the midst of us all, who are passionately
longing for her, she is moving about like one absolutely free from passion.
Indulging in various speculations about the evening twilight, which appeared to them endowed
with the form of a young woman, the wicked-minded asuras treated her with respect and fondly
spoke to her as follows. Who are you, O pretty girl? Whose wife or
daughter are you, and what can be the object of your appearing before us? Why do you tantalize
us, unfortunate as we are, with the priceless commodity of your beauty?
Whosoever you may be, O beautiful girl, we are fortunate in being able to see you. While
playing with a ball, you have agitated the minds of all onlookers.
O beautiful woman, when you strike the bouncing ball against the ground with your hand again
and again, your lotus feet do not stay in one place. Oppressed by the weight of your
full-grown breasts, your waist becomes fatigued, and your clear vision grows dull, as it were.
Pray braid your comely hair. The asuras, clouded in their understanding,
took the evening twilight to be a beautiful woman showing herself in her alluring form,
and they seized her. With a laugh full of deep significance, the
worshipful Brahma then evolved by his own loveliness, which seemed to enjoy itself by
itself, the hosts of Gandharvas and Apsaras. After that, Brahma gave up that shining and
beloved form of moonlight. Visvavasu and other Gandharvas gladly took possession of it.
The glorious Brahma next evolved from his sloth the ghosts and fiends, but he closed
his eyes when he saw them stand naked with their hair scattered.
The ghosts and hobgoblins took possession of the body thrown off in the form of yawning
by Brahma, the creator of the living entities. This is also known as the sleep which causes
drooling. The hobgoblins and ghosts attack men who are impure, and their attack is spoken
of as insanity. Recognizing himself to be full of desire and
energy, the worshipful Brahma, the creator of the living entities, evolved from his own
invisible form, from his navel, the hosts of Sadhyas and Pitas.
The Pitas themselves took possession of the invisible body, the source of their existence.
It is through the medium of this invisible body that those well versed in the rituals
offer oblations to the Sadhyas and Pitas [in the form of their departed ancestors] on the
occasion of sraddha. Then Lord Brahma, by his ability to be hidden
from vision, created the Siddhas and Vidyadharas and gave them that wonderful form of his known
as the Antardhana. One day, Brahma, the creator of the living
entities, beheld his own reflection in the water, and admiring himself, he evolved Kimpurusas
as well as Kinnaras out of that reflection. The Kimpurusas and Kinnaras took possession
of that shadowy form left by Brahma. That is why they and their spouses sing his praises
by recounting his exploits at every daybreak. Once Brahma lay down with his body stretched
at full length. He was very concerned that the work of creation had not proceeded apace,
and in a sullen mood he gave up that body too.
O dear Vidura, the hair that dropped from that body transformed into snakes, and even
while the body crawled along with its hands and feet contracted, there sprang from it
ferocious serpents and Nagas with their hoods expanded.
One day Brahma, the self-born, the first living creature, felt as if the object of his life
had been accomplished. At that time he evolved from his mind the Manus, who promote the welfare
activities or the universe. The self-possessed creator gave them his own
human form. On seeing the Manus, those who had been created earlier—the demigods, the
Gandharvas and so on—applauded Brahma, the lord of the universe.
They prayed: O creator of the universe, we are glad; what you have produced is well done.
Since ritualistic acts have now been established soundly in this human form, we shall all share
the sacrificial oblations. Having equipped himself with austere penance,
adoration, mental concentration and absorption in devotion, accompanied by dispassion, and
having controlled his senses, Brahma, the self-born living creature, evolved great sages
as his beloved sons. To each one of these sons the unborn creator
of the universe gave a part of his own body, which was characterized by deep meditation,
mental concentration, supernatural power, austerity, adoration
and renunciation.

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