Chapter VII

On Ahamkâra

1. Vyâsa said :– O king! The Dharma’s son, of excellent prowess, hearing thus, the words of these damsels, thought within himself, thus :– what shall I do under the above circumstances.

2. If I indulge now in sexual pleasures, I will be an object of laughter amongst the Munis. This present trouble has, no doubt, arisen from my Ahamkâra (egoism). This Ahamkâra is the first and foremost in ruining one’s Dharma.

3-5. The wise sages have declared this Ahamkâra as the root of this tree of world. I did not observe the vow of silence on seeing those damsels come here; I have held much conversations with them; therefore I have got into this troublesome anxiety and sorrow. I have created these damsels at the expense of my Dharma and Tapasyâ. The beautiful and lovely damsels sent by Indra are now full of lust; and are bent on ruining my tapasayâ. Now if through Ahamkâra I had not created the damsels, I would not have fallen into this difficulty. Now I am caught firmly in the meshes of my own creation like a spider; what am I to do next!

6-7. If I abandon these damsels, thinking that there is no necessity to reconsider the matter, then these would be broken hearted; and they would go away cursing me? Yet I would be free from this present danger at least and then be able to practise excellent tapasyâ in a lonely place. Therefore, now, I will get angry and tell these damsels go away from me.

8. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Muni Nârâyana thought that he would become thus happy; but, at the next moment, he discussed in his mind thus :–

9. The second great enemy is anger; it is greater than causing hurt to others; and it is greater than lust and avarice.

10. Out of anger people commit murder; this murder is the source of hell and is giving pains to all.

11. As trees, rubbing against each other, generate fire; and are themselves burnt up in this fire, so fire arising from this body ultimately burns this body to death.

12. Vyâsa said :– The younger brother Nara on seeing his elder brother anxious and lowspirited, spoke out what is right, as follows :–

13. O Nârâyana! You are very intelligent and very good; therefore reliquish this feeling of anger and betake to quietude and peace, and kill the dreadful anger.

14. Do you not remember that it is through this Ahamkâra and anger that our tapasyâ was destroyed on a previous occasion; and we had to fight severely with Prahlâda, the Lord of the Asuras for one full divine thousand years.

15-16. O Lord of the Devas! We were put to much difficulties then; therefore O Lord of the Munis! Get rid of this anger; be quiet! The sages declare the peace is the root cause and the only object of Tapasyâ.

17.Vyâsa said :– On hearing these words of his younger brother Nara, the Dharma’s son Nârâyana took to peace.

18. Janamejaya said :– O Lord of the Munis! The high souled Prahlâda was a devotee of Visnu and of a peace loving heart: how it was that, in the ancient days, the battle took place between him and these Risis; how could the Risis fight? There is this great doubt in my mind.

19-20. These two Dharma’s sons were ascetics and peace loving; how the fight could come to pass between these and the Daityâsuras? How did these two Risis fight with the high souled Prahlâda?

21-22. Prahlâda was very religious, full of knowledge and very much devoted to Visnu. Nara Nârâyana were Sattvik and ascetics; therefore if there had occurred enmity between those, it appears that the religion and asceticism, Tapasyâ and Dharma were matters in name only; and the labour was spent in vain in the golden age even. What was the value of asceticism and meditation and muttering silently the mantras! No one can make out.

23. Oh! Persons like them could not conquer their hearts full of anger and egoism! Anger and jealousy cannot spring unless there be at the bottom a feeling of egoism (Ahamkâra).

24. All the passions, lust, greed, anger, etc., come out of Ahamkâra (egoism), there is no doubt of it; one hundred lakh years of severe asceticism are rendered quite useless by the cropping up afterwards of a bit of Ahamkâra.

25. As darkness is dispelled entirely on sunrise, so no trace of religious merit can exist on the rising of a bit of Ahamkâra.

26. When Prahlâda could fight with S’rî Bhagavân Hari, then, Oh! all his merits in this world are rendered of no use whatsoever.

27. Where is the religious merit and where is peace when the quiet souled persons Nara Nârâyana, the two Risis began to fight, without paying any heed to their highest end, the Tapasyâ?

28. When Ahamkâra became invincible by the two Risis, then what can be expected from the weak trivial persons like us in the matter of subjugating this Ahamkâra?

29. Who can be free from Ahamkâra in these three worlds, when the high souled persons like the above were not free from it? I am now quite confident that, in this Universe, no body was ever before free from Ahamkâra nor will there be any such in the distant future.

30. One can be free if bound by an iron or a wooden chain; but when one is pierced by Ahamkâra, one can never become free from it.

31. This whole Universe, moving and unmoving, is rolling in this Samsâra (migration and transmigration) polluted by urine and faeces, being covered by Ahamkâra.

32. Where is, then the Brahmâ Jñana? O Good One in vows! The Karma theory, according to the Mimâmsakas, seems reasonable and true.

33. O Muni! What can you expect from the weak-minded persons like me in this Kali yuga, when the great persons are always overpowered with lust, anger, etc.

34-35. Vyâsa said :– O Descendant of Bharata! How can the effect be different from its cause? Gold and golden ear-rings though different in form owing to upâdhis, are both similar to their original cause, the metal gold. Thread is the cause of cloth; therefore as cloth cannot be different from its thread, so this whole universe, moving and unmoving, is sprung from Ahamkâra; then how can it be free from Ahamkâra?

36. All this, moving and unmoving, including a blade of grass, are fashioned out of the three qualities of Mâyâ; so if it be formed of those qualities, what repentance can come to those who are wise and know every phenomenon as unreal?

37. O Best of kings! Brahmâ, Visnu or Mahes’a, even these are all rolling in this vast ocean of Samsâra, being bewildered and fascinated by Ahamkâra.

38. The great sages like Vas’istha, Nârada and the other Munis are frequently taking their births in this Samsâra.

39. In this Trilokî, there is not even one embodied soul, who is entirely free from this Mâyâ and has become quiet and immersed in the high bliss of the Supreme Self.

40. O Best of kings! Lust, anger, avarice, and fascination, all, arise from Ahamkâra. These do not leave any embodied person.

41-42. Studying all the Vedas and Purânas, going to all the sacred places pilgrimages, making charities, thinking on Paramâtman and worshipping the gods, doing all these, the people still get attached to sensual objects and act like a thief.

43. O Son of Kuru! In the three yugas, the Satya, Tretâ, Dwâpara, Dharma had been pierced and wounded very much; what to say of Dharma in this Kali Yuga!

44. You will find quarrels, avarice, anger raging always in this Kali yuga. Therefore there is no wonder that you will not find any one thinking and doing what is worth thinking, and doing what is not worth doing?

45. Free from envy, anger, and jealousy, such persons are rare now-a-days in this Kali yuga. Some peaceful persons exist here and there to keep up the ideal.

46. The king said :– O Muni! They are blessed and holy who are free from this fascination of Mâyâ, self controlled, who have conquered their passions, and who follow good conduct. They have risen above the Trilokî.

47. O Best of Munis! My high minded father put a dead serpent round the neck of an ascetic without any fault; I am very sorry to think of his act.

48. Therefore, O Muni ! Kindly suggest any means by which I can now redress that act. O Bhagavan! I do not know what will be the result of this act, committed out of the bewildering of intellect.

49. Fools in search of honey see only honey before them but not the falls, whence they might tumble down and die. So the stupid men do disgraceful acts and do not get afraid of the tortures of hell.

50. Kindly describe, in detail, how the fight incurred between Prahlâda and Nârâyana in ancient times.

51. How was it that Prahlâda went out of Pâtâla (the nether regions) and went to the great holy place, the hermitage of Badarikas’rama in the Sârasvata country, the great place for pilgrimage.

52. O Muni! What was it that led the best of the Munis, the two ascetics to fight with Prahlâda?

53. The enmity springs where there is wealth, wife, or land. The two Maharsis were desireless, had nothing of these; how, then, without any cause, they fought such a battle!

54. Prahlâda was also very religious and knew that those two Risis were the Devas; knowing this, why did he fight with them?

55. So describe in detail the cause of all these.

Here ends the Seventh Chapter in the 4th Book of S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses on Ahamkâra by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

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