On birth of Bhagavata by Bhadra ||20||
1Sri Krsna said: -O lord of birds, Bhadra, the daughter of Nala, desired lord Vishnu to be her husband. As she, who was auspicious by merit, worshipped and circumambulated the lord she was called Bhadra.
2To Bhadra the maiden, the father Nala spoke thus. O Bhadra, why do, you trouble your body (by worshipping the lord). What is the fruit of this suffering, tell me, O daughter.
3Bhadra said: -Dear father, now hear. None can declare the gain derivable from paying homage to lord Vishnu.
4Even then, I shall tell you something, as far as I can, just for the welfare of the world. The compassionate lord Vishnu is alone my guide. I am a slave of his slaves. May he protect me. I bow to his feet. Saying so, she prostrated at the feet of the lord.
5The wise declare that homage to Hari, if it is not accompanied by the prescribed worship is fruitless. O father, now, hear details. One should bow to lord. Vishnu by reciting the formula: O lord of Rama, O lord, of Madhu, O lord of Sarasvati, homage to thee.’’ (Bhadra continued].
6(O father) the lord of lords is pleased not so much by worship as by offering homage to him or by reciting his name.
7O father, people attain health and prosperity by offering homage to him. But such prosperity and good health are valueless. They occasion suffering in hell.
8-9Yama, puts such people in the mortar and crushes them with pestle. If there be people who do not circumambulate the lord Yama crushes their feet in the Talayantra. If there be people who do not utter the name of Hui and Krishna, Yama extracts their tongue which he grinds in the mortar.
10-12What avails residence in Kasi or death at Prayaga or in the battlefield or performance of a sacrifice or visit to holy shrine or deep study with sharp intellect, if the name of lord Hari is not uttered or if homage is not paid to him. If there be people who do not circumambulate. the lord, their activities come to nothing. Thus, say the learned people.
13Offering homage to the lord and uttering his name are superior to the worship rendered unto him. Hence, one should pay homage to Vishnu as well as utter his name, O father.
14Rare is to attain human life which is mortal and evanescent as the bubble in waters. O father, do not trust your body, make no distinction, between your own and other people.
15So far you have not rendered homage to the lord, not uttered his name. The hour of death is quite uncertain. Do not trust your body, O lord.
16O lord of lords, Nala heard her speech simple and straight forward. He paid homage and at his best circumambulated the lord. She too did likewise.
17-19Continuing the tradition for long and meditating on lord Narayana she gave up her body at last. As she meditated, on Hari at the hour of death she was born to the sister of my father Vasudeva. She was named Kaikeyi and was also called Bhadra as she was possessed of auspiciousness.
20Her five brothers Kaikeyas gave her to me in marriage, O best of birds.
21I am going to tell you about the circumstances how Mitravinda was married. O noble lord of birds now hear attentively.
22Mitravinda said: -In the previous creation. Mitravinda performed at will several sacrifices, Agnisoma and others for attaining Hari as friend.
23There being many ways to attain her purpose, Matravinda thought of a sure one. She found that the hearing of the Sattvika Puranas was the best way.
24That Purana alone is worthy of hearing which narrates the merits of Vishnu and Vayu. One should hear that Purana out of faith and devotion for Vishnu. There could be no better way of attaining the lord.
25If they hear a Purana which contains no reference to Vishnu, their life becomes miserable. Their baths of purification, their repetition of lord’s name, their five great sacrifices, their observance of vows, their performance of Ishtapurta and Kricchra Candrayana are rendered useless. All such performances are fruitless including the ceremony of initiation in the Vaishnava cult, though it may have been properly performed, if it is devoid of Hari’s narrative.
26The wise declare that the life of such people is rendered fruitless as have no heard the Bhagavata or the Brahma-Kandha of the present Purana in the company of their preceptor or the ‘followers’ of the Bhagavata sect. Such is the efficacy of the illustrious narrative of the glorious lord.
27One should not linger even for a moment where there is no stream in the form of lord’s narrative, no resort at the feet of Narayana, and no talk about the lord.
28-29In the village, where there is no recital of the Bhagavata Purana, no follower of the Bhagavata cult who can taste the flavour of the Bhagavata verses, where there is no exegesis or commentary on the supreme songs of the lord or his one thousand names, where there are no people who understand the substance thereof, one should not live even for a moment.
30The day is wasted if there is no talk of lord Vishnu, no narrative of his divine tale. Though he has human form, which is rare to attain his life is wasted.
31The ear adorned with the divine flowers looks not so beautiful as the one adorned by the ornaments in the form of Vishnus tale.
32Fruitful is the life of the people who narrate or listen to the tale of the lord as told in the Bhagavata Purana.
33Those who clad in head dress and bodice hear or recite the narrative of the lord are alone worthy-of respect in the world, not those who are addicted to vicious objects of senses.
34Those who recite the Bhagavata Purana out of greed for riches or those who know but do not reveal the secret of the Bhagavata go to Yamas abode.
35-37Those who create interest in Dharma and Karma Kandhas but not in the Brahma Kandha and those who recite the Purana by accepting fee go to Yamas abode. Those alone are worthy of recital who remain satisfied with whatever money is offered willingly by devotees.
38Those who are extremely greedy of wealth have no right to recite this Purana.
39For the well-being of the people who regard lord Vishnu and none else to be all-pervading, lord alone undertakes the charge. The pious followers of lord Vishnu fear no misfortune or calamity.
40The lord bestows the fruits of auspicious and inauspicious Karmans. One should never endeavour for the accumulation of wealth, rather one should fix ones mind in devotion for Vishnu.
41One should, take bath for purification, recite sacred mantra, dispose articles of worship.
Being purified thus, he who is well versed in the Puranas should recite regularly the Bhagavata Purana every day.
42Acquisition of wealth, knowledge of the Vedas and Sastras and the narrative of Vishnu come as a result of previous auspicious activities. Of these listening to Hari is very rare.
43One should enjoy the essence of the Bhagavata Purana a rare thing in this mortal world. One should enjoy the essence so that tears of joy may trickle down the eye-a phenomenon very rare to occur.
44-46Listening to the essence of the Bhagavata Parana and then retaining the same in memory is an act hard to accomplish. Rare is the achieving of desire and indignation, absorption in methidathion, association with the pious Vaisnavas. The omission of such occurrences makes even the wise as the target of doubt.
47-48Therefore, I remained always engaged in listening to the auspicious tale of Hari. I recited his name, heard his tale so long as I lived. After death, I was born on earth from the womb of Sumitra, the sister of Vasudeva.
49Since she obtained Hari as Mitra (as friend) I was named Mitravinda.
50In the Svayamvara, Mitravinda discarded all candidates who had come to woo her and put garland around my neck as a token of acceptance. I then conquered all the kings and reached home with her. O lord of birds.