Dialogue between Narada and Sutanu ||5||

1Narada said: Then I said to Dharmavarma, “Let the wealth remain with you. I shall take it at the time of need” and I came over to the mountain Raivata (i.e. Mt. Girnir in Gujarat).
2I was delighted to see that excellent mountain which rose up like the hand of the Earth beckoning all good men.
3Different kind of trees shine on it like the sons, wife and others (i. e. other members of a household) who have a righteous lord of the house.
4Joyous and contented cuckoos cooed and chirped there Jike groups of pupils who had acquired good knowledge from an excellent preceptor on the earth.
5By performing penance there men can obtain whatever they desire, like a devotee who derives all that he wishes for, after resorting to Sri Mahadeva.
6After reaching the great rocky ridge of that mountain, o son of Prithi, I became delighted by the cool breeze of great fragrance. I thought thus in my mind:
7‘I have now acquired a spot which (ordinarily) is very difficult to get. Now I shall begin (my attempt) for getting the Brahmanas (to be settled there).
8Indeed those Brahmanas who are considered to be the most deserving of all should be looked for by me. Statements of the expounders of the Vedas are thus heard in this connection.
9Just as a rudderless boat is incompetent to cross a waterway, so also even an excellent Brahmana is incapable of redeeming (others) if he does not practise good conduct.
10A Brahmana who does not study (scriptural texts) ceases to be (a Brahmana) like (the quickly extinguishing) grass-fire. Havya (‘sacrificial offerings’) should not be given to him. Indeed the rite of Havana (‘sacrificial oblations’) is not performed on ash (but a blazing fire).
11If deserving persons are ignored and a charitable gift is offered to an undeserving person, it is (as bad as) offering Gavahnika (‘daily measure of food given to a cow’) to a donkey after ignoring a cow.
12The charitable gift offered to a fool is transitory and worthless like the seed sown in a barren land, or milking (a cow) in a broken pot, or the Havya offered on ash.
13If a monetary gift is offered to an undeserving person and contrary to the injunctions, not only does the money so offered vanish but also the remaining merit is destroyed.
14-15The following things acquired by undeserving persons kill them (i.e. cause harm): land and cow destroy worldly pleasures; gold destroys the body; horse causes harm to the eye and garments; ghee causes harm to the brilliance; and gingelly seeds cause harm to the progeny. Hence a person not ]earned should be afraid of accepting monetary gifts and the like. Even with a small quantity of these (if accepted) the unlettered one suffers from pain and disaster like the cow bogged in a marshy place.
16Hence a gift offered to the following is everlasting and imperishable: those with hidden (power of) penance, those who secretly study and recite (the Vedas), those who are devoted only to their wives and those who are tranquil.
17If a gift is offered to a deserving person at the proper place and time and the thing so given is acquired by good means and if it is offered with sincerity and ardent faith, that would be an index of good piety.
18One does not become a deserving person by learning alone or austerities alone. Where there is good conduct along with these two, people call them deserving persons.
19Among these three qualities, learning is the most important quality. One without learning is like a blind man. Those with learning are considered to be blessed with (perfect) eyesight.
20Hence learned persons, persons with perfect vision should be tested (i.e. found by test) in every land. I will make the gift to those who will answer my questions.’
21After thinking thus in my mind, I started from that place and visited the hermitages of great sages, o Phalguna.
22-29I used to sing the following verses in the form of questions . Listen to them. “Who knows Matrika (‘alphabet’)? How many types? What are the syllables? Which Brahmana knows the five times five wonderful house? Who knows how to make the multiformed woman into a single-formed one? Which man of the world knows the Citrakathabandha ? Which man devoted to Mantras and learning knows the great crocodile of the ocean? Which excellent Brahmana knows the eightfold Brahmanahood? Who will tell the ‘root’ days (i.e. the days of the beginning) of the four Yugas? Who knows the ‘root’ days (i.e. the first day of the advent of each Manvantara) of fourteen Manus? On which day did the Sun formerly get his chariot? Who knows that which causes affliction to all living beings like a black serpent? Who shall be the cleverest of all clever people in this cruel and terrible world,(i.e. worldly existence)? Which Brahmana knows and expounds the two paths?” These are my twelve questions. Those excellent Brahmanas who know these, are the greatest among those worthy of being praised. I will be their worshipper for a long time. Singing thus I wandered over the whole of the earth.
30-31They said: “The questions put by you give pain. We do salute you.” Thus I roamed over the entire earth. Even after seeking them over the entire earth, I did not get a single Brahmana. I sat on the top of the Himalaya mountain and began to think again: ‘All the Brahmanas have been seen. What should I do next?’
32Even as I was thinking thus, this struck my mind: I have not gone yet to the excellent village of Kalapa .
33Eighty-four thousand Brahmanas who are devoted to the study (i.e. listening and learning) of the Vedas, live there like embodied forms of penance.
34I will go to that place: Saying so, I started then. Walking through the sky. I crossed the snow (-clad peak) and reached the other side.
35I saw the great jewel of a village situated on that holy spot. It extended to a hundred Yojanas. It was full, of different kinds of trees.
36There were hundreds of excellent hermitages of meritorious persons. All the animals and other living beings did not have any animosity or wickedness inter se.
37The whole village always rendered help to the sages performing sacrifices. Similarly the assistance of good and virtuous persons never ceased (i.e. was always available).
38There was the great abode of sages, the imperishable abode in that village. (The recitation of) Mantras (with words) such as Svaha, Svadha, Vasat(-kara) and Hanta(-kara) never ceased there.
39It is here, o son of Prthi, that the seed for die sake of Kritayuga is kept in reserve. So also that of the Solar and Lunar races as well as that of Brahmanas.
40After reaching that place, I entered the hermitages of Brahmanas. There, excellent Brahmanas were engaged in discussing various doctrines.
41-43They were discussing and arguing mutually. They appeared like the Vedas in embodied forms. Some of those
intelligent ones, of noble souls, refuted others as (crows) scatter the pieces of flesh in the sky. There I raised my hand and said: “O Brahmanas, of what avail are your shouts like the cawings of crows? Let this be heard. If you possess perfect knowledge, clarify my questions, the many unbearable questions I will ask.”
44Brahmanas said: Tell us, o Brahmana, your questions? On hearing them, we shall answer them. This is indeed a great gain for us that Your Honour put these questions.
45With a desire to be the first to answer (and saying “I First”) they (vied with one another and) denied the opportunity to others to answer. Just as brave warriors go ahead saying “l will go first, I will go first”, so also (they came forward).
46-47Then I put to them the old twelve questions. On hearing them, those leading sages said in a playful mood: “O
Brahmana, of what use are these childish questions put by you? These questions will be answered by one among us whom you consider the least learned (i.e. these questions do not deserve to be answered by a learned man).”
48I became surprised thereby. I considered myself contented and blessed. Thinking one of them to be the least learned among them, I said: “Let this one reply.”
49Thereupon that boy named Sutanu, a boy having no boyishness (i.e. ignorance), spoke to me: Sutanu said: My speech proceeds slowly, o Brahmana, on account of your silly (i.e. very simple) questions. Still I shall reply because you consider me the least learned).
50-53aThe letters of the alphabet are known to be fiftytwo. The syllable OM is the first among them. Then there are fourteen vowels. The Sparshas (i.e. the consonants) are thirtythree. Then there is Anusvara (m). There are the following too: Visarjaniya (H=:) and Jihvamullya (HK, HKH) and Upadhmaniya (HP, HPH). Thus these are the fiftytwo. Thus the number has been explained to you. O Brabmana, listen to the meaning of these:
53-55In this context, I will tell you an ancient legend. The events took place formerly in Mithila, in the abode of a
Brahmana. Formerly, in the city of Mithila, there was a Brahmana named Kauthuma. All the lores that are on the earth had been mastered by him, o Brahmana. He exerted himself earnestly in this matter for thirtyone thousand years.
56-57Without the break of even a single moment, he continued to read (i.e. learn). Then he married. After some time a son was born to Kauthuma. Behaving like a dullard, he learned the Matrikas (i.e. letters of the alphabet) only. After reading the Matrikas, he did not learn anything else at all.
58-59Then the father who was extremely dejected and distressed, spoke to that sluggish fellow: “Study, son, study. I will give you sweetmeats. Else I shall give them to others and twist your ears.”
60The Son replied: O father, is it for the sake of sweetmeats that one should study? Should covetousness be the reason? Study for men, it is said, should be for the sake of the attainment of the greatest good.
61Kauthuma said: May you get the duration of the life of god Brahma, since you say this. Let this good sense be in you (for ever). Why do you not study further?
62The Son said: Everything that should be learned and understood has been learnt here (in Matrikas) itself. Thereafter why should the throat be made more and more parched? Tell me.
63The Father said: O boy, you are speaking in a mysterious manner. What thing has been understood by you here. Say it again, o dear one, I wish to hear your words.
64The Son said: Even after learning for thirtyone thousand years, o father, only different kinds of arguments and mistaken notions have been retained by you in your mind.
65Various Dharmas have been mentioned in the Darianas (‘systems of philosophy’) by specifically pointing them out. But your mind is acting like a gaseous matter in regard to them. I shall destroy that.
66-67You are making a study of the instructions but you are not conversant with the real meaning. Those Brahmanas who rely solely on the wordings of the text are indeed biped brutes. Hence I shall tell you those words which will wonderfully act as the solar splendour dispeHing the darkness of delusion .
68Akara (i.e. the letter A) is described (i.e. it means) to be Brahma. Ukara (i.e. letter U) is called Vishnu. Makara (i.e. letter MA) is declared as Rudra. These three are spoken of as Gunas.
69The half Matra at the top of his the greatest one. It is Sadasiva himself. This is the greatness of Omkara. This is the eternal Sruti.
70The greatness of Omkara cannot be exactly described even in ten thousand years, even by means of a crore of Granthas (i.e. books, verses).
71-75Again let what is mentioned as the utmost essence be listened to. The letters beginning with Akara (letter A) and ending with hikara (letter H i.e. Visarga) are the fourteen Manus. They are Svahambhuva, Svarocis, Auttama, Raivata, Tamasa, Cakshusha the sixth one, Vaivasvata the current one, Savarni, Brahmasavarni, Rudrasavarni, Dakshasavarni, Dharmasavarni, Raucya and Bhautya. They have the complexions in the following order: white, pale-white, red, coppery, yellow, tawny, black, dark. smoky, and reddish brown, brown, threecoloured, variegated. karkandhura (i.e. having the colour of the jujube fruit).
76Vaivasvata is Kshakara also, o dear father. He is seen as black in colour (also). The thirty-three letters beginning with letter KA and ending with HA are the (thirty-three) Devas.
77-78The letters beginning with KA and ending with THA. are known as the twelve Adityas, viz. Dhita, Mitra, Aryaman, Sakra, Varuna, Amsu, Bhaga, Vivasvan, Pusan, Savitri the tenth one, Tvashtri the eleventh and Vishnu who is called the twelfth (Aditya).
79-80He is the last born among the Adityas but he is superior to others (in goodness and power). The letters beginning with DA. and ending with BA are known as the eleven Rudras. They are KapaIi, Pingala, Bhima, Virupaksha, Vilohita, Ajaka, Sasana, Sasta, Sambhu, Canda and Bhava.
81-82The eight letters beginning with BH A and ending with SA are considered to be the eight Vasus. They are Dhruva, Ghora, Soma, Apa, Anala, Anila, Pratyusha and Prabhisa. These are known as the eight Vasus. The two letters SA. and HA are reputed as the Asvins. Thus these thirty-three are known.
83-84The Anusvara, Visarga, Jihvamuliya and Upadhmaniya are the four types of living beings, viz. Jarayujas (‘those born of the womb’), Andajas (‘those born of eggs’), Svedajas (‘born of sweat’) and Udbhijjas (‘trees and creepers that break the ground and grow’)· Thus, o dear father, the Jiving beings are declared. This is the implied meaning that is mentioned just now, Listen to the true meaning now.
85Those men who resort to these Devas and are devoted to holy rites, become merged in that eternal position of the half Matra (i.e. Sada siva).
86These living beings belonging to the four species of creatures become liberated, when mentally, verbally and physically they worship Suras.
87If in any treatise these Devas are not honoured by sinners, that treatise should not be held sacred even if god Brahma himself were to speak it out.
88These Devas are well-established in the path of Vedas. In all heretical treatises, they are denounced by men of evil action.
89Those vicious people who transgress these Devas and perform the rites of penance, charitable gifts and repetition of names, do tremble (i..e . wander) in the path of the Maruts.
90Alas! See the might of delusion of those who have not conquered themselves (i.e. controlled themselves). Those sinners study Matrika but do not honour Suras.
91Sutanu said: On hearing his words, the father became extremely surprised. He asked him many questions and he (i.e. the son) replied then and there.
92Your first question about the Matrika has been clarified by me. Listen to the clarification of the second question on the wonderful abode of five times five.
93-94The five elements, the five Karmendriyas (‘organs of Action’), Jnanendriya, (‘organs of sense’), the five Vishayas (‘objects of senses’), the mind, the intellect and Ahamkara (‘Cosmic Ego’), Prakrti and Purusa, the twenty-fifth one, i.e. Sadasiva -these are the principles called five times five . The house made by them is the body. He who understands this exactly, attains Siva.
95Expounders of Vedanta call Buddhi (‘intellect’) as the multi-formed woman.
96Since it refers to various objects, it undergoes varjous forms. But with the contact of the one object-Dharma-it is only one though it might have had many forms.
97-98The knower of this true meaning does not fall into hell. What is not mentioned by the sages, what does not honour and accept the deities, and that which is full of lust: learned men call such statements, Bandham Citrakatham (‘the bondage caused by strange talk’?). Now listen to the (answer of the) fifth (question).
99The one, Lobha (‘greed’) only is the crocodile. It is due to greed that sins are committed.- It is from greed that anger is aroused and lust too takes its origin from greed.
100In fact everything (mentioned below) proceeds from greed: delusion, deception, false prestige, stiffness, desire to take away other people’s wealth, ignorance and absence of wisdom.
101The robbing of other people’s wealth, molestation of other men’s wives, all risky adventures and the commission of atrocities-all these are the results of greed.
102-104aThis greed along with delusion should be conquered by one who has conquered his own self. Hypocrisy, hatred, censure, slander-mongering and malice-all these occur in greedy people who have not won over their own selves. They may be persons knowing all the great Sastras thoroughly, they may have learned much and they may be the dispellcrs of doubts, but being victims of greed they face downfall.
104b-109Those who are affected by greed and anger are devoid of the conduct of Sishtas (‘well-behaved, respected people’). They are like persons with sweet speech who keep a razor within. They are like wells covered with grass. These people who have the motive and capacity try in various ways. These ruthless ones among human kind destroy the ways of all, out of greed. (OR: Out of greed, cruel people destroy all the pathways which people having the motive and the capacity make.) These pretenders to piety are insignificant creatures. They adorn themselves with the external symbols of piety, but they rob the entire universe. These persons who are greedy should always be known as great sinners. Janaka, Yuvanasva-Vnidarbhi Prasenajit and many other overlords of people have attained heaven because they had eschewed greed. Hence those who avoid greed cross the ocean of worldly existence. Others will be swallowed by the crocodile undoubtedly. Then, o Brahmana, understand the eight classes of Brahmanas .
110-111Matra, Brahmana, Srotriya and Anucana, Bhruna, Rishikalpa, Rishi and Muni: these eight types of Brahmanas have been mentioned at the outset in the Vedas. The later ones mentioned in the above list are (consecutively) greater than the earlier ones on account of the excellence of their learning and good conduct.
112A person who has been born in a Brahmana family, his caste alone is that of Brahmana. But if he has not approached (a Guru for learning) and is devoid of holy rites, he is called Matra.
113A person who is straightforward, has eschewed ulterior motives, practises (the precepts of) the Vedas, is quiet and merciful and always utters the truth is called a Brahmana.
114A person who has learned (at last) one branch (of the Vedas) along with its Kalpa and all the Angas and who is habitually engaged in all the six holy duties and is well conversant with Dharma is known by the name Srotriya.
115A Brahmana who is wellconversant with the Vedas and Vedangas and their (essential) principles, who is of pure mind, who has got rid of sins, who is excellent and intelligent and who has a number of disciples eagerly engaged in the study of the Vedas etc. is known as Anucana.
116A person endowed with all the good qualities of Anucana, who has restrained his senses with regular performance of Yajna and study of the Vedas, and who partakes of the food that remains (after everyone has taken his food) is called Bhruna by good people.
117He who has attained all knowledge, both Vedic and secular, who has restrained his senses and who always stays in a hermitage is called Rishikalpa (‘nearly equal to a Rishi’).
118Person who has sublimated his sexual urge, who is very excellent, who has regular and simple food habits, who is free from suspicions, who is truthful and is competent to curse or bless shall be a Rishi.
119A person who refrains (from worldly activities completely), who is conversant with all principles. who is devoid of Just and anger, who is engaged in meditation and is free from activities, who has subdued the senses and who considers a lump of clay and a block of gold on a par is a Muni.
120Those who are exalted by family pedigree, learning and good behaviour are the leading Brahmanas designated as Trisuklas. They are adored in Savana and other sacrificial rites.
121Thus the types of Brahmanas have been described. Now listen to the days of the beginnings of the Yugas . The ninth day in the bright half of the month of Karttika is glorified as the first day of Krtayuga.
122The third day in the bright half of the month of Vaisakha is said to be the first day of Tretayuga. The new-moon day in the month of Magha is known by learned men as the first day of Dvaparayuga.
123The thirteenth day in the dark half of the month of Bhadrapada is known as the first day of Kali. These first days of the Yugas are known as the days causing everlasting benefits if charitable gifts are offered ( on these days).
124One should know that gifts made and Havanas (i.e. Fire worship, oblations to gods) performed on these four Yugadi days (‘first days of the Yugas’) yield ever lasting benefits. Charitable gifts made over a period of hundred years in the course of a Yuga and those made on a single day, i.e. on the first day are of equal benefits.
125-128The first days of the Yugas have ben, described. Now listen to the first days of the Manvantaras . The order is the same as that of the Manvantaras mentioned before (in verses 72 etc.): (1) The ninth day of the bright half of the month of Asvayuj. (2) the twelfth day (of the bright half) of Karttika, (3) the third day of the bright half of the month of Caitra, (4)the third day of the bright half of the month of Bhadrapada, (5) the new-moon day in the month of Phalguna, (6) the eleventh day of (the bright half of the month of Pausa, (7) the tenth day of the month of Asadha, (8) the seventh day of the month of Magha,(9) the eighth day of the dark half of the month of Sravana, (10) the full-moon day of the month of Asadha, (11) the full-moon day in the month of Karttika, (12) the full-moon day of the month of Phalguna, (13) the full-moon day of the month of Caitra, and ( 14) the full-moon day of the month of Jyestha. These are the first days of the Manvantara; causing everlasting benefits for the charitable gifts made on these days.
129The seventh day in the month of Magha called by Brahmanas Rathasaptami is the day on which formerly the Sun obtained the chariot.
130If charitable gifts are made, Havana is performed or sacrifice is made on that day, all these yieJd everlasting benefit. It eradicates all poverty and it is considered as causing pleasure to the Sun.
131-132Listen exactly to that person whom learned men call Nityodvejaka (‘one who always causes affliction to living beings’). He who begs everyday cannot attain heaven. Just like thieves. he afflicts the living beings. That man of sinful soul goes to Naraka (‘Hell’) since he causes perpetual affliction (to others).
133The person who. having pondered over: ‘By what acts (of mine) have I been born here? Where (shall) I have to go from this place’, adopted suitable measures, is called Daksha-daksha (‘cleverest of all the clever people’).
134In the course of eight months, in a day, in the early stage of life or in the course of the whole life a person must do that Karman (‘act’) whereby he attains happiness in the end.
135The expounders of Vedanta have mentioned two paths-that of Arcis (‘flame, bright light’) and that of Dhuma
(‘smoke’). The person who proceeds through the path of Dhuma returns (to Samsara). He who goes along the path of Arcis attains liberation.
136The path of Dhuma is attained through Yajnas and the path of Arcis is obtained through Naishkarmya (i.e. cessation of all activities with motives and desires). The path other than these two is called Pakhanda (‘heretic path’).
137He who does not accept Devas or performs none of the holy rites enjoined by Manu, does not go through any of these two paths. This is the essential principle.
138Thus o excellent Brahmana, your questions have been clarified in accordance with my capacity. Tell me whether it is good or otherwise. Reveal yourself too.