' Bharata Gita '

Rahugana said:

1. Salutations to you again and again! You, who are the prime cause of the universe (God), who have assumed a human form (for the protection of the world), and who, in the light of supremely blissful self-realization, have regarded your body as insignificant! I bow to you, O master of yoga, who have concealed your realization of the Eternal (Supreme Soul) in the guise of a depraved brahmana.

The praise of the brahmana is apparently a eulogy of the antaryamin.

2. My vision (power of understanding) has been thoroughly poisoned (perverted) by the bite of the serpent in the form of (my) false identification of the self with this worthless body. Your words act like a nectarine medicine on me, just as a palatable specific medicine (does) to a patient suffering from high fever, or the ice-cold water (or the water of the Ganges) is soothing to a person scorched by the heat of the summer.

3. I shall, therefore, refer my doubts to you later on. My mind is full of curiosity. Now, be pleased to explain to me, in easily intelligible language, couched in yogic terms, about the Soul.

4. O lord of yoga! My mind fails to grasp (in bewilderment, the significance of) your statement that the (actual) act (of carrying a load) and its effect (the resultant fatigue), though visible (directly), are limited to (and not contradicted in) practical life (vyavahara), but they will not easily stand the test of philosophic investigation.

The Brahmana replied:
5. That which has come to be known as ‘this person’ (the palanquin bearer) is a modification of the earth which moves over the earth owing to some (inexplicable) cause, O King! Above the feet of this (modification of the earth called ‘this person’) are two ankles, two shanks, two knees, two thighs, the waist, the chest, the neck and the two shoulders.

6. On the shoulder is the wooden palanquin wherein is seated, by designation, ‘the king of Sauviras’, which is nothing but another modification of the earth. You identify yourself with it (that modification of the earth). Being blinded with arrogant pride, you feel that you are the king of the Sindhu country.

7. You are hard-hearted, as you have caught hold of these pitiable (palanquin-bearers) who are already highly afflicted with hardships, and have forced them to labour without remuneration. Still you brag about as being ‘the protector of the people’. Shamelessly insolent as you are, you will not look respectable in the assemblies of the wise.

8. We know that all the mobile and the immobile creation is always born out of and re-assimilated into the earth only. The difference in name is due to the difference in its product or functions. Let it be investigated if there be any other real cause or basis deducible from its effect and work (functions).

9. (The substance) that is denoted by the word ‘earth’ is unreal as (will be) explained thus. The earth (in its ultimate analysis) disaggregates itself into atoms. The atoms, the aggregate of which is the particular (element, the earth), are hypothetical postulated by mind (of the theorists), through ignorance. (They do not exist on their own independently.)

10. Similarly, know that, what is thin or fat, small or big, cause or effect, sentient or in-sentient or that which has a second (all the duality) is brought about by Maya in the name of substance (five elements), nature (the changeability of the phenomenal world), samskaras (impressions unconsciously left on the subtle body by past actions – vasanas), Time and destiny (karma).

11. Knowledge alone is pure (unsullied by passion or actions), absolutely real, one (without any contradiction), devoid of any aspect of in-ness or out-ness, perfect and full, direct (self-manifesting), unchangeable, and designated as Bhagavan (the venerable possessor of six excellences such as lordship of the universe). They (the sages) call it (Knowledge) by the term ‘Vasudeva’.

12. O Rahugana! This Knowledge (the Brahman) is not attained through austere penance, Vedic sacrifices, charitable distribution of food, performance of duties prescribed for a householder (such as honorary social service), the study of the Veda or propitiation of (the presiding deities of) water and fire, and the sun. (It is attainable only) by being sprinkled with the dust of the feet of the exalted souls (while rendering service to the sages).

13. Here (in the congregation of these exalted persons) the discourses on the excellent attributes of the Lord are always held. These prohibit all talk of vulgar worldly topics. By listening daily to these (holy discourses), the pure mind of the seeker of liberation is concentrated on Lord Vasudeva.

14. I was formerly a king called Bharata who, freeing himself from the bondage of attachment to all things seen or heard (objects obtainable here and hereafter), endeavoured for propitiation of the Lord, but was frustrated (in my endeavour) through my attachment to a deer, and was, therefore, re-born as a deer.

15. Owing to the efficacy of my devoted worship of Krisna, that memory (of my previous birth) was not lost even in my birth as the deer, O Warrior! Hence, being unattached to and afraid of association with the society, I roam about without disclosing my real physical identity.

16. Therefore, a man should, in this very world, completely cut off (the ties of) delusion by the sword of knowledge obtained through the blessed company of the great souls who are free from attachment. Having revived the memory (consciousness of God) by recounting and hearing (meditating upon) the glories of Hari, one reaches the end of this long road of samsara and attains to the Lord.

( part 2 )