The King said:
Oh! The birth as a man is the most glorious of all births in species. Of what use are other births, even in the heaven, where the association with high-souled people like you, whose minds are purified by (singing and listening to) the glories of Lord Hrshikesa (the Ruler of sense-organs – Visnu), is not available to the full?

It is no wonder (at all) that pure devotion to Lord Hari is generated in the hearts of those whose sins have been destroyed by the dust of your lotus-like feet (when constantly served for a long time). For, my thoughtlessness and ignorance, rooted as it were, in fallacious reasoning, have been completely removed by association with you for a short time (a muhurta).

(As it is not known in what form the knower of the Brahman moves about in the world, the King pays his respects to all). Salutations to the Brahmanas (knower of the Brahman), who are advanced in age, to those (who are) infants, to the youthful ones, to all down to young boys! May (blundering) kings like me receive blessings from the Brahmanas who wander over the earth as avadhutas (ascetics who have renounced all worldly attachment), giving no indication of their greatness.

Sri Suka said:
24. O Parikshit (son of Uttara)! In this way, verily, (Bharata,) the son of a brahmana sage, who was endowed with the highest glory, explained, out of very great compassion, the real nature of the Self to (Rahugana,) the King of Sindhu, even though the latter had insulted him. Rahugana respectfully bowed to the feet of Bharata with great remorse. Bharata with his mind unperturbed by the senses wandered over this earth.

25. Even the King of Sauvira (Rahugana), who realized the real nature of the Supreme Self as taught by a saintly person (like Bharata), repudiated the false notion of identifying the soul with the body, a notion superimposed on the mind by nescience (avidya), O King! Such is, therefore, the greatness of those who resort to the devotees of the glorious Lord.

The King Parikshit said:
26. O great devotee of the Lord! You who possess very wide and varied knowledge have described the path of samsara of the individual souls in indirect and allegorical language. It will not be easily comprehensible to people who are not of trained mind. Hence, the same (allegory) which is difficult to understand be pointed out (explained) in an easily understandable way.

Sri Suka said:

1. Characterized and influenced by special attributes like sattva, auspicious, inauspicious and mixed types of karma (actions) are being committed by the Jiva (individual souls) who wrongly identify the body with the soul. The group of six senses (five cognitive senses and the mind) acts as the portals or media of experience of the beginning-less samsara, consisting of association with and separation from the series of different bodies, created as a result of such karma.

Just as a caravan of merchants, intent on making money, loses its way to find itself in wilderness, this company of Jiva (individual souls) has been set on this difficult path (of samsara), hard to travel like a mountain pass, by Maya (the deluding potency of the Lord) which functions under the Supreme Ruler Visnu. It (the multitude of Jiva) finds itself in the wilderness of samsara, the most inauspicious like a funeral ground. It (the multitude of Jiva) experiences the fruit of their individual karma wrought by means of their bodies. Although all their activities are obstructed by numerous difficulties and rendered fruitless, they do not still betake themselves to the path of bees (votaries of the Lord) who resort to the lotus-like feet of Lord Hari in the form of the preceptor – the feet which remove all the afflictions and agonies of samsara. It is in the forest of samsara that what are called the six senses (mind and the five cognitive senses) act as veritable robbers in practice.

2. For, whatever little wealth, a person acquires through great hardship, should be utilized for the sake of dharma. The wise say that this dharma, characterized by the propitiation of the Supreme Person Himself, is conducive to one’s beatitude in the other world.

But the wealth of a man of perverted intellect and uncontrolled senses, which should have been used for the sake of this dharma (righteous conduct), is wasted in householder’s life on vulgar pleasures of sight, touch, sound, taste and smell (the five objects of sensual pleasures), even as the caravan of merchants with an unworthy leader of uncontrolled mind is robbed of money.

3. And here (in the wilderness of samsara) the so-called members of the family such as wife and children are nothing but wolves and jackals in action. They carry the carefully-guarded wealth of the close-fisted householder, despite his watchfulness and unwillingness (to part with his wealth), like a lamb well-protected (in a pen).

4. For just as a field, the seeds (of weeds, grass, etc) in which are not burnt down, again becomes densely over-grown with a thicket of shrubs, grass and creepers, at the time of sowing, even though it is (regularly) ploughed annually, in the same way, the householder’s life is a field of karma wherein the seeds of karma are never destroyed. This householder’s life is certainly like a box of desires (in which seeds of karma are never completely annihilated, just as the smell of camphor persists even after the exhaustion of camphor-tablets from the camphor-box).

5. There (in the householder’s stage of life), his wealth, which is the very external life-breath of man, is squeezed (sucked) by vile people comparable to gnats and mosquitoes, and (food-grains) by locusts, birds, thieves, rats and others. At times, wandering on this road (of samsara), his mind becomes eclipsed with ignorance (avidya), lust or desires and actions. Hence, possessed of erroneous views, he looks upon the human world, which is as unreal as the (optic illusion of) the city of Gandharvas, to be factually real.

6. There (in the samsara), with a passionate desire for vicious habits of drinking, eating, sexual intercourse and the like, he sometimes pursues mirage-like (unreal) pleasures.

7. Sometimes, just as a man intensely longs for (the warmth of) fire, runs after the fire-goblin, he, with his mind over-powered with the attribute of rajas which is of the same colour as that of gold, ardently yearns to acquire gold which is the abode of all evils, and is a kind of excreta of fire.

8. And again, with an earnest desire for dwelling-places, water, wealth and other numerous amenities of life and means of livelihood, it (the multitude of the Jiva) runs about here and there in the forest of samsara.

9. Sometimes (when) placed on her lap, by a bewitching young woman who is like a whirlwind, his mind is instantly enveloped in ignorance, owing to the force of rajas, and transgresses the boundaries of virtue. With his eyes filled with the dust of lust, his mind is too much charged with passion to cognize (the existence of) the presiding deities of the directions (who watch him).

10. Occasionally, he perceives spontaneously for a moment the unreality of worldly objects. But as he identifies the soul with his body, he loses (his consciousness) about the nature of the soul. With his memory (consciousness) thus led astray, he intensely pursues those very sense-objects which are (illusory) like mirage.

11. Sometimes, its (the company of the Jiva) ears and heart are intensely troubled by the extremely harsh and fiercely vehement threats administered directly, like hooting of the owls, by king’s officers, and indirectly (behind one’s back) like the shrill cries of crickets by enemies.

12. When he has exhausted his fund of merit acquired in the previous life, he is (in the process of) dying though physically alive. He runs after (for help, to) those who are as good as dead though living, and whose wealth is not useful to them either in this world (as they do not enjoy it themselves) or in the world hereafter (as they do not use it for charity, and thereby earn merit), and who are comparable to poisonous trees and creepers like karaskara, kakatunda and to wells full of poisonous water.

13. Sometimes, with his mind perverted owing to association with evil persons, he takes to the path of heretics, which leads him to miseries here and hereafter, like falling into the rocky bed of a waterless river.

14. When he cannot get food for himself even by harassing others, he proceeds to devour even those blades of grass belonging to his father or sons, or to ‘eat up’ his own father or sons.

15. Sometimes, he reaches home which is like a forest-conflagration – a home devoid of enjoyable objects, full of a series of miseries. There, scorched with the fire of deep anguish, he becomes extremely depressed in spirit.

16. To him, wealth is the dearest. It is veritable life itself. Sometimes he is deprived of it by demon-like officers of the king who turn hostile (to him) through change of time. When it happens, he swoons, or appears like a dead man devoid of any symptom of life.

17. Sometimes, imagining, as real, the unreal appearance of his (deceased) father, grandfather in fulfillment of his desire, he enjoys (a momentary) pleasure as in a dream.

18. Sometimes, he desires to ascend (perform in a thorough manner) the mountain of extensively detailed duties prescribed for the householder’s life. But, with his mind distracted with worldly miseries, he sinks into despondency and feels afflicted like one entering (and traversing) a tract full of thorns and sharp-edged gravel.

19. Sometimes, his power and energy being sapped by the (gastric) fire (of hunger raging) within his body, he gets angry with the members of his family.

20. Again, being seized (swallowed) by the boa-constrictor in the form of sleep, and sunk in the blinding darkness (of ignorance), he remains asleep, as if in desolate forest, and he is unconscious of anything else, like a dead body cast off by the relatives.

21. Sometimes, his larger tooth in the form of his egotism is being broken by venomous reptiles (wicked persons). He does not get sleep even for a moment. His consciousness gets dimmer and dimmer as his heart is (deeply) agitated and disturbed. And like a blind man, he falls in a dark, covered well (of ignorance and misery).

22. Sometimes, (he is) on the look out for small drops of honey in the form of sensual pleasure. While he is attempting to snatch away another man’s wife or property, he is beaten to death by the (men of the) king or the husband (of the woman) or the master (of the property), and falls into the bottomless un-surmountable hell.

23. Hence, sages say that karma of both forms (whether Vedic or non-Vedic) performed in this (path of pravrtti) sows the seeds of future series of births (of the doer).

( part 4 )