' Bharata Gita '

The Bharata-Gita is contained in chapters 11 to 14 of Skandha V of Srimad Bhagavata.

The Brahmana said:

You are (really) ignorant. You (simply) give verbal expression to the arguments (which are apparently similar to those) of the learned. You will not, therefore, be (considered as) pre-eminent (in any way) among those who are supremely wise; for, the sages never speak of mundane relation (the master-servant relation) along with their investigation into (the nature of) Reality. You regard the master-servant relation as real, but the sages do not recognize it as such.

(Similarly,) the ritualistic way, karma-kanda, described in the Veda is also not true. In the highly glittering flowery descriptions in the Vedic texts relating to the detailed study of the minute rituals connected with the householder’s life, no light is definitely thrown on the exposition of the Truth which is pure (that is, free from the contamination of injury (himsa), etc) and good (devoid of passions like love, hate) as a rule. (Persons who dedicate all their karma to God are eligible for such exposition of Truth).

Not even the most authoritative Vedic (Upanisadic) texts can directly impart the comprehension of the Truth to a person who, on the analogy of (the unreal, evanescent and hence worthless pleasures enjoyed in) a dream, does not conclude that the (dreamlike) pleasures in the householder’s life (and those in heaven accruing from sacrifices) are by themselves worth casting off.

As long as the mind of a man is under the dominating influence of sattva, rajas or tamas, it goes on producing unchecked merit or sin through his sense-organs of perception and action.

The mind is a store-house of impressions unconsciously left by the good or bad actions in the past life; it is attached to objects of pleasures; it is tossed about by gunas; it is affected by passions; and it is the chief among sixteen constituents (elements, sense-organs, etc) of the linga sarira (the subtle body). It assumes different forms (man, beast, etc) under different names, and extends to (causes) higher or lower forms of life in various kinds of physical bodies.

The mind, the limiting condition created (and imposed upon the soul) by Maya, entices it (the Jiva) in the cycle of samsara. By embracing the soul associated with it, it subjects the Jiva to pleasure, pain and other inevitable fruits of karma (such as delusion) at the proper time (of fruition).

So long as the mind exists, this phenomenon of waking and dream states manifests itself within the range of perception of the kshetrajna. It is hence that they (the wise ones) say that the mind is the cause of the lower state – samsara (the product of gunas) and of the higher state – moksha (liberation), which is beyond the range of all gunas.

If the mind is attached to the objects of senses (which are the products of gunas), it leads the creature to misery (samsara). If it is free from and unattached to them, it takes the Jiva to eternal happiness (moksha – liberation). Just as a lamp, which emanates flames mixed with soot while it consumes its wick soaked in ghee, later (after the consumption of ghee) betakes itself to its original state, the mind, which is attached to the objects of senses and (consequent) activities, resorts to various courses, and eventually returns to its true original self, when unattached (to them).

The courses (of the activities) of the mind are eleven – five in relation to the organs of action, five with reference to the senses of perception and its own sense of I-ness. The wise say that the cognitive organs, the subtle elements and the body are (respectively) the eleven grounds (receptacles) for these (courses), O Warrior!

Smell, form, touch, taste and sound are the five objects of cognitive organs. Evacuation (of bowels), copulation, locomotion, verbal expression and manipulation are the functions of the motor organs. The eleventh is the body associated with the I-ness

These eleven modifications (tendencies) of the mind multiply into hundreds, thousands and millions with reference to objects, the nature of things, the effect of previous experience, the un-manifested effect of karma (acts), the agitating factor Time, etc. They owe their existence to the Kshetrajna (the Supreme Soul) and not to each other or to their own self.

The Kshetrajna is beyond the changes. These vrttis do not proceed from the Jiva, too. Nor do they spring from their mutual action and reaction, nor from themselves. Hence all these are mithya –unreal though they are existent as fleeting in time.

The Supreme Soul, pure and unaffected, stands as a witness to the continuous stream of states of the mind which are sometimes manifest (in the waking and dream states) and sometimes un-manifest (as in deep sleep). The mind, a upadhi of the Jiva, is a creation of Maya, and of impure activity.

The Supreme Soul is all-pervading, the prime cause of the perfect (in all respects), ever-present, self-luminous (not depending on anything for the proof of its existence), devoid of birth (and death), the ruler of gods like Brahma, Narayana (the abode of the world of beings), the venerable Lord (of six excellences), Vasudeva (the receptacle of all beings) and Himself, the Inner-dweller and Controller of all Jiva by His Maya.

Just as air, entering in the form of breath, controls both the mobile and the immobile beings, so does the Supreme Lord Vasudeva, the all-pervading Soul, enter this universe (as the Inner Controller).

O lord of men! A man continues to wander in the samsara so long as he has not shaken off Maya by the dawn of knowledge, become free of attachments, conquered the six enemies (passions like lust, anger, avarice, etc) and has not realized his true self.

(He continues to wander) so long as he does not understand that the mind, the conditioning environment of the soul, is the field of the miseries of samsara (the cycle of birth and death), and the source of a continuous series of grieves, delusions, diseases, passions such as avarice and hatred, and the creator of the feeling of mine-ness.

Therefore, being very careful and armed with the missile in the form of the feet of Lord Hari, who is the preceptor, kill this enemy (in the form of the mind) of formidable power that has grown in strength through your negligence, and that, though unreal in itself, is capable of deluding you about (the true nature of) your soul.

Rahugana said:

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.

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.

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.

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:
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.

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.

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.

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).

(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.)

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).

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’.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Brahmana continued:

Like unto a company of merchants intent on acquisition of wealth, this multitude of Jiva, desirous of and solely devoted to the attainment of pleasure, has been put by Prakrti or Maya on the path (of pravrtti – active worldly life) which is unending and very difficult to traverse. It (the multitude of Jiva) sets its eye (attention) on the activities actuated and dominated by (the attributes of) sattva, rajas and tamas. While wandering (in search of pleasure) in the forest of samsara (worldly existence), it does not find any bliss.

In that forest, these six bandits (mind and the five sense-organs) perforce rob the caravan, captained by an evil-minded leader, O King! Just as wolves carry away the sheep, jackals (in the form of relatives), finding entry into their camp, carry away careless members (devoid of spiritual outlook).

In the forest, impregnable with the dense growth of a mass of creepers, grass, clumps of trees and bushes, the caravan was harassed by sharp stinging gnats and mosquitoes. (In the householder’s life full of passions and actions, a man is harassed by wicked people.) At some places they find the city of Gandharvas in the sky. (The phenomenon is fictitious; so is one’s body). At other places, they witness fleeting spirits in the form of fire brands.

O (King Rahugana!) With their intellect (mind) naturally anxious to find some dwelling-place, water and wealth, the company of merchants ran here and there in the jungle. And at some places, with eyes blinded with dust, they did not distinguish the directions darkened with the dust whipped up by whirl-winds.

(Here the whirl-wind stands for a woman who raises erotic sentiments which blind man to the existence of the deities presiding over the directions, who stand witness to his actions).

With their ears acutely pained by the shrill cries of unseen crickets (back-biting by evil-minded persons) and their minds agitated by the hooting of the owls (harsh words, scolding directly addressed by enemies, persons in authority, etc), they resorted to unholy trees (irreligious persons) when tormented with hunger. At some places (when thirsty), they ran after the mirage (fruitless objects of worldly pleasure).

The reference to ‘unholy trees’ is to the superstition that the shade of the vibhitaka tree is inauspicious by day, that of the pippala tree by night and that of the apple tree both by day and night. This is an allegory to approaching irreligious persons for help.

At some places they went towards beds of dry rivers (only to get their limbs bruised by falling, instead of getting water); being short of food, they begged for it of one another. At some places, they approached the forest conflagration only to get scorched; at other places, they found to their despair that they were deprived of their life (-like wealth) by Yakshas.

The allegory is to the dry river-beds being the schools of non-believers which lead to misery in the other world. The forest-fire is like the house-hold where the Jiva is tormented with miseries. The Yakshas are like the servants of the king (government) who squeeze out life-like wealth of men.

At some other places, they, deprived of their possessions by the local village chiefs, expert in robbery became mentally despondent. Overcome with grief and bewildered, they fainted. At some places, they entered an imaginary city of Gandharvas (the company of loving near relatives) and felt overjoyed for a while.

At some places, being desirous of scaling a mountain (attempting a great undertaking) they proceeded with the soles of their feet pierced with thorns and cut with gravel. And they sat down depressed in spirit. Tormented at every step by the inner (gastric) fire (hunger) and with the (unbearable) responsibility of maintaining) a large group, they got angry with themselves.

Sometimes, overcome by the boa-constrictor (sleep), they lay like the dead, abandoned in a jungle and were not conscious of anything. Sometimes, bitten by fierce venomous snakes, they became blind and fell into wells with their openings hidden with overgrown grass and plants. They lay immersed in darkness (misery and ignorance).

At times (when) they sought honey of low quality, they were harassed and humiliated by bees. If they were successful in their attempt with great difficulty, others robbed of them perforce. While they were engaged in fighting among themselves, others carried off that booty.

The allegory is to one courting another man’s wife. In such attempt, one is insulted and beaten up by the husband of that woman. Even if one is successful temporarily, others seek to rob one of one’s booty.

And sometimes, (at some places), they sat down incapable of protecting themselves against (warding off) cold, heat, storm and showers of rain; at some other places, they sold (personal goods) among themselves, and became enemies of each other by fraudulent money-dealings.

Now and then, destitute of wealth and devoid of beds, blankets, shelter and conveyance, they begged of one another. Not getting the desired objects, they cast a coveting glance at another man’s property and got insulted.

(Though) they developed hostile relations with each other by mutual (fraudulent) monetary transactions, they entered into marital relations with each other. Thus they proceeded along their path, famished, suffering great difficulties, financial losses and other calamities (including feelings of hatred).

The caravan of merchants thus proceeded on its journey leaving behind those that were dead at various places, and taking with them the new born babes. Nobody has as yet returned to its starting place. Nor does anyone (howsoever powerful) betake to yoga which lies at the terminus (of the road), O Warrior!

All those resolute and high minded warriors who have conquered the great elephants guarding the eight directions and who, claiming the earth as their own, have contracted hostility (with each other), shall lie dead on the battlefield. But they do not attain to the place (the region of Visnu) where the recluse (the sanyasin) who has been free from enmity, reaches.

At some places, it (the caravan, as it still continues to move without end,) clings to the arms (tender shoots) of creepers (that is, the men rest on the tender arms of women); it longs to listen to the indistinct chirping of birds which have resorted to the caravan (listen to the sweet indistinct warbling of children clinging to their mothers). And it feels strongly attached to them. Occasionally, at other places, it is afraid of a multitude of lions and makes friends with cranes, herons and vultures (being afraid of death, the people enter the fold of vile, cruel heretics).

Being deceived by them, it (the caravan of merchants) tries to enter the flock of swans (knowing the futility of the false faiths, people try to enter brahmanic fold). But not liking their pious way of life (not finding the brahmanic way of life to their liking), it approaches the monkeys (takes to the monkey-like behaviour of depraved people). By the (amorous) sports natural to that species, it (the caravan) gets its senses gratified (with sensual pleasures) and forgets the (approaching) end of life, while looking at the faces of each other.

Amusing himself in the trees (worldly objects observed in life), he (a member of the caravan) fondly loves his children and wife. Being powerless in his own bondage, he becomes void of judgment owing to the lust for sexual enjoyment. Some times falling into a valley due to inadvertence, he catches hold of a creeper and remains in a hanging position, afraid of the elephant (below). (Owing to the acts done in previous lives, he continues to live in fear of impending death).

If, by a lucky chance, he, anyhow, overcomes this calamity, he again enters the company of merchants (takes to the path of pravrtti or active worldly life), O vanquisher of enemies! A person who is set on this path (pravrtti) by Maya (the unborn) continues to wander in samsara. No such person has as yet perceived the highest purushartha (Moksha or Liberation).

O Rahugana! Even you are also set on this track (by Maya). You lay down your scepter (desist from violence to living beings) and make friends with all beings. With your mind unattached to worldly pleasure and arming yourself with the sword of knowledge sharpened by (dedicated) service to Hari, get to the other end of this road (of samsara).

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:
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.

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:
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:

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.

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.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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).

If he (the Jiva) escapes the bondage (punishment meted out by the king, the woman’s husband or the master of the property), one Devadatta wrests the prize away from him, and from him Visnumitra (another) takes it away, and so on endlessly. None retains permanently the objects of enjoyment.

And sometimes, incapable of warding off miserable conditions like biting cold winds, and others caused by super-human agencies or by elements (or created by beings), or pertaining to his body, he sinks despondently in unending anxieties.

Sometimes, while transacting business with others, if he deceitfully takes away a petty amount, say, twenty cowries or even less then that, he incurs the enmity of others owing to deceitful dealing in money.

On this path (of pravrtti), there are these obstacles (financial losses, difficulties, etc) and also other ones such as pleasure and pain, lust and hatred, fear and pride, negligence and madness, delusion and greed, envy and jealousy, insult, hunger and thirst, anxieties and diseases, repeated birth, old age, death and others.

Sometimes, (when) embraced with the creeper-like (tender) arms of the woman who is the Maya (deluding divine potency of the Lord) incarnate, he loses his power of judgment and wisdom. He becomes anxious at heart to construct a pleasure-house for her. His heart becomes transported by the (sweet) speech, (affectionate) looks and (winsome) behaviour of his wife, sons, daughters, etc who look to him for protection. Thus, being of uncontrolled mind, he goes to the abysmal hell of blinding darkness.

Sometimes, he gets terrified in his heart at (the thought of) the discus (kala – time, death) of the Supreme Ruler, Lord Visnu. (The discus is alternatively designated as Time and consists of divisions beginning from the minutest point to the period covering two parardha years (the life-span of god Brahma). With inexorable velocity consisting of ages (childhood, youth, old age), this un-winking (watchful) discus mows down all created beings from god Brahma down to a clump of grass while they are (helplessly) looking on.) But disrespectfully ignoring the Supreme Lord, the presiding deity of sacrifice whose weapon is this eternal discus, Time, he, on the basis of un-authoritative canon of the heretics, resorts to the deities of the heretics which are no better than kites, vultures, cranes on the banyan trees (in extending protection against death) which are discarded in the religion of the Aryans.

When he is devastatingly deceived by those heretics who are themselves deluded, he (returns to and) stays within the Brahmanic fold.

He, however, does not like their pious way of life, and propitiation of the glorious Lord of sacrifices with acts prescribed in the Veda and Smrtis after performance of the thread investiture ceremony. As he is impure (and hence ineligible) to perform duties enjoined by the Veda, he resorts to the sudra community which, like the species of monkeys, indulges in copulation and maintenance of the family.

Even in that community, he behaves as he likes, without any restraint. The low-minded man forgets the limit of his (span of) life in vulgar gratification of senses such as looking at the faces of each other (mutually by husband and wife).

Sometimes, he enjoys himself in the householder’s life which, like trees, yields pleasures pertaining to this world only. He is fond of children and wife, and like a monkey, he delights in sexual enjoyment.

The allegory to a monkey is in the context of a monkey addicted to sexual enjoyment becomes negligent of its own safety and is caught by the hunter while indulging in that enjoyment on the trees. When once caught, it is unable to get released.

Enjoying and suffering pleasures and pain on the path (of pravrtti), he falls into the veritable dark vale of ailments and other calamities, and stays (there) constantly in the fear of the elephant in the form of death.

Sometimes, when incapable of protecting him against innumerable miseries such as heat and cold – miseries caused by supernatural agencies, the elements or creatures or by his own body or mind – he sinks (sits) despondently worrying over endless sense-objects.

Sometimes, entering into business transactions with others, he acquires some wealth through fraudulent monetary dealings.

Sometimes, when his wealth is spent, he becomes destitute of (normal necessities of life such as) a bed, a seat, food, etc. He then makes up his mind to snatch away from others the objects which he covets, but has not succeeded to acquire till then. As such, in due course, he becomes subject to insult and ridicule by the public.

Although their mutual hostility is enhanced by their covetousness for wealth, they enter into matrimonial relations or break them, according to the tendencies resulting from actions of their previous lives.

On this path of samsara, if one is afflicted with innumerable sufferings and obstacles and succumbs to calamities or death, one is definitely abandoned then and there. The others take with them the new-born children. They sometimes weep, fall in a swoon, are afraid, quarrel, cry and are overjoyed, sing and are bound down. They are avoided by saintly people and are thus denied pious company. In this way, they continue to go ahead. This multitude of men (the Jiva) has not yet returned to the starting point of this journey (God) which, the sages say, is the terminus of the path (of samsara).

For, he who gets knowledge of and takes to the discipline of yoga does not definitely return to the physical world or samsara. It is only the meditative persons who have renounced all forms of violence (to all creatures) and are firmly given to self-control (and consequent serenity), and who have detached their minds (from worldly objects), that reach the Supreme (Self).

Even the royal sages, who have conquered the elephants guarding all directions and perform sacrifices, do not attain to it. Asserting their claim to the earth that it is their own and entering into hostilities for it (its possession), they lie dead on the battlefield, leaving their bodies on the earth (claimed by them), and depart. (These do not reach the other end of samsara).

Supporting themselves by catching hold of the creeper of karma and getting out, with great difficulty, from the miserable hell, they are again present on the way of samsara, and rejoin the caravan of men. Similar is the case of men who have gone up to the heaven.

Thus do they sing of Bharata!

Just as a fly cannot, even in its imagination, soar up along the path of Garuda (high up in the sky), no other king in this world can even mentally follow the path of the high-souled royal sage Bharata, the son of Rishabha.

Even while he was a youth, he longed to serve the Lord of hallowing renown (supreme glory), and abandoned, like excreta, his wife and children, friends and kingdom, so endearing to the heart, and (hence) so difficult to renounce.

It is quite befitting on the part of the King (Bharata) that he did not long for the (kingdom of the) earth, sons, relatives, wealth and wife, so difficult to renounce. Nor did he wish for Sri (the Goddess of Fortune), coveted by great gods, even though She waited for having a gracious look from him. For, in the view of the great (souls) whose minds are devotedly attached to the service of Visnu, even the Final Emancipation is of little account.

At the time of casting off his body as a deer, he (Bharata) nobly praised the Lord thus: ‘Salutations to Lord Hari who is Himself the yajna (sacrifice) personified, the defender of righteousness, punctilious observance of scriptural injunctions, yoga incarnate, the head (the ultimate, chief principle) of the Samkhyas, the controller of Prakrti (the personified Will or Maya of the Almighty), and the shelter of all created beings’.

One who faithfully listens to, recites or praises the history of the royal sage Bharata, whose spotless virtues and pure actions are appreciated and eulogized by devotees of the Lord, secures good fortune, long life, riches, renown and attains to the heaven and Final Beatitude.

Thus Ends The Bharata-Gita that is contained in chapters 11 to 14 of Skandha V of Srimad Bhagavata.