nabher asav rsabha asa sudevi-sunur
yo vai cacara sama-drg jada-yoga-caryam
yat paramahamsyam rsayah padam amananti
svasthah prasanta-karanah parimukta-sangah
nabheh—by Maharaja Nabhi; asau—the Personality of Godhead; rsabhah—Rsabha; asa—became; sudevi—Sudevi; sunuh—the son of; yah—who; vai—certainly; cacara—performed; sama-drk—equibalanced; jada—material; yoga-caryam—performance of yoga; yat—which; paramahamsyam—the highest stage of perfection; rsayah—the learned sages; padam—situation; amananti—do accept; svasthah—self-reposed; prasanta—suspended; karanah—the material senses; parimukta—perfectly liberated; sangah—material contamination.
The Lord appeared as the son of Sudevi, the wife of King Nabhi, and was known as Rsabhadeva. He performed materialistic yoga to equibalance the mind. This stage is also accepted as the highest perfectional situation of liberation, wherein one is situated in one's self and is completely satisfied.
Out of many types of mystic performances for self-realization, the process of jada-yoga is also one accepted by authorities. This jada-yoga involves practicing becoming like a dumb stone and not being affected by material reactions. Just as a stone is indifferent to all kinds of attacks and reattacks of external situations, similarly one practices jada-yoga by tolerating voluntary infliction of pain upon the material body. Such yogis, out of many self-infliction methods, practice plucking out the hairs on their heads, without shaving and without any instrumental help. But the real purpose of such jada-yoga practice is to get free from all material affection and to be completely situated in the self. At the last stage of his life, Emperor Rsabhadeva wandered like a dumb madman, unaffected by all kinds of bodily mistreatment. Seeing him like a madman, wandering naked with long hair and a long beard, less intelligent children and men in the street used to spit on him and urinate on his body. He used to lie in his own stool and never move. But the stool of his body was fragrant like the smell of fragrant flowers, and a saintly person would recognize him as a paramahamsa, one in the highest state of human perfection. One who is not able to make his stool fragrant should not, however, imitate Emperor Rsabhadeva. The practice of jada-yoga was possible for Rsabhadeva and others on the same level of perfection, but such an uncommon practice is impossible for an ordinary man.
The real purpose of jada-yoga, as mentioned here in this verse, is prasanta-karanah, or subduing the senses. The whole process of yoga, under whatever heading it may be, is to control the unbridled material senses and thus prepare oneself for self-realization. In this age specifically, this jada-yoga cannot be of any practical value, but on the other hand the practice of bhakti-yoga is feasible because it is just suitable for this age. The simple method of hearing from the right source, Srimad-Bhagavatam, will lead one to the highest perfectional stage of yoga. Rsabhadeva was the son of King Nabhi and the grandson of King Agnidhra, and he was the father of King Bharata, after whose name this planet earth was called Bharata-varsa. Rsabhadeva's mother was also known as Merudevi, although her name is mentioned here as Sudevi. It is sometimes proposed that Sudevi was another wife of King Nabhi, but since King Rsabhadeva is mentioned elsewhere as the son of Merudevi, it is clear that Merudevi and Sudevi are the same person under different names.
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