liṅga-bhaṅgas tu yoginām
yoga-īśvara—of the master of the mystic powers; aiśvarya—opulence; gatiḥ—advancement; liṅga—astral body; bhaṅgaḥ—detachment; tu—but; yoginām—of the mystics; veda—transcendental knowledge; upaveda—knowledge in pursuance of the Veda indirectly; dharmāṇām—of the religiosities; itihāsa—history; purāṇayoḥ—of the Purāṇas.
What are the opulences of the great mystics, and what is their ultimate realization? How does the perfect mystic become detached from the subtle astral body? What is the basic knowledge of the Vedic literatures, including the branches of history and the supplementary Purāṇas?
The yogeśvara, or the master of mystic powers, can exhibit eight kinds of wonders of perfection by becoming smaller than the atom or lighter than a feather, getting anything and everything he desires, going anywhere and everywhere he likes, creating even a planet in the sky, etc. There are many yogeśvaras having different proficiencies in these wonderful powers, and the topmost of all of them is Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva is the greatest yogī, and he can perform such wonderful things, far beyond the ordinary living beings. The devotees of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, do not directly practice the process of mystic powers, but, by the grace of the Lord, His devotee can defeat even a great yogeśvara like Durvāsā Muni, who picked a quarrel with Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and wanted to show the wonderful achievements of his mystic powers. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was a pure devotee of the Lord, and thus without any effort on his part the Lord saved him from the wrath of Yogeśvara Durvāsā Muni, and the latter was obliged to beg pardon from the King. Similarly, at the time of Draupadī's precarious position, when she was attacked by the Kurus who wanted to see her naked in the open assembly of the royal order, the Lord saved her from being stripped by supplying an unlimited length of sari to cover her. And Draupadī knew nothing of mystic powers. Therefore the devotees are also yogeśvaras by the unlimited power of the Lord, just as a child is powerful by the strength of the parents. They do not try to protect themselves by any artificial means, but are saved by the mercy of the parents.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit inquired from the learned brāhmaṇa Śukadeva Gosvāmī about the ultimate destination of such great mystics or how they attain such extraordinary powers by their own efforts or by the grace of the Lord. He inquired also about their detachment from the subtle and gross material bodies. He inquired also about the purports of the Vedic knowledge. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15), the whole purport of all the Vedas is to know the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus become a transcendental loving servant of the Lord.
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