Chapter Seven
The Activities of King Bharata
In this chapter, the activities of King Bharata Mahārāja, the emperor of the whole world, are described. Bharata Mahārāja performed various ritualistic ceremonies (Vedic yajñas) and satisfied the Supreme Lord by his different modes of worship. In due course of time, he left home and resided in Hardwar and passed his days in devotional activities. Being ordered by his father, Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, Bharata Mahārāja married Pañcajanī, the daughter of Viśvarūpa. After this, he ruled the whole world peacefully. Formerly this planet was known as Ajanābha, and after the reign of Bharata Mahārāja it became known as Bhārata-varṣa. Bharata Mahārāja begot five sons in the womb of Pañcajanī, and he named the sons Sumati, Rāṣṭrabhṛta, Sudarśana, Āvaraṇa and Dhūmraketu. Bharata Mahārāja was very rigid in executing religious principles and following in the footsteps of his father. He therefore ruled the citizens very successfully. Because he performed various yajñas to satisfy the Supreme Lord, he was personally very satisfied. Being of undisturbed mind, he increased his devotional activities unto Lord Vāsudeva. Bharata Mahārāja was competent in understanding the principles of saintly persons like Nārada, and he followed in the footsteps of the sages. He also kept Lord Vāsudeva constantly within his heart. After finishing his kingly duties, he divided his kingdom among his five sons. He then left home and went to the place of Pulaha known as Pulahāśrama. There he ate forest vegetables and fruits, and worshiped Lord Vāsudeva with everything available. Thus he increased his devotion toward Vāsudeva, and he automatically began to realize further his transcendental, blissful life. Due to his highly advanced spiritual position, there were sometimes visible in his body the aṣṭa-sāttvika transformations, such as ecstatic crying and bodily trembling, which are symptoms of love of Godhead. It is understood that Mahārāja Bharata worshiped the Supreme Lord with the mantras mentioned in the Ṛg Veda, generally known as Gāyatrī mantra, which aim at the Supreme Nārāyaṇa situated within the sun.
śrī-śuka uvāca
bharatas tu mahā-bhāgavato yadā bhagavatāvani-tala-paripālanāya sañcintitas tad-anuśāsana-paraḥ pañcajanīṁ viśvarūpa-duhitaram upayeme.
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; bharataḥMahārāja Bharata; tu—but; mahā-bhāgavataḥ—a mahā-bhāgavata, most exalted devotee of the Lord; yadā—when; bhagavatā—by the order of his father, Lord Ṛṣabhadeva; avani-tala—the surface of the globe; paripālanāya—for ruling over; sañcintitaḥ—made up his mind; tat-anuśāsana-paraḥ—engaged in governing the globe; pañcajanīm—Pañcajanī; viśvarūpa-duhitaram—the daughter of Viśvarūpa; upayeme—married.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued speaking to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: My dear King, Bharata Mahārāja was a topmost devotee. Following the orders of his father, who had already decided to install him on the throne, he began to rule the earth accordingly. When Bharata Mahārāja ruled the entire globe, he followed the orders of his father and married Pañcajanī, the daughter of Viśvarūpa.
tasyām u ha vā ātmajān kārtsnyenānurūpān ātmanaḥ pañca janayām āsa bhūtādir iva bhūta-sūkṣmāṇi sumatiṁ rāṣṭrabhṛtaṁ sudarśanam āvaraṇaṁ dhūmraketum iti.
tasyām—in her womb; u ha —indeed; ātma-jān—sons; kārtsnyena—entirely; anurūpān—exactly like; ātmanaḥ—himself; pañca—five; janayām āsa—begot; bhūta-ādiḥ iva—like the false ego; bhūta-sūkṣmāṇi—the five subtle objects of sense perception; su-matim—Sumatim; rāṣṭra-bhṛtam—Rāṣṭrabhṛta; su-darśanamSudarśana; āvaraṇam—Āvaraṇa; dhūmra-ketum—Dhūmraketu; iti—thus.
Just as the false ego creates the subtle sense objects, Mahārāja Bharata created five sons in the womb of Pañcajanī, his wife. These sons were named Sumati, Rāṣṭrabhṛta, Sudarśana, Āvaraṇa and Dhūmraketu.
ajanābhaṁ nāmaitad varṣaṁ bhāratam iti yata ārabhya vyapadiśanti.
ajanābham—Ajanābha; nāma—by the name; etat—this; varṣam—island; bhāratamBhārata; iti—thus; yataḥ—from whom; ārabhya—beginning; vyapadiśanti—they celebrate.
Formerly this planet was known as Ajanābha-varṣa, but since Mahārāja Bharata’s reign, it has become known as Bhārata-varṣa.
This planet was formerly known as Ajanābha because of the reign of King Nābhi. After Bharata Mahārāja ruled the planet, it became celebrated as Bhārata-varṣa.
sa bahuvin mahī-patiḥ pitṛ-pitāmahavad uru-vatsalatayā sve sve karmaṇi vartamānāḥ prajāḥ sva-dharmam anuvartamānaḥ paryapālayat.
saḥ—that King (Mahārāja Bharata); bahu-vit—being very advanced in knowledge; mahī-patiḥ—the ruler of the earth; pitṛ—father; pitāmaha—grandfather; vat—exactly like; uru-vatsalatayā—with the quality of being very affectionate to the citizens; sve sve—in their own respective; karmaṇi—duties; vartamānāḥ—remaining; prajāḥ—the citizens; sva-dharmam anuvartamānaḥ—being perfectly situated in his own occupational duty; paryapālayat—ruled.
Mahārāja Bharata was a very learned and experienced king on this earth. He perfectly ruled the citizens, being himself engaged in his own respective duties. Mahārāja Bharata was as affectionate to the citizens as his father and grandfather had been. Keeping them engaged in their occupational duties, he ruled the earth.
It is most important that the chief executive rule the citizens by keeping them fully engaged in their respective occupational duties. Some of the citizens were brāhmaṇas, some were kṣatriyas, and some were vaiśyas and śūdras. It is the duty of the government to see that the citizens act according to these material divisions for their spiritual advancement. No one should remain unemployed or unoccupied in any way. One must work as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra on the material path. and on the spiritual path, everyone should act as a brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha or sannyāsī. Although formerly the government was a monarchy, all the kings were very affectionate toward the citizens, and they strictly kept them engaged in their respective duties. Therefore society was very smoothly conducted.
īje ca bhagavantaṁ yajña-kratu-rūpaṁ kratubhir uccāvacaiḥ śraddhayāhṛtāgnihotra-darśa-pūrṇamāsa-cāturmāsya-paśu-somānāṁ prakṛti-vikṛtibhir anusavanaṁ cāturhotra-vidhinā.
īje—worshiped; ca—also; bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yajña-kratu-rūpam—having the form of sacrifices without animals and sacrifices with animals; kratubhiḥ—by such sacrifices; uccāvacaiḥ—very great and very small; śraddhayā—with faith; āhṛta—being performed; agni-hotra—of the agnihotra-yajña; darśa—of the darśa-yajña; pūrṇamāsa—of the pūrṇamāsa-yajña; cāturmāsya—of the cāturmāsya-yajña; paśu-somānām—of the yajña with animals and the yajña with soma-rasa; prakṛti—by full performances; vikṛtibhiḥ—and by partial performances; anusavanam—almost always; cātuḥ-hotra-vidhinā—by the regulative principles of sacrifice directed by four kinds of priests.
With great faith King Bharata performed various kinds of sacrifice. He performed the sacrifices known as agni-hotra, darśa, pūrṇamāsa, cāturmāsya, paśu-yajña [wherein a horse is sacrificed] and soma-yajña [wherein a kind of beverage is offered]. Sometimes these sacrifices were performed completely and sometimes partially. In any case, in all the sacrifices the regulations of cāturhotra were strictly followed. In this way Bharata Mahārāja worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Animals like hogs and cows were offered in sacrifice to test the proper execution of the sacrifice. Otherwise, there was no purpose in killing the animal. Actually the animal was offered in the sacrificial fire to get a rejuvenated life. Generally an old animal was sacrificed in the fire. and it would come out again in a youthful body. Some of the rituals however, did not require animal sacrifice. In the present age, animal sacrifices are forbidden. As stated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu:
“In this age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: the offering of a horse in sacrifice, the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of the order of sannyāsa, the offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man’s begetting children in his brother’s wife.” (Cc. Ādi 17.164) Such sacrifices are impossible in this age due to the scarcity of expert brāhmaṇas or ṛtvijaḥ who are able to take the responsibility. In the absence of these, the saṅkīrtana-yajña is recommended. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ (Bhāg. 11.5.32). After all, sacrifices are executed to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yajñārtha-karma: such activities should be carried out for the Supreme Lord’s pleasure. In this age of Kali, the Supreme Lord in His incarnation of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu should be worshiped with His associates by performance of saṅkīrtana-yajña, the congregational chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This process is accepted by intelligent men. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ. The word sumedhasaḥ refers to intelligent men who possess very good brain substance.
sampracaratsu nānā-yāgeṣu viracitāṅga-kriyeṣv apūrvaṁ yat tat kriyā-phalaṁ dharmākhyaṁ pare brahmaṇi yajña-puruṣe sarva-devatā-liṅgānāṁ mantrāṇām artha-niyāma-katayā sākṣāt-kartari para-devatāyāṁ bhagavati vāsudeva eva bhāvayamāna ātma-naipuṇya-mṛdita-kaṣāyo haviḥṣv adhvaryubhir gṛhyamāṇeṣu sa yajamāno yajña-bhājo devāṁs tān puruṣāvayaveṣv abhyadhyāyat.
sampracaratsu—when beginning to perform; nānā-yāgeṣu—various kinds of sacrifice; viracita-aṅga-kriyeṣu—in which the supplementary rites were performed; apūrvam—remote; yat—whatever; tat—that; kriyā-phalam—the result of such sacrifice; dharma-ākhyam—by the name of religion; pare—unto the transcendence; brahmaṇi—the Supreme Lord; yajña-puruṣe—the enjoyer of all sacrifices; sarva-devatā-liṅgānām—which manifest all the demigods; mantrāṇām—of the Vedic hymns; artha-niyāma-katayā—due to being the controller of the objects; sākṣāt-kartari—directly the performer; para-devatāyām—the origin of all demigods; bhagavati—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vāsudeve—unto Kṛṣṇa; eva—certainly; bhāvayamānaḥ—always thinking; ātma-naipuṇya-mṛdita-kaṣāyaḥ—freed from all lust and anger by his expertise in such thinking; haviḥṣu—the ingredients to be offered in the sacrifice; adhvaryubhiḥ—when the priests expert in the sacrifices mentioned in the Atharva Veda; gṛhyamāṇeṣu—taking; saḥMahārāja Bharata; yajamānaḥ—the sacrificer; yajña-bhājaḥ—the recipients of the results of sacrifice; devān—all the demigods; tān—them; puruṣa-avayaveṣu—as different parts and limbs of the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda; abhyadhyāyat—he thought.
After performing the preliminaries of various sacrifices, Mahārāja Bharata offered the results in the name of religion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. In other words, he performed all the yajñas for the satisfaction of Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. Mahārāja Bharata thought that since the demigods were different parts of Vāsudeva’s body, He controls those who are explained in the Vedic mantras. By thinking in this way, Mahārāja Bharata was freed from all material contamination, such as attachment, lust and greed. When the priests were about to offer the sacrificial ingredients into the fire, Mahārāja Bharata expertly understood how the offering made to different demigods was simply an offering to the different limbs of the Lord. For instance, Indra is the arm of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Sūrya [the sun] is His eye. Thus Mahārāja Bharata considered that the oblations offered to different demigods were actually offered unto the different limbs of Lord Vāsudeva.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead says that as long as one does not develop the pure devotional service of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, hearing and chanting, one must carry out his prescribed duties. Since Bharata Mahārāja was a great devotee, one may ask why he performed so many sacrifices that are actually meant for karmīs. The fact is that he was simply following the orders of Vāsudeva. As Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā, sarva dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.” (Bg. 18.66) Whatever we do, we should constantly remember Vāsudeva. People are generally addicted to offering obeisances to various demigods, but Bharata Mahārāja simply wanted to please Lord Vāsudeva. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā: bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram (Bg. 5.29). A yajña may be carried out to satisfy a particular demigod, but when the yajña is offered to the yajña-puruṣa, Nārāyaṇa, the demigods are satisfied. The purpose of performing different yajñas is to satisfy the Supreme Lord. One may perform them in the name of different demigods or directly. If we directly offer oblations to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the demigods are automatically satisfied. If we water the root of a tree, the branches, twigs, fruits and flowers are automatically satisfied. When one offers sacrifices to different demigods, one should remember that the demigods are simply parts of the body of the Supreme. If we worship the hand of a person, we intend to satisfy the person himself. If we massage a person’s legs, we do not really serve the legs but the person who possesses the legs. All the demigods are different parts of the Lord, and if we offer service to them, we actually serve the Lord Himself. Demigod worship is mentioned in Brahma-saṁhitā, but actually the ślokas advocate worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda. For instance, worship of the goddess Durgā is mentioned this way in Brahma-saṁhitā (5.44):
Following the orders of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the goddess Durgā creates, maintains and annihilates. Śrī Kṛṣṇa also confirms this statement in Bhagavad-gītā. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram: “This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings.” (Bg. 9.10)
We should worship the demigods in that spirit. Because the goddess Durgā satisfies Kṛṣṇa, we should therefore offer respects to goddess Durgā. Because Lord Śiva is nothing but Kṛṣṇa’s functional body, we should therefore offer respects to Lord Śiva. Similarly, we should offer respects to Brahmā, Agni and Sūrya. There are many offerings to different demigods, and one should always remember that these offerings are usually meant to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bharata Mahārāja did not aspire to receive some benediction from demigods. His aim was to please the Supreme Lord. In the Mahābhārata, among the thousand names of Viṣṇu, it is said yajña-bhug yajña-kṛd yajñaḥ. The enjoyer of yajña, the performer of yajña and yajña itself are the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is the performer of everything, but out of ignorance the living entity thinks that he is the actor. As long as we think we are the actors, we bring about karma-bandha (bondage to activity). If we act for yajña, for Kṛṣṇa. there is no karma-bandha. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ: [Bg. 3.9]) “Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed. otherwise work binds one to this material world.” (Bg. 3.9)
Following the instructions of Bharata Mahārāja, we should act not for our personal satisfaction but for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gītā (17.28) it is also stated:
Sacrifices, austerities and charities performed without faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead are nonpermanent. Regardless of whatever rituals are performed, they are called asat, nonpermanent. They are therefore useless both in this life and the next.
Kings like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and many other rājarṣis who were pure devotees of the Lord simply passed their time in the service of the Supreme Lord. When a pure devotee executes some service through the agency of another person, he should not be criticized, for his activities are meant for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. A devotee may have a priest perform some karma-kāṇḍa, and the priest may not be a pure Vaiṣṇava, but because the devotee wants to please the Supreme Lord, he should not be criticized. The word apūrva is very significant. The resultant actions of karma are called apūrva. When we act piously or impiously, immediate results do not ensue. We therefore wait for the results, which are called apūrva. The results are manifest in the future. Even the smārtas accept this apūrva. Pure devotees simply act for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore the results of their activities are spiritual, or permanent. They are not like those of the karmīs, which are nonpermanent. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (4.23):
gata-saṅgasya muktasya
yajñāyācarataḥ karma
samagraṁ pravilīyate
“The work of a man who is unattached to the modes of material nature and who is fully situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely into transcendence.”
A devotee is always free from material contamination. He is fully situated in knowledge, and therefore his sacrifices are intended for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
evaṁ karma-viśuddhyā viśuddha-sattvasyāntar-hṛdayākāśa-śarīre brahmaṇi bhagavati vāsudeve mahā-puruṣa-rūpopalakṣaṇe śrīvatsa-kaustubha-vana-mālāri-dara-gadādibhir upalakṣite nija-puruṣa-hṛl-likhitenātmani puruṣa-rūpeṇa virocamāna uccaistarāṁ bhaktir anudinam edhamāna-rayājāyata.
evam—thus; karma-viśuddhyā—by offering everything for the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and not desiring any results of his pious activities; viśuddha-sattvasya—of Bharata Mahārāja, whose existence was completely purified; antaḥ-hṛdaya-ākāśa-śarīre—the Supersoul within the heart, as meditated on by yogīs; brahmaṇi—into impersonal Brahman, which is worshiped by impersonalist jñānīs; bhagavati—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vāsudeve—the son of Vasudeva, Lord Kṛṣṇa; mahā-puruṣa—of the Supreme Person; rūpa—of the form; upalakṣaṇe—having the symptoms; śrīvatsa—the mark on the chest of the Lord; kaustubha—the Kaustubha gem used by the Lord; vana-mālā—flower garland; ari-dara—by the disc and conchshell; gadā-ādibhiḥ—by the club and other symbols; upalakṣite—being recognized; nija-puruṣa-hṛt-likhitena—which is situated in the heart of His own devotee like an engraved picture; ātmani—in his own mind; puruṣa-rūpeṇa—by His personal form; virocamāne—shining; uccaistarām—on a very high level; bhaktiḥ—devotional service; anudinam—day after day; edhamāna—increasing; rayā—possessing force; ajāyata—appeared.
In this way, being purified by ritualistic sacrifices, the heart of Mahārāja Bharata was completely uncontaminated. His devotional service unto Vāsudeva, Lord Kṛṣṇa, increased day after day. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the son of Vasudeva, is the original Personality of Godhead manifest as the Supersoul [Paramātmā] as well as the impersonal Brahman. Yogīs meditate upon the localized Paramātmā situated in the heart, jñānīs worship the impersonal Brahman as the Supreme Absolute Truth, and devotees worship Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose transcendental body is described in the śāstras. His body is decorated with the Śrīvatsa, the Kaustubha jewel and a flower garland, and His hands hold a conchshell, disc, club and lotus flower. Devotees like Nārada always think of Him within their hearts.
Lord Vāsudeva, or Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the son of Vasudeva, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is manifest within the hearts of yogīs in His Paramātmā feature, and He is worshiped as impersonal Brahman by jñānīs. The Paramātmā feature is described in the śāstras as having four hands, holding disc, conchshell, lotus flower and club. As confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.2.8):
Paramātmā is situated in the hearts of all living beings. He has four hands, which hold four symbolic weapons. All devotees who think of the Paramātmā within the heart worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the temple Deity. They also understand the impersonal features of the Lord and His bodily rays, the Brahman effulgence.
evaṁ varṣāyuta-sahasra-paryantāvasita-karma-nirvāṇāvasaro ’dhibhujyamānaṁ sva-tanayebhyo rikthaṁ pitṛ-paitāmahaṁ yathā-dāyaṁ vibhajya svayaṁ sakala-sampan-niketāt sva-niketāt pulahāśramaṁ pravavrāja.
evam—thus being always engaged; varṣa-ayuta-sahasra—one thousand times ten thousand years; paryanta—until then; avasita-karma-nirvāṇa-avasaraḥMahārāja Bharata who ascertained the moment of the end of his royal opulence; adhibhujyamānam—being enjoyed in this way for that duration; sva-tanayebhyaḥ—unto his own sons; riktham—the wealth; pitṛ-paitāmaham—which he received from his father and forefathers; yathā-dāyam—according to the dāya-bhāk laws of Manu; vibhajya—dividing; svayam—personally; sakala-sampat—of all kinds of opulence; niketāt—the abode; sva-niketāt—from his paternal home; pulaha-āśramam pravavrāja—he went to the āśrama of Pulaha in Hardwar (where the śālagrāma-śilās are obtainable).
Destiny fixed the time for Mahārāja Bharata’s enjoyment of material opulence at one thousand times ten thousand years. When that period was finished, he retired from family life and divided the wealth he had received from his forefathers among his sons. He left his paternal home, the reservoir of all opulence, and started for Pulahāśrama, which is situated in Hardwar. The śālagrāma-śilās are obtainable there.
According to the law of dāya-bhāk, when one inherits an estate, he must hand it over to the next generation. Bharata Mahārāja did this properly. First he enjoyed his paternal property for one thousand times ten thousand years. At the time of his retirement, he divided this property among his sons and left for Pulaha-āśrama.
yatra ha vāva bhagavān harir adyāpi tatratyānāṁ nija-janānāṁ vātsalyena sannidhāpyata icchā-rūpeṇa.
yatra—where; ha vāva—certainly; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hariḥ—the Lord; adya-api—even today; tatratyānām—residing in that place; nija-janānām—for His own devotees; vātsalyena—by His transcendental affection; sannidhāpyate—becomes visible; icchā-rūpeṇa—according to the desire of the devotee.
At Pulaha-āśrama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, out of His transcendental affection for His devotee, becomes visible to His devotee, satisfying His devotee’s desires.
The Lord always exists in different transcendental forms. As stated in Brahma-saṁhitā (5.39):
The Lord is situated as Himself, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He is accompanied by His expansions like Lord Rāma, Baladeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Nārāyaṇa, Mahā-Viṣṇu and so forth. The devotees worship all these forms according to their liking, and the Lord, out of His affection, presents Himself as arcā-vigraha. He sometimes presents Himself personally before the devotee out of reciprocation or affection. A devotee is always fully surrendered to the loving service of the Lord, and the Lord is visible to the devotee according to the devotee’s desires. He may be present in the form of Lord Rāma, Lord Kṛṣṇa, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva and so on. Such is the exchange of love between the Lord and His devotees.
yatrāśrama-padāny ubhayato nābhibhir dṛṣac-cakraiś cakra-nadī nāma sarit-pravarā sarvataḥ pavitrī-karoti.
yatra—where; āśrama-padāni—all hermitages; ubhayataḥ—both on top and below; nābhibhiḥ—like the symbolic mark of a navel; dṛṣat—visible; cakraiḥ—with the circles; cakra-nadī—the Cakra-nadī River (generally known as the Gaṇḍakī); nāma—of the name; sarit-pravarā—the most important river of all; sarvataḥ—everywhere; pavitrī-karoti—sanctifies.
In Pulaha-āśrama is the Gaṇḍakī River, which is the best of all rivers. The śālagrāma-śilā, the marble pebbles, purify all those places. On each and every marble pebble, up and down, circles like navels are visible.
Śālagrāma-śilā refers to pebbles that appear like stones with circle; marked up and down. These are available in the river known as Gaṇḍakī-nadī. Wherever the waters of this river flow, the place becomes immediately sanctified.
tasmin vāva kila sa ekalaḥ pulahāśramopavane vividha-kusuma-kisalaya-tulasikāmbubhiḥ kanda-mūla-phalopahāraiś ca samīhamāno bhagavata ārādhanaṁ vivikta uparata-viṣayābhilāṣa upabhṛtopaśamaḥ parāṁ nirvṛtim avāpa.
tasmin—in that āśrama; vāva kila—indeed; saḥBharata Mahārāja; ekalaḥ—alone, only; pulaha-āśrama-upavane—in the gardens situated i n Pulaha-āśrama; vividha-kusuma-kisalaya-tulasikā-ambubhiḥ—with varieties of flowers, twigs and tulasī leaves, as well as with water; kanda-mūla-phala-upahāraiḥ—by offerings of roots, bulbs and fruits; ca—and; samīhamānaḥ—performing; bhagavataḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ārādhanam—worshiping; viviktaḥ—purified; uparata—being freed from; viṣaya-abhilāṣaḥ—desire for material sense enjoyment; upabhṛta—increased; upaśamaḥ—tranquillity; parām—transcendental; nirvṛtim—satisfaction; avāpa—he obtained.
In the gardens of Pulaha-āśrama, Mahārāja Bharata lived alone and collected a variety of flowers, twigs and tulasī leaves. He also collected the water of the Gaṇḍakī River, as well as various roots, fruits and bulbs. With these he offered food to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, and, worshiping Him, he remained satisfied. In this way his heart was completely uncontaminated, and he did not have the least desire for material enjoyment. All material desires vanished. In this steady position, he felt full satisfaction and was situated in devotional service.
Everyone is searching after peace of mind. This is obtainable only when one is completely freed from the desire for material sense gratification and is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā: patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (9.26). Worship of the Lord is not at all expensive. One can offer the Lord a leaf, a flower, a little fruit and some water. The Supreme Lord accepts these offerings when they are offered with love and devotion. In this way, one can become freed from material desires. As long as one maintains material desires, he cannot be happy. As soon as one engages in the devotional service of the Lord, his mind is purified of all material desires. Then one becomes fully satisfied.
sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati
“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted in order to completely satisfy the self. By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.” (Bhāg. 1.2.6–7)
These are the instructions given in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the supreme Vedic literature. One may not be able to go to Pulaha-āśrama, but wherever one is one can happily render devotional service to the Lord by adopting the processes mentioned above.
tayettham avirata-puruṣa-paricaryayā bhagavati pravardhamānā-nurāga-bhara-druta-hṛdaya-śaithilyaḥ praharṣa-vegenātmany udbhidyamāna-roma-pulaka-kulaka autkaṇṭhya-pravṛtta-praṇaya-bāṣpa-niruddhāvaloka-nayana evaṁ nija-ramaṇāruṇa-caraṇāravindānudhyāna-paricita-bhakti-yogena paripluta-paramāhlāda-gambhīra-hṛdaya-hradāvagāḍha-dhiṣaṇas tām api kriyamāṇāṁ bhagavat-saparyāṁ na sasmāra.
tayā—by that; ittham—in this manner; avirata—constant; puruṣa—of the Supreme Lord; paricaryayā—by service; bhagavati—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pravardhamāna—constantly increasing; anurāga—of attachment; bhara—by the load; druta—melted; hṛdaya—heart; śaithilyaḥ—laxity; praharṣa-vegena—by the force of transcendental ecstasy; ātmani—in his body; udbhidyamāna-roma-pulaka-kulakaḥ—standing of the hair on end; autkaṇṭhya—because of intense longing; pravṛtta—produced; praṇaya-bāṣpa-niruddha-avaloka-nayanaḥ—awakening of tears of love in the eyes, obstructing the vision; evam—thus; nija-ramaṇa-aruṇa-caraṇa-aravinda—on the Lord’s reddish lotus feet; anudhyāna—by meditating; paricita—i n creased; bhakti-yogena—by dint of devotional service; paripluta—spreading everywhere; parama—highest; āhlāda—of spiritual bliss; gambhīra—very deep; hṛdaya-hrada—in the heart, which is compared to a lake; avagāḍha—immersed; dhiṣaṇaḥ—whose intelligence; tām—that; api—although; kriyamāṇām—executing; bhagavat—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; saparyām—the worship; na—not; sasmāra—remembered.
That most exalted devotee, Mahārāja Bharata, in this way engaged constantly in the devotional service of the Lord. Naturally his love for Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, increased more and more and melted his heart. Consequently he gradually lost all attachment for regulative duties. The hairs of his body stood on end, and all the ecstatic bodily symptoms were manifest. Tears flowed from his eyes, so much so that he could not see anything. Thus he constantly meditated on the reddish lotus feet of the Lord. At that time, his heart, which was like a lake, was filled with the water of ecstatic love. When his mind was immersed in that lake, he even forgot the regulative service to the Lord.
When one is actually advanced in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa, eight transcendental, blissful symptoms are manifest in the body. Those are the symptoms of perfection arising from loving service to the Supreme Personality, of Godhead. Since Mahārāja Bharata was constantly, engaged in devotional service, all the symptoms of ecstatic love were manifest in his body.
itthaṁ dhṛta-bhagavad-vrata aiṇeyājina-vāsasānusavanābhiṣekārdra-kapiśa-kuṭila-jaṭā-kalāpena ca virocamānaḥ sūryarcā bhagavantaṁ hiraṇmayaṁ puruṣam ujjihāne sūrya-maṇḍale ’bhyupatiṣṭhann etad u hovāca.
ittham—in this way; dhṛta-bhagavat-vrataḥ—having accepted the vow to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead; aiṇeya-ajina-vāsasa—with a dress of a deerskin; anusavana—three times in a day; abhiṣeka—by a bath; ardra—wet; kapiśa—tawny; kuṭila-jaṭā—of curling and matted hair; kalāpena—by masses; ca—and; virocamānaḥ—being very beautifully decorated; sūryarcā—by the Vedic hymns worshiping the expansion of Nārāyaṇa within the sun; bhagavantam—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hiraṇmayam—the Lord, whose bodily hue is just like gold; puruṣam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ujjihāne—when rising; sūrya-maṇḍale—the sun globe; abhyupatiṣṭhan—worshiping; etat—this; u ha—certainly; uvāca—he recited.
Mahārāja Bharata appeared very beautiful. He had a wealth of curly hair on his head, which was wet from bathing three times daily. He dressed in a deerskin. He worshiped Lord Nārāyaṇa, whose body was composed of golden effulgence and who resided within the sun. Mahārāja Bharata worshiped Lord Nārāyaṇa by chanting the hymns given in the Ṛg Veda, and he recited the following verse as the sun rose.
The predominating Deity within the sun is Hiraṇmaya. Lord Nārāyaṇa. He is worshiped by the Gāyatrī mantra: oṁ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tat savitur vareṇyaṁ bhargo devasya dhīmahi. He is also worshiped by other hymns mentioned in the Ṛg Veda, for instance: dhyeyaḥ sadā savitṛ-maṇḍala-madhya-vartī. Within the sun, Lord Nārāyaṇa is situated, and He has a golden hue.
paro-rajaḥ savitur jāta-vedo
devasya bhargo manasedaṁ jajāna
suretasādaḥ punar āviśya caṣṭe
haṁsaṁ gṛdhrāṇaṁ nṛṣad-riṅgirām imaḥ
paraḥ-rajaḥ—beyond the mode of passion (situated in the pure mode of goodness); savituḥ—of the one who illuminates the whole universe; jāta-vedaḥ—from which all the devotee’s desires are fulfilled; devasya—of the Lord; bhargaḥ—the self-effulgence; manasā—simply by contemplating; idam—this universe; jajāna—created; su-retasā—by spiritual potency; adaḥ—this created world; punaḥ—again; āviśya—entering; caṣṭe—sees or maintains; haṁsam—the living entity; gṛdhrāṇam—desiring for material enjoyment; nṛṣat—to the intelligence; riṅgirām—to one who gives motion; imaḥ—let me offer my obeisances.
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in pure goodness. He illuminates the entire universe and bestows all benedictions upon His devotees. The Lord has created this universe from His own spiritual potency. According to His desire, the Lord entered this universe as the Supersoul, and by virtue of His different potencies, He is maintaining all living entities desiring material enjoyment. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who is the giver of intelligence.”
The predominating Deity of the sun is another expansion of Nārāyaṇa, who is illuminating the entire universe. The Lord enters the hearts of all living entities as the Supersoul, and He gives them intelligence and fulfills their material desires. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ. “I am sitting in everyone’s heart.” (Bg. 15.15)
As the Supersoul, the Lord enters the hearts of all living entities. As stated in Brahma-saṁhitā (5.35), aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham: “He enters the universe and the atom as well.” In the Ṛg Veda, the predominating Deity of the sun is worshiped by, this mantra: dhyeyaḥ sadā savitṛ-maṇḍala-madhya-varti nārāyaṇaḥ sarasijāsana-sanniviṣṭaḥ. Nārāyaṇa sits on His lotus flower within the sun. By reciting this mantra, every living entity should take shelter of Nārāyaṇa just as the sun rises. According to modern scientists, the material world rests on the sun’s effulgence. Due to the sunshine, all planets are rotating and vegetables are growing. We also have information that the moonshine helps vegetables and herbs grow. Actually Nārāyaṇa within the sun is maintaining the entire universe; therefore Nārāyaṇa should be worshiped by the Gāyatrī mantra or the Ṛg mantra.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fifth Canto, Seventh Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The activities of King Bharata.”

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