Chapter Six
The Downfall of Saubhari Muni
After describing the descendants of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī described all the kings from Śaśāda to Māndhātā, and in this connection he also described how the great sage Saubhari married the daughters of Māndhātā.
Mahārāja Ambarīṣa had three sons, named Virūpa, Ketumān and Śambhu. The son of Virūpa was Pṛṣadaśva, and his son was Rathītara. Rathītara had no sons, but when he requested the favor of the great sage Aṅgirā, the sage begot several sons in the womb of Rathītara’s wife. When the sons were born, they became the dynasty of Aṅgirā Ṛṣi and of Rathītara.
The son of Manu was Ikṣvāku, who had one hundred sons, of whom Vikukṣi, Nimi and Daṇḍakā were the eldest. The sons of Mahārāja Ikṣvāku became kings of different parts of the world. Because of violating sacrificial rules and regulations, one of these sons, Vikukṣi, was banished from the kingdom. By the mercy of Vasiṣṭha and the power of mystic yoga, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku attained liberation after giving up his material body. When Mahārāja Ikṣvāku expired, his son Vikukṣi returned and took charge of the kingdom. He performed various types of sacrifices, and thus he pleased the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This Vikukṣi later became celebrated as Saśāda.
Vikukṣi’s son fought with the demons for the sake of the demigods, and because of his valuable service he became famous as Purañjaya, Indravāha and Kakutstha. The son of Purañjaya was Anenā, the son of Anenā was Pṛthu, and the son of Pṛthu was Viśvagandhi. The son of Viśvagandhi was Candra, the son of Candra was Yuvanāśva, and his son was Śrāvasta, who constructed Śrāvastī Purī. The son of Śrāvasta was Bṛhadaśva. Bṛhadaśva’s son Kuvalayāśva killed a demon named Dhundhu, and thus he became celebrated as Dhundhumāra, “the killer of Dhundhu.” The sons of the killer of Dhundhu were Dṛḍhāśva, Kapilāśva and Bhadrāśva. He also had thousands of other sons, but they burned to ashes in the fire emanating from Dhundhu. The son of Dṛḍhāśva was Haryaśva, the son of Haryaśva was Nikumbha, the son of Nikumbha was Bahulāśva, and the son of Bahulāśva was Kṛśāśva. The son of Kṛśāśva was Senajit, and his son was Yuvanāśva.
Yuvanāśva married one hundred wives, but he had no sons, and therefore he entered the forest. In the forest, the sages performed a sacrifice known as Indra-yajña on his behalf. Once, however, the King became so thirsty in the forest that he drank the water kept for performing yajña. Consequently, after some time, a son came forth from the right side of his abdomen. The son, who was very beautiful, was crying to drink breast milk, and Indra gave the child his index finger to suck. Thus the son became known as Māndhātā. In due course of time, Yuvanāśva achieved perfection by performing austerities.
Thereafter, Māndhātā became the emperor and ruled the earth, which consists of seven islands. Thieves and rogues were very much afraid of this powerful king, and therefore the king was known as Trasaddasyu, meaning “one who is very fearful to rogues and thieves.” Māndhātā begot sons in the womb of his wife, Bindumatī. These sons were Purukutsa, Ambarīṣa and Mucukunda. These three sons had fifty sisters, all of whom became wives of the great sage known as Saubhari.
In this connection, Śukadeva Gosvāmī described the history of Saubhari Muni, who, because of sensual agitation caused by fish, fell from his yoga and wanted to marry all the daughters of Māndhātā for sexual pleasure. Later, Saubhari Muni became very regretful. Thus he accepted the order of vānaprastha, performed very severe austerities, and thus attained perfection. In this regard, Śukadeva Gosvāmī described how Saubhari Muni’s wives also became perfect.
śrī-śuka uvāca
virūpaḥ ketumāñ chambhur
ambarīṣa-sutās trayaḥ
virūpāt pṛṣadaśvo ’bhūt
tat-putras tu rathītaraḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; virūpaḥ—by the name Virūpa; ketumān—by the name Ketumān; śambhuḥ—by the name Śambhu; ambarīṣa—of Ambarīṣa Mahārāja; sutāḥ trayaḥ—the three sons; virūpāt—from Virūpa; pṛṣadaśvaḥ—of the name Pṛṣadaśva; abhūt—there was; tat-putraḥ—his son; tu—and; rathītaraḥ—of the name Rathītara.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Ambarīṣa had three sons, named Virūpa, Ketumān and Śambhu. From Virūpa came a son named Pṛṣadaśva, and from Pṛṣadaśva came a son named Rathītara.
bhāryāyāṁ tantave ’rthitaḥ
aṅgirā janayām āsa
brahma-varcasvinaḥ sutān
rathītarasya—of Rathītara; aprajasya—who had no sons; bhāryāyām—unto his wife; tantave—for increasing offspring; arthitaḥ—being requested; aṅgirāḥ—the great sage Aṅgirā; janayām āsa—caused to take birth; brahma-varcasvinaḥ—who had brahminical qualities; sutān—sons.
Rathītara had no sons, and therefore he requested the great sage Aṅgirā to beget sons for him. Because of this request, Aṅgirā begot sons in the womb of Rathītara’s wife. All these sons were born with brahminical prowess.
In the Vedic age a man was sometimes called upon to beget sons in the womb of a lesser man’s wife for the sake of better progeny. In such an instance, the woman is compared to an agricultural field. A person possessing an agricultural field may employ another person to produce food grains from it, but because the grains are produced from the land, they are considered the property of the owner of the land. Similarly, a woman was sometimes allowed to be impregnated by someone other than her husband, but the sons born of her would then become her husband’s sons. Such sons were called kṣetra jāta. Because Rathītara had no sons, he took advantage of this method.
ete kṣetra-prasūtā vai
punas tv āṅgirasāḥ smṛtāḥ
rathītarāṇāṁ pravarāḥ
kṣetropetā dvi-jātayaḥ
ete—the sons begotten by Aṅgirā; kṣetra-prasūtāḥ—became the children of Rathītara and belonged to his family (because they were born from the womb of his wife); vai—indeed; punaḥ—again; tu—but; āṅgirasāḥ—of the dynasty of Aṅgirā; smṛtāḥ—they were called; rathītarāṇām—of all the sons of Rathītara; pravarāḥ—the chief; kṣetra-upetāḥ—because of being born of the kṣetra (field); dvi-jātayaḥ—called brāhmaṇa (being a mixture of brāhmaṇa and kṣatriya).
Having been born from the womb of Rathītara’s wife, all these sons were known as the dynasty of Rathītara, but because they were born from the semen of Aṅgirā, they were also known as the dynasty of Aṅgirā. Among all the progeny of Rathītara, these sons were the most prominent because, owing to their birth, they were considered brāhmaṇas.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura gives the meaning of dvi jātayaḥ as “mixed caste,” indicating a mixture of brāhmaṇa and kṣatriya.
kṣuvatas tu manor jajñe
ikṣvākur ghrāṇataḥ sutaḥ
tasya putra-śata-jyeṣṭhā
kṣuvataḥ—while sneezing; tu—but; manoḥ—of Manu; jajñe—was born; ikṣvākuḥ—by the name Ikṣvāku; ghrāṇataḥ—from the nostrils; sutaḥ—the son; tasya—of Ikṣvāku; putra-śata—one hundred sons; jyeṣṭhāḥ—prominent; vikukṣi—of the name Vikukṣi; nimi—by the name Nimi; daṇḍakāḥ—by the name Daṇḍakā.
The son of Manu was Ikṣvāku. When Manu was sneezing, Ikṣvāku was born from Manu’s nostrils. King Ikṣvāku had one hundred sons, of whom Vikukṣi, Nimi and Daṇḍakā were the most prominent.
According to Śrīdhara Svāmī, although the Bhāgavatam (9.1.11–12) has previously included Ikṣvāku among the ten sons begotten by Manu in his wife Śraddhā, this was a generalization. It is here specifically explained that Ikṣvāku was born simply from the sneezing of Manu.
teṣāṁ purastād abhavann
āryāvarte nṛpā nṛpa
pañca-viṁśatiḥ paścāc ca
trayo madhye ’pare ’nyataḥ
teṣām—among all of those sons; purastāt—on the eastern side; abhavan—they became; āryāvarte—in the place within the Himalaya and Vindhya mountains known as Āryāvarta; nṛpāḥ—kings; nṛpa—O King (Mahārāja Parīkṣit); pañca-viṁśatiḥ—twenty-five; paścāt—on the western side; ca—also; trayaḥ—three of them; madhye—in the middle (between east and west); apare—others; anyataḥ—in other places.
Of the one hundred sons, twenty-five became kings in the western side of Āryāvarta, a place between the Himalaya and Vindhya mountains. Another twenty-five sons became kings in the east of Āryāvarta, and the three principal sons became kings in the middle. The other sons became kings in various other places.
sa ekadāṣṭakā-śrāddhe
ikṣvākuḥ sutam ādiśat
māṁsam ānīyatāṁ medhyaṁ
vikukṣe gaccha mā ciram
saḥ—that king (Mahārāja Ikṣvāku); ekadā—once upon a time; aṣṭakā-śrāddhe—during January, February and March, when offerings are made to the forefathers; ikṣvākuḥ—King Ikṣvāku; sutam—to his son; ādiśat—ordered; māṁsam—flesh; ānīyatām—bring here; medhyam—pure (obtained by hunting); vikukṣe—O Vikukṣi; gaccha—immediately go; ciram—without delay.
During the months of January, February and March, oblations offered to the forefathers are called aṣṭakā-śrāddha. The śrāddha ceremony is held during the dark fortnight of the month. When Mahārāja Ikṣvāku was performing his oblations in this ceremony, he ordered his son Vikukṣi to go immediately to the forest to bring some pure flesh.
tatheti sa vanaṁ gatvā
mṛgān hatvā kriyārhaṇān
śrānto bubhukṣito vīraḥ
śaśaṁ cādad apasmṛtiḥ
tathā—according to the direction; iti—thus; saḥVikukṣi; vanam—to the forest; gatvā—going; mṛgān—animals; hatvā—killing; kriyā-arhaṇān—suitable for offering to the yajña in the śrāddha ceremony; śrāntaḥ—when he was fatigued; bubhukṣitaḥ—and hungry; vīraḥ—the hero; śaśam—a rabbit; ca—also; ādat—he ate; apasmṛtiḥ—forgetting (that the flesh was meant for offering in the śrāddha).
Thereafter, Ikṣvāku’s son Vikukṣi went to the forest and killed many animals suitable for being offered as oblations. But when fatigued and hungry he became forgetful and ate a rabbit he had killed.
It is evident that kṣatriyas killed animals in the forest because the flesh of the animals was suitable to be offered at a particular type of yajña. Offering oblations to the forefathers in the ceremony known as śrāddha is also a kind of yajña. In this yajña, flesh obtained from the forest by hunting could be offered. However, in the present age, Kali-yuga, this kind of offering is forbidden. Quoting from the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:
“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.” The word pala-paitṛkam refers to an offering of flesh in oblations to forefathers. Formerly, such an offering was allowed, but in this age it is forbidden. In this age, Kali-yuga, everyone is expert in hunting animals, but most of the people are śūdras, not kṣatriyas. According to Vedic injunctions, however, only kṣatriyas are allowed to hunt, whereas śūdras are allowed to eat flesh after offering goats or other insignificant animals before the deity of goddess Kālī or similar demigods. On the whole, meat-eating is not completely forbidden; a particular class of men is allowed to eat meat according to various circumstances and injunctions. As far as eating beef is concerned, however, it is strictly prohibited to everyone. Thus in Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa personally speaks of go-rakṣyam, cow protection. Meat-eaters, according to their different positions and the directions of the śāstra, are allowed to eat flesh, but never the flesh of cows. Cows must be given all protection.
śeṣaṁ nivedayām āsa
pitre tena ca tad-guruḥ
coditaḥ prokṣaṇāyāha
duṣṭam etad akarmakam
śeṣam—the remnants; nivedayām āsa—he offered; pitre—to his father; tena—by him; ca—also; tat-guruḥ—their priest or spiritual master; coditaḥ—being requested; prokṣaṇāya—for purifying; āha—said; duṣṭam—polluted; etat—all this flesh; akarmakam—not fit to be used for offering in śrāddha.
Vikukṣi offered the remnants of the flesh to King Ikṣvāku, who gave it to Vasiṣṭha for purification. But Vasiṣṭha could immediately understand that part of the flesh had already been taken by Vikukṣi, and therefore he said that it was unfit to be used in the śrāddha ceremony.
That which is meant to be offered in yajña cannot be tasted by anyone before being offered to the Deity. In our temples, this regulation is in effect. One cannot eat food from the kitchen unless it is offered to the Deity. If something is taken before being offered to the Deity, the entire preparation is polluted and can no longer be offered. Those engaged in Deity worship must know this very well so that they may be saved from committing offenses in Deity worship.
jñātvā putrasya tat karma
guruṇābhihitaṁ nṛpaḥ
deśān niḥsārayām āsa
sutaṁ tyakta-vidhiṁ ruṣā
jñātvā—knowing; putrasya—of his son; tat—that; karma—action; guruṇā—by the spiritual master (Vasiṣṭha); abhihitam—informed; nṛpaḥ—the King (Ikṣvāku); deśāt—from the country; niḥsārayām āsa—drove away; sutam—his son; tyakta-vidhim—because he violated the regulative principles; ruṣā—out of anger.
When King Ikṣvāku, thus informed by Vasiṣṭha, understood what his son Vikukṣi had done, he was extremely angry. Thus he ordered Vikukṣi to leave the country because Vikukṣi had violated the regulative principles.
sa tu vipreṇa saṁvādaṁ
jñāpakena samācaran
tyaktvā kalevaraṁ yogī
sa tenāvāpa yat param
saḥMahārāja Ikṣvāku; tu—indeed; vipreṇa—with the brāhmaṇa (Vasiṣṭha); saṁvādam—discussion; jñāpakena—with the informer; samācaran—doing accordingly; tyaktvā—giving up; kalevaram—this body; yogī—being a bhakti-yogī in the order of renunciation; saḥ—the King; tena—by such instruction; avāpa—achieved; yat—that position which; param—supreme.
Having been instructed by the great and learned brāhmaṇa Vasiṣṭha, who discoursed about the Absolute Truth, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku became renounced. By following the principles for a yogī, he certainly achieved the supreme perfection after giving up his material body.
pitary uparate ’bhyetya
vikukṣiḥ pṛthivīm imām
śāsad īje hariṁ yajñaiḥ
śaśāda iti viśrutaḥ
pitari—when his father; uparate—upon being relieved of the kingdom; abhyetya—having come back; vikukṣiḥ—the son named Vikukṣi; pṛthivīm—the planet earth; imām—this; śāsat—ruling; īje—worshiped; harim—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yajñaiḥ—by performing various sacrifices; śaśa-adaḥ—Saśāda (“the eater of a rabbit”); iti—thus; viśrutaḥ—celebrated.
After his father’s disappearance, Vikukṣi returned to the country and thus became the king, ruling the planet earth and performing various sacrifices to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vikukṣi later became celebrated as Saśāda.
purañjayas tasya suta
indravāha itīritaḥ
kakutstha iti cāpy uktaḥ
śṛṇu nāmāni karmabhiḥ
puram-jayaḥPurañjaya (“the conqueror of the residence”); tasya—his (Vikukṣi’s); sutaḥ—son; indra-vāhaḥ—Indravāha (“he whose carrier is Indra”); iti—thus; īritaḥ—known as such; kakutsthaḥ—Kakutstha (“situated on the hump of a bull”); iti—thus; ca—also; api—indeed; uktaḥ—known as such; śṛṇu—just hear; nāmāni—all the names; karmabhiḥ—according to one’s work.
The son of Saśāda was Purañjaya, who is also known as Indravāha and sometimes as Kakutstha. Please hear from me how he received different names for different activities.
kṛtānta āsīt samaro
devānāṁ saha dānavaiḥ
pārṣṇigrāho vṛto vīro
devair daitya-parājitaiḥ
kṛta-antaḥ—a devastating war; āsīt—there was; samaraḥ—a fight; devānām—of the demigods; saha—with; dānavaiḥ—the demons; pārṣṇigrāhaḥ—a very good assistant; vṛtaḥ—accepted; vīraḥ—a hero; devaiḥ—by the demigods; daitya—by the demons; parājitaiḥ—who had been conquered.
Formerly, there was a devastating war between the demigods and the demons. The demigods, having been defeated, accepted Purañjaya as their assistant and then conquered the demons. Therefore this hero is known as Purañjaya, “he who conquered the residence of the demons.”
vacanād deva-devasya
viṣṇor viśvātmanaḥ prabhoḥ
vāhanatve vṛtas tasya
babhūvendro mahā-vṛṣaḥ
vacanāt—by the order or the words; deva-devasya—of the Supreme Lord of all demigods; viṣṇoḥ—Lord Viṣṇu; viśva-ātmanaḥ—the Supersoul of the entire creation; prabhoḥ—the Lord, the controller; vāhanatve—because of becoming the carrier; vṛtaḥ—engaged; tasya—in the service of Purañjaya; babhūva—he became; indraḥ—the King of heaven; mahā-vṛṣaḥ—a great bull.
Purañjaya agreed to kill all the demons, on the condition that Indra would be his carrier. Because of pride, Indra could not accept this proposal, but later, by the order of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, Indra did accept it and became a great bull carrier for Purañjaya.
TEXTS 15–16
sa sannaddho dhanur divyam
ādāya viśikhāñ chitān
stūyamānas tam āruhya
yuyutsuḥ kakudi sthitaḥ
tejasāpyāyito viṣṇoḥ
puruṣasya mahātmanaḥ
pratīcyāṁ diśi daityānāṁ
nyaruṇat tridaśaiḥ puram
saḥ—he, Purañjaya; sannaddhaḥ—being well equipped; dhanuḥ divyam—a first-class or transcendental bow; ādāya—taking; viśikhān—arrows; śitān—very sharp; stūyamānaḥ—being praised very much; tam—him (the bull); āruhya—getting on; yuyutsuḥ—prepared to fight; kakudi—on the hump of the bull; sthitaḥ—being situated; tejasā—by the power; āpyāyitaḥ—being favored; viṣṇoḥ—of Lord Viṣṇu; puruṣasya—the Supreme Person; mahā-ātmanaḥ—the Supersoul; pratīcyām—on the western; diśi—direction; daityānām—of the demons; nyaruṇat—captured; tridaśaiḥ—surrounded by the demigods; puram—the residence.
Well protected by armor and desiring to fight, Purañjaya took up a transcendental bow and very sharp arrows, and, while being highly praised by the demigods, he got up on the back of the bull [Indra] and sat on its hump. Thus he is known as Kakutstha. Being empowered by Lord Viṣṇu, who is the Supersoul and the Supreme Person, Purañjaya sat on the great bull and is therefore known as Indravāha. Surrounded by the demigods, he attacked the residence of the demons in the west.
tais tasya cābhūt pradhanaṁ
tumulaṁ loma-harṣaṇam
yamāya bhallair anayad
daityān abhiyayur mṛdhe
taiḥ—with the demons; tasya—of him, Purañjaya; ca—also; abhūt—there was; pradhanam—a fight; tumulam—very fierce; loma-harṣaṇam—the hearing of which makes one’s hairs stand on end; yamāya—to the residence of Yamarāja; bhallaiḥ—by arrows; anayat—sent; daityān—the demons; abhiyayuḥ—who came toward him; mṛdhe—in that fight.
There was a fierce battle between the demons and Purañjaya. Indeed, it was so fierce that when one hears about it one’s hairs stand on end. All the demons bold enough to come before Purañjaya were immediately sent to the residence of Yamarāja by his arrows.
yugāntāgnim ivolbaṇam
visṛjya dudruvur daityā
hanyamānāḥ svam ālayam
tasya—his (Purañjaya’s); iṣu-pāta—the throwing of the arrows; abhimukham—in front of; yuga-anta—at the end of the millennium; agnim—the flames; iva—exactly like; ulbaṇam—fierce; visṛjya—giving up the attack; dudruvuḥ—ran away; daityāḥ—all the demons; hanyamānāḥ—being killed (by Purañjaya); svam—own; ālayam—to the residence.
To save themselves from the blazing arrows of Indravāha, which resembled the flames of devastation at the end of the millennium, the demons who remained when the rest of their army was killed fled very quickly to their respective homes.
jitvā paraṁ dhanaṁ sarvaṁ
sastrīkaṁ vajra-pāṇaye
pratyayacchat sa rājarṣir
iti nāmabhir āhṛtaḥ
jitvā—conquering; param—enemies; dhanam—wealth; sarvam—everything; sa-strīkam—with their wives; vajra-pāṇaye—unto Indra, who carries the thunderbolt; pratyayacchat—returned and delivered; saḥ—that; rāja-ṛṣiḥ—saintly king (Purañjaya); iti—thus; nāmabhiḥ—by names; āhṛtaḥ—was called.
After conquering the enemy, the saintly king Purañjaya gave everything, including the enemy’s riches and wives, to Indra, who carries a thunderbolt. For this he is celebrated as Purañjaya. Thus Purañjaya is known by different names because of his different activities.
purañjayasya putro ’bhūd
anenās tat-sutaḥ pṛthuḥ
viśvagandhis tataś candro
yuvanāśvas tu tat-sutaḥ
purañjayasya—of Purañjaya; putraḥ—son; abhūt—was born; anenāḥ—by the name Anenā; tat-sutaḥ—his son; pṛthuḥ—of the name Pṛthu; viśvagandhiḥ—of the name Viśvagandhi; tataḥ—his son; candraḥ—by the name Candra; yuvanāśvaḥ—of the name Yuvanāśva; tu—indeed; tat-sutaḥ—his son.
The son of Purañjaya was known as Anenā, Anenā’s son was Pṛthu, and Pṛthu’s son was Viśvagandhi. Viśvagandhi’s son was Candra, and Candra’s son was Yuvanāśva.
śrāvastas tat-suto yena
śrāvastī nirmame purī
bṛhadaśvas tu śrāvastis
tataḥ kuvalayāśvakaḥ
śrāvastaḥ—by the name Śrāvasta; tat-sutaḥ—the son of Yuvanāśva; yena—by whom; śrāvastī—of the name Śrāvastī; nirmame—was constructed; purī—the great township; bṛhadaśvaḥ—Bṛhadaśva; tu—however; śrāvastiḥ—begotten by Śrāvasta; tataḥ—from him; kuvalayāśvakaḥ—of the name Kuvalayāśva.
The son of Yuvanāśva was Śrāvasta, who constructed a township known as Śrāvastī Purī. The son of Śrāvasta was Bṛhadaśva, and his son was Kuvalayāśva. In this way the dynasty increased.
yaḥ priyārtham utaṅkasya
dhundhu-nāmāsuraṁ balī
sutānām eka-viṁśatyā
sahasrair ahanad vṛtaḥ
yaḥ—he who; priya-artham—for the satisfaction; utaṅkasya—of the great sage Utaṅka; dhundhu-nāma—of the name Dhundhu; asuram—a demon; balī—very powerful (Kuvalayāśva); sutānām—of sons; eka-viṁśatyā—by twenty-one; sahasraiḥ—thousands; ahanat—killed; vṛtaḥ—surrounded.
To satisfy the sage Utaṅka, the greatly powerful Kuvalayāśva killed a demon named Dhundhu. He did this with the assistance of his twenty-one thousand sons.
TEXTS 23–24
dhundhumāra iti khyātas
tat-sutās te ca jajvaluḥ
dhundhor mukhāgninā sarve
traya evāvaśeṣitāḥ
dṛḍhāśvaḥ kapilāśvaś ca
bhadrāśva iti bhārata
dṛḍhāśva-putro haryaśvo
nikumbhas tat-sutaḥ smṛtaḥ
dhundhu-māraḥ—the killer of Dhundhu; iti—thus; khyātaḥ—celebrated; tat-sutāḥ—his sons; te—all of them; ca—also; jajvaluḥ—burned; dhundhoḥ—of Dhundhu; mukha-agninā—by the fire emanating from the mouth; sarve—all of them; trayaḥ—three; eva—only; avaśeṣitāḥ—remained alive; dṛḍhāśvaḥDṛḍhāśva; kapilāśvaḥ—Kapilāśva; ca—and; bhadrāśvaḥBhadrāśva; iti—thus; bhārata—O Mahārāja Parīkṣit; dṛḍhāśva-putraḥ—the son of Dṛḍhāśva; haryaśvaḥ—named Haryaśva; nikumbhaḥNikumbha; tat-sutaḥ—his son; smṛtaḥ—well known.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, for this reason Kuvalayāśva is celebrated as Dhundhumāra [“the killer of Dhundhu”]. All but three of his sons, however, were burned to ashes by the fire emanating from Dhundhu’s mouth. The remaining sons were Dṛḍhāśva, Kapilāśva and Bhadrāśva. From Dṛḍhāśva came a son named Haryaśva, whose son is celebrated as Nikumbha.
bahulāśvo nikumbhasya
kṛśāśvo ’thāsya senajit
yuvanāśvo ’bhavat tasya
so ’napatyo vanaṁ gataḥ
bahulāśvaḥ—of the name Bahulāśva; nikumbhasya—of Nikumbha; kṛśāśvaḥ—of the name Kṛśāśva; atha—thereafter; asya—of Kṛśāśva; senajitSenajit; yuvanāśvaḥ—of the name Yuvanāśva; abhavat—was born; tasya—of Senajit; saḥ—he; anapatyaḥ—without any sons; vanam gataḥ—retired to the forest as a vānaprastha.
The son of Nikumbha was Bahulāśva, the son of Bahulāśva was Kṛśāśva, the son of Kṛśāśva was Senajit, and the son of Senajit was Yuvanāśva. Yuvanāśva had no sons, and thus he retired from family life and went to the forest.
bhāryā-śatena nirviṇṇa
ṛṣayo ’sya kṛpālavaḥ
iṣṭiṁ sma vartayāṁ cakrur
aindrīṁ te susamāhitāḥ
bhāryā-śatena—with one hundred wives; nirviṇṇaḥ—very morose; ṛṣayaḥ—the sages (in the forest); asya—upon him; kṛpālavaḥ—very merciful; iṣṭim—a ritualistic ceremony; sma—in the past; vartayām cakruḥ—began to execute; aindrīm—known as an Indra-yajña; te—all of them; su-samāhitāḥ—being very careful and attentive.
Although Yuvanāśva went into the forest with his one hundred wives, all of them were very morose. The sages in the forest, however, being very kind to the King, began very carefully and attentively performing an Indra-yajña so that the King might have a son.
One may enter the vānaprastha order of life with his wife, but the vānaprastha order means complete retirement from household life. Although King Yuvanāśva retired from family life, he and his wives were always morose because he had no son.
rājā tad-yajña-sadanaṁ
praviṣṭo niśi tarṣitaḥ
dṛṣṭvā śayānān viprāṁs tān
papau mantra-jalaṁ svayam
rājā—the King (Yuvanāśva); tat-yajña-sadanam—the arena of sacrifice; praviṣṭaḥ—entered; niśi—at night; tarṣitaḥ—being thirsty; dṛṣṭvā—seeing; śayānān—lying down; viprān—all the brāhmaṇas; tān—all of them; papau—drank; mantra-jalam—water sanctified by mantras; svayam—personally.
Being thirsty one night, the King entered the arena of sacrifice, and when he saw all the brāhmaṇas lying down, he personally drank the sanctified water meant to be drunk by his wife.
Yajñas performed by brāhmaṇas according to Vedic ritualistic ceremonies are so potent that the sanctifying of water by Vedic mantras can bring about the desired result. In this instance, the brāhmaṇas sanctified the water so that the King’s wife might drink it in the yajña, but by providence the King himself went there at night and, being thirsty, drank the water.
utthitās te niśamyātha
vyudakaṁ kalaśaṁ prabho
papracchuḥ kasya karmedaṁ
pītaṁ puṁsavanaṁ jalam
utthitāḥ—after awakening; te—all of them; niśamya—seeing; atha—thereafter; vyudakam—empty; kalaśam—the waterpot; prabho—O King Parīkṣit; papracchuḥ—inquired; kasya—whose; karma—act; idam—this; pītam—drunk; puṁsavanam—which was to cause the birth of a child; jalam—water.
When the brāhmaṇas got up from bed and saw the waterpot empty, they inquired who had done this work of drinking the water meant for begetting a child.
rājñā pītaṁ viditvā vai
īśvara-prahitena te
īśvarāya namaś cakrur
aho daiva-balaṁ balam
rājñā—by the King; pītam—drunk; viditvā—understanding this; vai—indeed; īśvara-prahitena—inspired by providence; te—all of them; īśvarāya—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller; namaḥ cakruḥ—offered respectful obeisances; aho—alas; daiva-balam—providential power; balam—is actual power.
When the brāhmaṇas came to understand that the King, inspired by the supreme controller, had drunk the water, they all exclaimed “Alas! The power of providence is real power. No one can counteract the power of the Supreme.” In this way they offered their respectful obeisances unto the Lord.
tataḥ kāla upāvṛtte
kukṣiṁ nirbhidya dakṣiṇam
yuvanāśvasya tanayaś
cakravartī jajāna ha
tataḥ—thereafter; kāle—time; upāvṛtte—being mature; kukṣim—the lower part of the abdomen; nirbhidya—piercing; dakṣiṇam—the right side; yuvanāśvasya—of King Yuvanāśva; tanayaḥ—a son; cakravartī—with all the good symptoms of a king; jajāna—generated; ha—in the past.
Thereafter, in due course of time, a son with all the good symptoms of a powerful king came forth from the lower right side of King Yuvanāśva’s abdomen.
kaṁ dhāsyati kumāro ’yaṁ
stanye rorūyate bhṛśam
māṁ dhātā vatsa mā rodīr
itīndro deśinīm adāt
kam—by whom; dhāsyati—will he be cared for by being supplied breast milk; kumāraḥ—child; ayam—this; stanye—for drinking breast milk; rorūyate—is crying; bhṛśam—so much; mām dhātā—just drink me; vatsa—my dear child; rodīḥ—do not cry; iti—thus; indraḥ—King Indra; deśinīm—the index finger; adāt—gave him to suck.
The baby cried so much for breast milk that all the brāhmaṇas were very unhappy. “Who will take care of this baby?” they said. Then Indra, who was worshiped in that yajña, came and solaced the baby. “Do not cry,” Indra said. Then Indra put his index finger in the baby’s mouth and said, “You may drink me.”
na mamāra pitā tasya
yuvanāśvo ’tha tatraiva
tapasā siddhim anvagāt
na—not; mamāra—died; pitā—the father; tasya—of the baby; vipra-deva-prasādataḥ—because of the mercy and blessings of the brāhmaṇas; yuvanāśvaḥ—King Yuvanāśva; atha—thereafter; tatra eva—in that very place; tapasā—by executing austerity; siddhim—perfection; anvagāt—achieved.
Because Yuvanāśva, the father of the baby, was blessed by the brāhmaṇas, he did not fall a victim to death. After this incident, he performed severe austerities and achieved perfection in that very spot.
TEXTS 33–34
trasaddasyur itīndro ’ṅga
vidadhe nāma yasya vai
yasmāt trasanti hy udvignā
dasyavo rāvaṇādayaḥ
yauvanāśvo ’tha māndhātā
cakravarty avanīṁ prabhuḥ
sapta-dvīpavatīm ekaḥ
trasat-dasyuḥ—of the name Trasaddasyu (“one who threatens thieves and rogues”); iti—thus; indraḥ—the King of heaven; aṅga—my dear King; vidadhe—gave; nāma—the name; yasya—whom; vai—indeed; yasmāt—from whom; trasanti—are afraid; hi—indeed; udvignāḥ—the cause of anxiety; dasyavaḥ—thieves and rogues; rāvaṇa-ādayaḥ—headed by great Rākṣasas like Rāvaṇa; yauvanāśvaḥ—the son of Yuvanāśva; atha—thus; māndhātā—known as Māndhātā; cakravartī—the emperor of the world; avanīm—this surface of the world; prabhuḥ—the master; sapta-dvīpa-vatīm—consisting of seven islands; ekaḥ—one alone; śaśāsa—ruled; acyuta-tejasā—being powerful by the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Māndhātā, the son of Yuvanāśva, was the cause of fear for Rāvaṇa and other thieves and rogues who caused anxiety. O King Parīkṣit, because they feared him, the son of Yuvanāśva was known as Trasaddasyu. This name was given by King Indra. By the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Yuvanāśva was so powerful that when he became emperor he ruled the entire world, consisting of seven islands, without any second ruler.
TEXTS 35–36
īje ca yajñaṁ kratubhir
ātma-vid bhūri-dakṣiṇaiḥ
sarva-devamayaṁ devaṁ
sarvātmakam atīndriyam
dravyaṁ mantro vidhir yajño
yajamānas tathartvijaḥ
dharmo deśaś ca kālaś ca
sarvam etad yad ātmakam
īje—he worshiped; ca—also; yajñam—the Lord of sacrifices; kratubhiḥ—by great ritualistic performances; ātma-vit—fully conscious by self-realization; bhūri-dakṣiṇaiḥ—by giving large contributions to the brāhmaṇas; sarva-deva-mayam—consisting of all the demigods; devam—the Lord; sarva-ātmakam—the Supersoul of everyone; ati-indriyam—transcendentally situated; dravyam—ingredients; mantraḥ—chanting of the Vedic hymns; vidhiḥ—regulative principles; yajñaḥ—worshiping; yajamānaḥ—the performer; tathā—with; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests; dharmaḥ—religious principles; deśaḥ—the country; ca—and; kālaḥ—the time; ca—also; sarvam—everything; etat—all these; yat—that which is; ātmakam—favorable for self-realization.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not different from the auspicious aspects of great sacrifices, such as the ingredients of the sacrifice, the chanting of Vedic hymns, the regulative principles, the performer, the priests, the result of the sacrifice, the arena of sacrifice, and the time of sacrifice. Knowing the principles of self-realization, Māndhātā worshiped that transcendentally situated Supreme Soul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, who comprises all the demigods. He also gave immense charity to the brāhmaṇas, and thus he performed yajña to worship the Lord.
yāvat sūrya udeti sma
yāvac ca pratitiṣṭhati
tat sarvaṁ yauvanāśvasya
māndhātuḥ kṣetram ucyate
yāvat—as long as; sūryaḥ—the sun; udeti—has risen on the horizon; sma—in the past; yāvat—as long as; ca—also; pratitiṣṭhati—continues to stay; tat—all those things mentioned above; sarvam—everything; yauvanāśvasya—of the son of Yuvanāśva; māndhātuḥ—called Māndhātā; kṣetram—location; ucyate—is said to be.
All places, from where the sun rises on the horizon, shining brilliantly, to where the sun sets, are known as the possession of the celebrated Māndhātā, the son of Yuvanāśva.
śaśabindor duhitari
bindumatyām adhān nṛpaḥ
purukutsam ambarīṣaṁ
mucukundaṁ ca yoginam
teṣāṁ svasāraḥ pañcāśat
saubhariṁ vavrire patim
śaśabindoḥ—of a king known as Śaśabindu; duhitari—unto the daughter; bindumatyām—whose name was Bindumatī; adhāt—begot; nṛpaḥ—the King (Māndhātā); purukutsam—Purukutsa; ambarīṣamAmbarīṣa; mucukundamMucukunda; ca—and; yoginam—a highly elevated mystic; teṣām—of them; svasāraḥ—the sisters; pañcāśat—fifty; saubharim—unto the great sage Saubhari; vavrire—accepted; patim—as husband.
Māndhātā begot three sons in the womb of Bindumatī, the daughter of Śaśabindu. These sons were Purukutsa, Ambarīṣa, and Mucukunda, a great mystic yogī. These three brothers had fifty sisters, who all accepted the great sage Saubhari as their husband.
TEXTS 39–40
yamunāntar-jale magnas
tapyamānaḥ paraṁ tapaḥ
nirvṛtiṁ mīna-rājasya
dṛṣṭvā maithuna-dharmiṇaḥ
jāta-spṛho nṛpaṁ vipraḥ
kanyām ekām ayācata
so ’py āha gṛhyatāṁ brahman
kāmaṁ kanyā svayaṁvare
yamunā-antaḥ-jale—in the deep water of the River Yamunā; magnaḥ—merged completely; tapyamānaḥ—executing austerities; param—uncommon; tapaḥ—austerity; nirvṛtim—pleasure; mīna-rājasya—of a big fish; dṛṣṭvā—seeing; maithuna-dharmiṇaḥ—engaged in sexual affairs; jāta-spṛhaḥ—became sexually inclined; nṛpam—unto the King (Māndhātā); vipraḥ—the brāhmaṇa (Saubhari Ṛṣi); kanyām ekām—one daughter; ayācata—begged for; saḥ—he, the King; api—also; āha—said; gṛhyatām—you can take; brahman—O brāhmaṇa; kāmam—as she desires; kanyā—daughter; svayaṁvare—a personal selection.
Saubhari Ṛṣi was engaged in austerity, deep in the water of the River Yamunā, when he saw a pair of fish engaged in sexual affairs. Thus he perceived the pleasure of sex life, and induced by this desire he went to King Māndhātā and begged for one of the King’s daughters. In response to this request, the King said, “O brāhmaṇa, any of my daughters may accept any husband according to her personal selection.”
This is the beginning of the story of Saubhari Ṛṣi. According to Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Māndhātā was the king of Mathurā, and Saubhari Ṛṣi was engaged in austerity while submerged deep within the River Yamunā. When the ṛṣi felt sexual desire, he emerged from the water and went to King Māndhātā to ask that one of the King’s daughters become his wife.
TEXTS 41–42
sa vicintyāpriyaṁ strīṇāṁ
jaraṭho ’ham asan-mataḥ
valī-palita ejat-ka
ity ahaṁ pratyudāhṛtaḥ
sādhayiṣye tathātmānaṁ
sura-strīṇām abhīpsitam
kiṁ punar manujendrāṇām
iti vyavasitaḥ prabhuḥ
saḥ—he, Saubhari Muni; vicintya—thinking to himself; apriyam—not liked; strīṇām—by the women; jaraṭhaḥ—being infirm because of old age; aham—I; asat-mataḥ—not desired by them; valī—wrinkled; palitaḥ—grey-haired; ejat-kaḥ—with the head always trembling; iti—in this way; aham—I; pratyudāhṛtaḥ—rejected (by them); sādhayiṣye—I shall act in such a way; tathā—as; ātmānam—my body; sura-strīṇām—to the celestial women of the heavenly planets; abhīpsitam—desirable; kim—what to speak of; punaḥ—yet; manuja-indrāṇām—of the daughters of worldly kings; iti—in this way; vyavasitaḥ—determined; prabhuḥSaubhari, the greatly powerful mystic.
Saubhari Muni thought: I am now feeble because of old age. My hair has become grey, my skin is slack, and my head always trembles. Besides, I am a yogī. Therefore women do not like me. Since the King has thus rejected me, I shall reform my body in such a way as to be desirable even to celestial women, what to speak of the daughters of worldly kings.
muniḥ praveśitaḥ kṣatrā
kanyāntaḥpuram ṛddhimat
vṛtaḥ sa rāja-kanyābhir
ekaṁ pañcāśatā varaḥ
muniḥSaubhari Muni; praveśitaḥ—admitted; kṣatrā—by the palace messenger; kanyā-antaḥpuram—into the residential quarters of the princesses; ṛddhi-mat—extremely opulent in all respects; vṛtaḥ—accepted; saḥ—he; rāja-kanyābhiḥ—by all the princesses; ekam—he alone; pañcāśatā—by all fifty; varaḥ—the husband.
Thereafter, when Saubhari Muni became quite a young and beautiful person, the messenger of the palace took him inside the residential quarters of the princesses, which were extremely opulent. All fifty princesses then accepted him as their husband, although he was only one man.
tāsāṁ kalir abhūd bhūyāṁs
tad-arthe ’pohya sauhṛdam
mamānurūpo nāyaṁ va
iti tad-gata-cetasām
tāsām—of all the princesses; kaliḥ—disagreement and quarrel; abhūt—there was; bhūyān—very much; tat-arthe—for the sake of Saubhari Muni; apohya—giving up; sauhṛdam—a good relationship; mama—mine; anurūpaḥ—the fit person; na—not; ayam—this; vaḥ—yours; iti—in this way; tat-gata-cetasām—being attracted by him.
Thereafter, the princesses, being attracted by Saubhari Muni, gave up their sisterly relationship and quarreled among themselves, each one of them contending, “This man is just suitable for me, and not for you.” In this way there ensued a great disagreement.
TEXTS 45–46
sa bahv-ṛcas tābhir apāraṇīya-
gṛheṣu nānopavanāmalāmbhaḥ-
saraḥsu saugandhika-kānaneṣu
svalaṅkṛta-strī-puruṣeṣu nityadā
reme ’nugāyad-dvija-bhṛṅga-vandiṣu
saḥ—he, Saubhari Ṛṣi; bahu-ṛcaḥ—quite expert in utilizing Vedic mantras; tābhiḥ—with his wives; apāraṇīya—unlimited; tapaḥ—the result of austerity; śriyā—by opulences; anarghya—paraphernalia for enjoyment; paricchadeṣu—equipped with different garments and dresses; gṛheṣu—in the house and rooms; nānā—varieties of; upavana—parks; amala—clean; ambhaḥ—water; saraḥsu—in lakes; saugandhika—very fragrant; kānaneṣu—in gardens; mahā-arha—very costly; śayyā—bedding; āsana—sitting places; vastra—clothing; bhūṣaṇa—ornaments; snāna—bathing places; anulepa—sandalwood; abhyavahāra—palatable dishes; mālyakaiḥ—and with garlands; su-alaṅkṛta—properly dressed and decorated; strī—women; puruṣeṣu—with men also; nityadā—constantly; reme—enjoyed; anugāyat—followed by the singing of; dvija—birds; bhṛṅga—bumblebees; vandiṣu—and professional singers.
Because Saubhari Muni was expert in chanting mantras perfectly, his severe austerities resulted in an opulent home, with garments, ornaments, properly dressed and decorated maidservants and manservants, and varieties of parks with clear-water lakes and gardens. In the gardens, fragrant with varieties of flowers, birds chirped and bees hummed, surrounded by professional singers. Saubhari Muni’s home was amply provided with valuable beds, seats, ornaments, and arrangements for bathing, and there were varieties of sandalwood creams, flower garlands, and palatable dishes. Thus surrounded by opulent paraphernalia, the muni engaged in family affairs with his numerous wives.
Saubhari Ṛṣi was a great yogī. Yogic perfection makes available eight material opulences—aṇimā, laghimā, mahimā, prāpti, prākāmya, īśitva, vaśitva and kāmāvasāyitā. Saubhari Muni exhibited super-excellence in material enjoyment by dint of his yogic perfection. The word bahv-ṛca means “expert in chanting mantras.” As material opulence can be achieved by ordinary material means, it can also be achieved by subtle means through mantras. By chanting mantras, Saubhari Muni arranged for material opulence, but this was not perfection in life. As will be seen, Saubhari Muni became very dissatisfied with material opulence and thus left everything and reentered the forest in the vānaprastha order and achieved final success. Those who are not ātma-tattva-vit, who do not know the spiritual value of life, can be satisfied with external material opulences, but those who are ātma-tattva-vit are not inspired by material opulence. This is the instruction we can derive from the life and activities of Saubhari Muni.
yad-gārhasthyaṁ tu saṁvīkṣya
vismitaḥ stambham ajahāt
yat—he whose; gārhasthyam—family life, householder life; tu—but; saṁvīkṣya—observing; sapta-dvīpa-vatī-patiḥMāndhātā, who was the King of the entire world, consisting of seven islands; vismitaḥ—was struck with wonder; stambham—pride due to a prestigious position; ajahāt—he gave up; sārva-bhauma—the emperor of the entire world; śriyā-anvitam—blessed with all kinds of opulence.
Māndhātā, the King of the entire world, consisting of seven islands, was struck with wonder when he saw the household opulence of Saubhari Muni. Thus he gave up his false prestige in his position as emperor of the world.
Everyone is proud of his own position, but here was an astounding experience, in which the emperor of the entire world felt himself defeated in all details of material happiness by the opulence of Saubhari Muni.
evaṁ gṛheṣv abhirato
viṣayān vividhaiḥ sukhaiḥ
sevamāno na cātuṣyad
ājya-stokair ivānalaḥ
evam—in this way; gṛheṣu—in household affairs; abhirataḥ—being always engaged; viṣayān—material paraphernalia; vividhaiḥ—with varieties of; sukhaiḥ—happiness; sevamānaḥ—enjoying; na—not; ca—also; atuṣyat—satisfied him; ājya-stokaiḥ—by drops of fat; iva—like; analaḥ—a fire.
In this way, Saubhari Muni enjoyed sense gratification in the material world, but he was not at all satisfied, just as a fire never ceases blazing if constantly supplied with drops of fat.
Material desire is just like a blazing fire. If a fire is continually supplied with drops of fat, the fire will increase more and more and never be extinguished. Therefore the policy of trying to satisfy material desires by catering to one’s material demands will never be successful. In modern civilization, everyone is engaged in economic development, which is another way of constantly dropping fat into the material fire. The Western countries have reached the summit of material civilization, but people are still dissatisfied. Real satisfaction is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (5.29), where Kṛṣṇa says:
“The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.” One must therefore take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by properly following the regulative principles. Then one can attain an eternal, blissful life in peace and knowledge.
sa kadācid upāsīna
ātmāpahnavam ātmanaḥ
dadarśa bahv-ṛcācāryo
saḥ—he, Saubhari Muni; kadācit—one day; upāsīnaḥ—sitting down; ātma-apahnavam—degrading oneself from the platform of tapasya; ātmanaḥ—self-caused; dadarśa—observed; bahu-ṛca-ācāryaḥSaubhari Muni, who was expert in chanting mantras; mīna-saṅga—the sexual affairs of fish; samutthitam—caused by this incident.
Thereafter, one day while Saubhari Muni, who was expert in chanting mantras, was sitting in a secluded place, he thought to himself about the cause of his falldown, which was simply that he had associated himself with the sexual affairs of the fish.
Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks that Saubhari Muni had fallen from his austerity because of a vaiṣṇava-aparādha. The history is that when Garuḍa wanted to eat fish, Saubhari Muni unnecessarily gave the fish shelter under his care. Because Garuḍa’s plans for eating were disappointed, Saubhari Muni certainly committed a great offense to a Vaiṣṇava. Because of this vaiṣṇava-aparādha, an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava, Saubhari Muni fell from his exalted position of mystic tapasya. One should not, therefore, impede the activities of a Vaiṣṇava. This is the lesson we must learn from this incident concerning Saubhari Muni.
aho imaṁ paśyata me vināśaṁ
tapasvinaḥ sac-carita-vratasya
antarjale vāri-cara-prasaṅgāt
pracyāvitaṁ brahma ciraṁ dhṛtaṁ yat
aho—alas; imam—this; paśyata—just see; me—of me; vināśam—falldown; tapasvinaḥ—who was such a great mystic performing austerity; sat-carita—of very good character, observing all necessary rules and regulations; vratasya—of one who has taken a vow strictly; antaḥ-jale—in the depths of the water; vāri-cara-prasaṅgāt—because of the affairs of the aquatics; pracyāvitam—fallen; brahma—from the activities of Brahman realization or austerity; ciram—for a long time; dhṛtam—executed; yat—which.
Alas! While practicing austerity, even within the depths of the water, and while observing all the rules and regulations practiced by saintly persons, I lost the results of my long austerities simply by association with the sexual affairs of fish. Everyone should observe this falldown and learn from it.
saṅgaṁ tyajeta mithuna-vratīnāṁ mumukṣuḥ
sarvātmanā na visṛjed bahir-indriyāṇi
ekaś caran rahasi cittam ananta īśe
yuñjīta tad-vratiṣu sādhuṣu cet prasaṅgaḥ
saṅgam—association; tyajeta—must give up; mithuna-vratīnām—of a person engaged in sexual affairs, legal or illegal; mumukṣuḥ—persons who desire liberation; sarva-ātmanā—in all respects; na—do not; visṛjet—employ; bahiḥ-indriyāṇi—external senses; ekaḥ—alone; caran—moving; rahasi—in a secluded place; cittam—the heart; anante īśe—fixed at the lotus feet of the unlimited Supreme Personality of Godhead; yuñjīta—one can engage himself; tat-vratiṣu—with persons of the same category (desiring liberation from material bondage); sādhuṣu—such saintly persons; cet—if; prasaṅgaḥ—one wants association.
A person desiring liberation from material bondage must give up the association of persons interested in sex life and should not employ his senses externally [in seeing, hearing, talking, walking and so on]. One should always stay in a secluded place, completely fixing his mind at the lotus feet of the unlimited Personality of Godhead, and if one wants any association at all, he should associate with persons similarly engaged.
Saubhari Muni, giving conclusions derived from his practical experience, instructs us that persons interested in crossing to the other side of the material ocean must give up the association of persons interested in sex life and accumulating money. This is also advised by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu:
niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukasya
pāraṁ paraṁ jigamiṣor bhava-sāgarasya
sandarśanaṁ viṣayiṇām atha yoṣitāṁ ca
hanta hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato ’py asādhu
(Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka 8.27)
“Alas, for a person seriously desiring to cross the material ocean and engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord without material motives, seeing a materialist engaged in sense gratification and seeing a woman who is similarly interested is more abominable than drinking poison willingly.”
One who desires complete freedom from material bondage can engage himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. He must not associate with viṣayī—materialistic persons or those interested in sex life. Every materialist is interested in sex. Thus in plain language it is advised that an exalted saintly person avoid the association of those who are materially inclined. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura also recommends that one engage in the service of the ācāryas, and if one wants to live in association, he must live in the association of devotees (tāṅdera caraṇa sevi bhakta-sane vāsa). The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is creating many centers just to create devotees so that by associating with the members of such a center people will automatically become uninterested in material affairs. Although this is an ambitious proposal, this association is proving effective by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. By gradually associating with the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, simply by taking prasāda and taking part in chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, ordinary persons are being considerably elevated. Saubhari Muni regrets that he had bad association even in the deepest part of the water. Because of the bad association of the sexually engaged fish, he fell down. A secluded place is also not secure unless there is good association.
ekas tapasvy aham athāmbhasi matsya-saṅgāt
pañcāśad āsam uta pañca-sahasra-sargaḥ
nāntaṁ vrajāmy ubhaya-kṛtya-manorathānāṁ
māyā-guṇair hṛta-matir viṣaye ’rtha-bhāvaḥ
ekaḥ—one only; tapasvī—great sage; aham—I; atha—thus; ambhasi—in the deep water; matsya-saṅgāt—by associating with the fish; pañcāśat—fifty; āsam—got wives; uta—and what to speak of begetting one hundred sons in each of them; pañca-sahasra-sargaḥ—procreation of five thousand; na antam—no end; vrajāmi—I can find; ubhaya-kṛtya—duties of this life and the next; manorathānām—mental concoctions; māyā-guṇaiḥ—influenced by the modes of material nature; hṛta—lost; matiḥ viṣaye—great attraction for material things; artha-bhāvaḥ—matters of self-interest.
In the beginning I was alone and engaged in performing the austerities of mystic yoga, but later, because of the association of fish engaged in sex, I desired to marry. Then I became the husband of fifty wives, and in each of them I begot one hundred sons, and thus my family increased to five thousand members. By the influence of the modes of material nature, I became fallen and thought that I would be happy in material life. Thus there is no end to my material desires for enjoyment, in this life and the next.
evaṁ vasan gṛhe kālaṁ
virakto nyāsam āsthitaḥ
vanaṁ jagāmānuyayus
tat-patnyaḥ pati-devatāḥ
evam—in this way; vasan—living; gṛhe—at home; kālam—passing away time; viraktaḥ—became detached; nyāsam—in the renounced order of life; āsthitaḥ—became situated; vanam—in the forest; jagāma—he went; anuyayuḥ—was followed by; tat-patnyaḥ—all his wives; pati-devatāḥ—because their only worshipable object was their husband.
In this way he passed his life in household affairs for some time, but then he became detached from material enjoyment. To renounce material association, he accepted the vānaprastha order and went to the forest. His devoted wives followed him, for they had no shelter other than their husband.
tatra taptvā tapas tīkṣṇam
ātma-darśanam ātmavān
sahaivāgnibhir ātmānaṁ
yuyoja paramātmani
tatra—in the forest; taptvā—executing austerity; tapaḥ—the regulative principles of austerity; tīkṣṇam—very severely; ātma-darśanam—which helps self-realization; ātmavān—conversant with the self; saha—with; eva—certainly; agnibhiḥ—fires; ātmānam—the personal self; yuyoja—he engaged; parama-ātmani—dealing with the Supreme Soul.
When Saubhari Muni, who was quite conversant with the self, went to the forest, he performed severe penances. In this way, in the fire at the time of death, he ultimately engaged himself in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
At the time of death, fire burns the gross body, and if there is no more desire for material enjoyment the subtle body is also ended, and in this way a pure soul remains. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]). If one is free from the bondage of both the gross and subtle material bodies and remains a pure soul, he returns home, back to Godhead, to be engaged in the service of the Lord. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti: [Bg. 4.9] he goes back home, back to Godhead. Thus it appears that Saubhari Muni attained that perfect stage.
tāḥ sva-patyur mahārāja
nirīkṣyādhyātmikīṁ gatim
anvīyus tat-prabhāveṇa
agniṁ śāntam ivārciṣaḥ
tāḥ—all the wives of Saubhari; sva-patyuḥ—with their own husband; mahārāja—O King Parīkṣit; nirīkṣya—observing; adhyātmikīm—spiritual; gatim—progress; anvīyuḥ—followed; tat-prabhāveṇa—by the influence of their husband (although they were unfit, by the influence of their husband they also could go to the spiritual world); agnim—the fire; śāntam—completely merged; iva—like; arciṣaḥ—the flames.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, by observing their husband progressing in spiritual existence, Saubhari Muni’s wives were also able to enter the spiritual world by his spiritual power, just as the flames of a fire cease when the fire is extinguished.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (9.32), striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās te ’pi yānti parāṁ gatim. Women are not considered very powerful in following spiritual principles, but if a woman is fortunate enough to get a suitable husband who is spiritually advanced and if she always engages in his service, she also gets the same benefit as her husband. Here it is clearly said that the wives of Saubhari Muni also entered the spiritual world by the influence of their husband. They were unfit, but because they were faithful followers of their husband, they also entered the spiritual world with him. Thus a woman should be a faithful servant of her husband, and if the husband is spiritually advanced, the woman will automatically get the opportunity to enter the spiritual world.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Sixth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Downfall of Saubhari Muni.”

Link to this page:

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada