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Lord Kapila, the son of Kardama Muni and Devahuti
Vidura was very inquisitive to hear about the descendents of Svayambhuva Manu, and so Maitreya narrated recited the history.
In the beginning of Satya-yuga, when Lord Brahma commanded him to beget children, Kardama Muni went to the banks of the River Sarasvati and performed austerities for ten thousand years. During that period, Kardama pleased the Supreme Lord by worshiping Him while in the trance of meditation. Thus, Lord Vishnu appeared before the sage in His beautiful and greatly effulgent four-armed form that was decorated with a garland of white lotus flowers.
The Lord was dressed in spotless yellow silk and His dark tresses of hair created a border for His beautiful face. While remaining in the sky, the Lord stood upon Garuda’s shoulders and smilingly glanced at Kardama. Feeling that his transcendental desire had become fulfilled, Kardama fell to the ground to offer his obeisances.
Then, after standing up with folded hands, Kardama Muni glorified the Lord by offering his prayers: “O most worshipful Lord, my power of vision has now served its purpose, for I am seeing You before me in Your eternal, transcendental form. Your lotus feet are the true vessel by which one can cross over the ocean of mundane nescience, and so only deluded persons will worship You for attaining momentary sense pleasure.”
“O my Lord, because You are also merciful to such foolish persons, I have also taken shelter of You while desiring to marry a girl of like disposition who may prove to be a veritable cow of plenty in my household life.”
While looking at Kardama with a smile that was full of affection, the Lord replied to him with words that were as sweet as nectar.
The Lord said, “Knowing your mind, I have already arranged to give you that for which you had worshiped Me.”
“My dear rishi, there is never a question of frustration for those persons who have given up everything to serve Me with devotion. On the day after tomorrow, Emperor Svayambhuva Manu, who rules the earth with its seven islands and seas from his capital, Brahmavarta, will come here to see you, along with his queen, Shatarupa. Manu has a beautiful daughter of marriageable age who is endowed with all good qualities, and because she is just suitable for you, he will give you her hand in marriage.”
“O holy sage, she is just the type of girl that you have been thinking of in your heart for all these years. Rest assured that she will soon be yours, and will serve you to your heart’s content. From your semen she will beget nine daughters through whom the great sages will further increase the population.”
“By remaining always in full consciousness of Me, and at the same time showing compassion toward all living creatures, you will ultimately achieve perfect self-realization. Thus, you will be able to perceive Me in you and yourself and all else within Me. O great sage, I will also manifest My plenary portion through your wife, and as her son, I will instruct her in the knowledge of the Absolute Truth.”
After speaking, the Lord departed from the Bindu-sarovara Lake, which is encircled by the River Sarasvati. As the Lord traversed the path back to Vaikuntha, Kardama listened to the hymns of the Sama-Veda that were being vibrated by the flapping of Garuda’s wings.
Meanwhile, as Kardama awaited the time that had been indicated by the Lord, Svayambhuva Manu mounted his chariot, along with his wife and daughter, and began traveling over the earth in search of a suitable son-in-law. In this way, he reached Kardama’s ashram on the very day the rishi had completed his vows of austerity, as foretold by the Lord. Bindu-sarovara is highly sacred because its water was mixed with the tears of happiness that the Lord had shed upon seeing Kardama’s austerities. Pious trees that were full of fruit and flowers in all seasons surrounded the lake, and the whole area resounded with the cries of exotic birds.
Upon entering this beautiful setting, Svayambhuva Manu, the first monarch, saw Kardama just after the completion of his sacrificial performances. Although the rishi had been engaged in austerity for a long time, his body was not emaciated because he had contacted the Lord’s affectionate sidelong glances and moonlike words.
Kardama was very tall, and his body shone lustrously due to his living a life of celibacy. Having eyes like lotus petals, the sage wore only rags and he had matted hair, and thus he appeared somewhat like an unpolished gem. When Svayambhuva Manu bowed down before Kardama, the rishi reciprocated by receiving him with due honor and offering his benediction.
After the Emperor was seated, Kardama praised him with very sweet words, saying, “My lord, because you embody the protecting energy of Shri Hari, and are therefore His earthly representative, I offer my obeisances unto you. If you did not mount your chariot and produce fierce sounds by the twanging of your bow, and if you did not lead your huge army over the earth, then all kinds of moral laws, which were created by the Supreme Lord Himself, would be broken by the rogues and rascals. If you did not concern yourself with the world situation, then unrighteousness would flourish, because persons who only hanker after money would be free to act without opposition. Now, O valiant king, please inform me of the purpose for which you have come here, and rest assured that we will carry it out without reservation.”
After Kardama became silent, Manu replied, “To expand Vedic knowledge, Lord Brahma created you, the brahmanas, who are full of austerity, knowledge, and mystic powers, and are adverse to sense gratification. For the protection of the brahmanas, we the kshatriyas were created. Now, simply by meeting you, all of my doubts regarding the execution of royal duties have been removed by your clear and concise explanations. I feel extremely fortunate just to be able to see you, and so what to speak of having received the opportunity to touch my head to the sacred dust of your feet.”
“O great sage, kindly listen to my humble prayer, for my mind is troubled by affection for my daughter, Devahuti, who is seeking a suitable husband in terms of age, character and good qualities. After hearing from Narada about your noble character, learning, handsome appearance, and other virtues, she has fixed her mind solely upon you.”
“Therefore, please accept her, O best of the brahmanas, for she is fully qualified to be your wife and take charge of your household affairs. It is not commendable for a person to deny an offering that has come of its own accord, even if he is absolutely free from all attachment- and so what to speak if he is addicted to sense pleasure. One who rejects such an offering and then later on begs the same thing from a miser, loses his good reputation as well as his self-esteem. I know that you are planning to marry and have not taken a vow of life-long celibacy. Therefore, please accept my daughter.”
Kardama replied, “It is true that I desire to marry, and since your daughter has never before given her heart to anyone, I agree to accept her. Who would not agree to marry your daughter, for she is so lovely that her bodily luster alone excels the beauty of her ornaments? I once heard how Vishvavasu, the Gandharva, while flying overhead, became so infatuated by seeing your daughter playing with a ball on the palace roof, that he fell from his airplane. I shall accept this chaste girl as my wife, but only on the condition that after she gives birth to a child, I may leave home to accept the renounced life of the paramahamsa, for full engagement in devotional service to the Lord.”
After saying this, Kardama became silent, his mind absorbed in thought of his worshipable Lord Vishnu. Upon seeing his serenely smiling face, Devahuti’s mind became completely captivated, and she began to meditate upon him without deviation. Understanding the desire of his wife and daughter, Svayambhuva Manu gladly gave Devahuti to the sage.
Shatarupa then presented many valuable things, such as jewelry, clothing and household articles as a dowry. Having become relieved from his heavy responsibility by handing over his daughter to a suitable man, Svayambhuva Manu fondly embraced Devahuti, and because his mind became agitated by feelings of separation, tears poured profusely from his eyes. Finally, after taking permission from Kardama, Manu mounted his chariot and departed for his capital.
When Manu arrived at Brahmavarta, the citizens joyfully came to greet him with prayers and music. This city was also called Barhishmati because, when Lord Varaha had shook His body, some of His hair had fallen there and transformed into kusha and kasha grass. After acknowledging the welcome of his subjects, Manu entered his palace, which was filled with an atmosphere that eradicated the three-fold miseries of material existence. There, the emperor enjoyed life along with his wife and subjects, without violating the principles of religion, and every morning he would listen to the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead with a loving heart.
Thus, although he was apparently absorbed in royal material happiness, the Emperor could not be degraded because he always enjoyed life in a Krishna conscious atmosphere. Because of this, his long duration of life, consisting of seventy-one yuga-cycles, was not spent in vain. Due to having utilized his time for hearing, contemplating and chanting the glorious pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Svayambhuva Manu went back home, back to Godhead after quitting his material body.
After the departure of her parents, Devahuti began to constantly serve her husband with great love. Understanding his every desire, she served Kardama very intimately but with great respect, control of the senses, and pleasing speech. While giving up all lust, pride, envy, greed and vanity, Devahuti worked very sanely and diligently, and thus she pleased her powerful husband. After serving Kardama for a long time, Devahuti grew weak and emaciated because of her strict vows. At the same time, she considered her husband to be like a god, and so she expected great blessings from him.
Upon seeing Devahuti’s condition, Kardama felt great compassion, and so he addressed her in a voice that was choke up due to great love.
Kardama Muni said, “O daughter of Svayambhuva Manu, I have become extremely pleased by your great devotion and service. Since the body is so dear to everyone, I am astonished to see how you have neglected your body for my sake. I have received the blessings of the Supreme Lord because of my austerity in meditation and devotional service, and as a result, I have become free from all fear and lamentation. Although you have not yet experienced such advanced consciousness, I shall enable you to do so, as a reward for your selfless service. In comparison with this, all material achievements are inconsequential due to their flickering nature.”
Hearing the words of her husband, Devahuti felt very satisfied, and her smiling face shone brightly. While glancing at him somewhat bashfully, she addressed Kardama with a voice that faltered due to great humility and love.
Devahuti said, “My dear husband, I know that you have already achieved perfection and are the master of all mystic powers. Now, please remember how you had promised that our bodily union would produce children. You should fulfill that promise, because the begetting of offspring is the ardent desire of a chaste woman who has a glorious husband.”
“My dear lord, I am very eager for that union and so please make arrangements whereby my skinny body, which has become emaciated due to unsatisfied passion, may be rendered fit. Also, please arrange for a suitable house so that we may enjoy in a befitting manner.”
From the very beginning of her marriage, Devahuti had wanted to become pregnant first, and then apply herself fully for achieving the grace of the Lord. Therefore, to please his beloved wife, Kardama instantly produced a flying palace that could travel at will. This multi-storied mansion was capable of yielding all desires and was equipped with all kinds of furniture and other paraphernalia. Adorned with pillars made of precious stones, and decorated all around with flags and artwork, it looked very charming, and tended to increase with time. Its beautiful, emerald domes were bedecked with gold, and within were multitudes of live swans and pigeons, as well as strikingly realistic artificial ones. The palace contained pleasure grounds, bedrooms and other amenities that were so wonderfully arranged that even Kardama became highly astonished.
Kardama could study the heart of anyone, and so, when he saw Devahuti looking at the opulent palace with displeasure, he understood her feelings.
Kardama said, “My dear wife, first of all bathe in the Bindu-sarorava, which can grant all the desires of a human being, and then board this flying mansion.”
Devahuti’s body was coated with a thick layer of dirt, and she was dressed in dirty rags. With matted hair and discolored breasts, she did not look very attractive. Accepting the order of her husband, Devahuti dove into the lake and therein, she entered a house that was occupied by one thousand girls who were all in the prime of youth and fragrant like lotuses.
Upon seeing Devahuti, the girls got up from their seats and with folded hands, they submitted, “We are your maidservants, so please order us as you like.”
With great respect, the Vidyadhara girls bathed Devahuti, using valuable oils, and then they dressed her in fine cloth. They adorned her with excellent ornaments and then offered her sumptuous food and a sweet, intoxicating drink.
Thereafter, when Devahuti beheld her reflection in a mirror, she saw herself freed from all dirt, and dressed and decorated in a most pleasing manner. Her complexion shone brilliantly, and her dark eyes defeated the beauty of the lotus petal. Then, as soon as Devahuti thought of her husband, she was immediately transported into his presence, along with the maidservants.
Devahuti was astonished at the miraculous powers of her husband. When Kardama saw how Devahuti had regained her former beauty, his fondness for her increased. The great sage then placed his wife upon the flying palace, and together they travelled to the pleasure valleys of Mount Meru, where cool, gentle, fragrant breezes stimulate one’s passion. There, in the company of his wife and the one thousand Vidyadhara girls, Kardama enjoyed himself for many, many years. And yet, even though the rishi appeared to be very attached to his beloved consort, he did not actually lose his glory, or, in other words, his mastery over the self.
Thereafter, Kardama travelled to other heavenly spots, such as the Nandana and Chaitrarathya gardens, and the Manasa-sarovara lake. By the mercy of the Supreme Lord, Kardama Muni was able to fly all over the universe at will, and thus he surpassed even the demigods.
After showing his wife all of the wonders within the three worlds, Kardama returned to his ashram and then expanded himself into nine personalities, just to give pleasure to Devahuti, who was very eager for sexual gratification. While remaining in that aerial palace, Kardama and Devahuti lay on an excellent bed that stimulated their sexual desire, and thus they enjoyed bodily union for a long, long while, without even knowing how the time was passing. After one hundred years had thus passed like a mere moment, Kardama impregnated Devahuti with nine discharges of semen, and on the same day, she gave birth to nine daughters, all of whom had beautiful bodily features and emanated a fragrance like that of the red lotus flower.
Thereafter, when Devahuti saw that her husband was about to leave home, her heart became very agitated and distressed, although externally, she managed to smile.
While scratching the ground with her foot and bending her head downward, Devahuti suppressed her tears and said, “My lord, you have fulfilled all of your promises, and yet, since I am your surrendered soul, you should also award me with the fearlessness that is gained by self-realization.”
“My dear brahmana, after our daughters are married and gone away, who will give me solace in your absence? Until now, I was ignorant of your transcendental position, and so I simply wasted my time in sense gratification. Nonetheless, I have developed love for a saintly person, and so this same attachment that binds one to material existence should award me the liberation that I did not desire.”
“My dear master, I have certainly been cheated by the illusory energy of the Lord, for even after gaining your association, which can award liberation from material bondage, I did not aspire to make spiritual advancement.”
While remembering the words spoken by Lord Vishnu, Kardama Muni replied, “O princess, do not be disappointed, for the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead will soon enter your womb, to become your son. Now, you should worship the Lord with great faith and controlled senses. In reciprocation, He will not only spread your fame, but He will slash the knot of material attachment in your heart by imparting absolute knowledge.”
Being fully faithful to her husband, Devahuti began executing his order by worshiping the Supreme Lord. Finally, after many, many years, the Supreme Personality of Godhead entered Kardama’s semen, and was then placed into Devahuti’s womb. At the time of the Lord’s descent, the demigods played musical instruments in the sky, while the Gandharvas sang of His glories. The Apsaras danced in ecstasy, the denizens of heaven showered flowers, and all directions and the minds of everyone became very sanctified and peaceful.
Lord Brahma then came to Kardama’s ashram, accompanied by the great demigods and sages. After worshiping the Supreme Lord in great happiness, Lord Brahma said to Kardama, “My dear son, you have accepted my instructions without duplicity, and have thus shown them proper respect. By acting in this way, you have honored me greatly, and in fact, all sons should render service to their father just like this.”
“My dear Kardama, all of your daughters are certainly very chaste, and so please give them today to the foremost of sages, after duly considering their temperaments. The Supreme Lord has now appeared as an incarnation, and this form of Kapila Muni will be characterized by His golden hair, lotus eyes, and feet that bear the marks of the lotus flower.”
Lord Brahma then said to Devahuti, “My dear daughter of Manu, the Supreme Lord is now within your womb. After dispelling your doubts, which have arisen due to ignorance, He will travel all over the world as the foremost of perfected souls.”
Having thus spoken, Lord Brahma returned to his own abode, accompanied by the four Kumaras and Narada, who are life-long brahmacharies. As ordered by Brahma, Kardama handed over Kala to Marichi, Anasuya to Atri, Shraddha to Angira, Havirbhu to Pulastya, Gati to Pulaha, Kriya to Kratu, Khyati to Bhrigu, Arundati to Vasishtha, and Shanti to Atharva. These great sages then took permission to leave from Kardama and joyfully departed for their own ashrams.
Thereafter, Lord Kapila appeared as the son of Devahuti, and Kardama approached Him in a secluded place.
After offering his obeisances, the great sage said, “My dear Lord, You have appeared in my home for the purpose of disseminating transcendental knowledge. Because You are the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is full of all opulence, I surrender unto Your lotus feet.”
“My Lord, now that I have fulfilled my debt to my father and all my desires have been fulfilled, I wish to accept the renounced order of life and wander over the earth, fully absorbed in thinking of You within my heart.”
Because the Lord had personally appeared in Kardama’s house, it is striking that the rishi wanted to renounce family life so that he could fully engage in remembering Him. Since God was personally present, why should he leave home? Kardama actually left home just to set the example of following the Vedic injunctions, which declare that after fifty years of age, one must accept the order of vanaprastha or sannyasa.
Lord Kapila replied, “O Muni, as promised by Me previously, I have now appeared as your son, to preach the philosophy of sankhya, which has been forgotten due to the passage of time. You have My permission to depart as you desire. By thus surrendering all of your activities unto Me, you will ultimately conquer death. I will instruct My mother so that she can also attain perfection in self-realization and thus gain a life of fearlessness.”
Kardama circumambulated his son, and with a pure and pacified mind, he left home at once and entered the forest. Following the vow of mauna, so that he could exclusively meditate upon the Supreme Lord, Kardama wandered over the earth without a companion, and devoid of any relationship with fire or shelter. In this way, he became completely freed from all material affection, and situated in pure devotional service to the Lord. By dint of his exalted consciousness, he could see the Supreme Lord seated in everyone’s heart, and he could also see that everything was existing in Him, the Supreme Soul. Ultimately, Kardama gave up his temporary form, and traversed the path that goes back home, back to Godhead.
Meanwhile, after the departure of Kardama, Lord Kapila remained with his mother at Bindu-sarorava. One day, when she remembered what Lord Brahma had previously assured her, Devahuti approached her son as He was sitting at leisure in a secluded place.
Desiring to free herself from the material condition of life, Devahuti spoke to Lord Kapila: “I am very tired of the disturbances caused by my material senses, and because of my engagement in sense gratification, I have fallen into an abyss of ignorance.”
“My Lord, I know that You are the only means for getting out of this darkness, for You are my transcendental eye that I have received after many, many births. You are the Supreme Lord, and have appeared to dissipate the darkness of ignorance within the universe. I have been engaged by Your external potency in the bodily conception of life, and I now beg You to dispel that great delusion. I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet, for You are the axe that can cut down the tree of material existence.”
After hearing His mother’s uncontaminated desire for self-realization, Lord Kapila thanked her within Himself.
Then, while smiling magnanimously, he replied, “O most pious mother, I shall now explain to you the ancient system of yoga that establishes the relationship between the individual soul and the Supreme Lord. When one’s consciousness is attracted by the three modes of material nature, conditional life begins. When that same consciousness becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then one is liberated from the material entanglement. At this time, the soul can see himself to be transcendental to material existence, self-effulgent, and never fragmented, although very minute in size. By seeing everything in the right perspective, one becomes indifferent to material existence, and thus the influence of material nature acts less powerfully upon him. This perfection of yoga can only be attained by the practice of devotional service to the Lord (bhakti-yoga), and therefore, it is the only truly auspicious path.”
“Everyone knows that material attachment causes the greatest entanglement of the soul, but that same attachment, when applied to the pure devotees, opens the door to liberation. Such sadhus are tolerant, merciful, and friendly toward all living entities. They have no enemies, they are peaceful, they abide by the regulations of shastra, and indeed, all of their characteristics are sublime. Due to constantly chanting and hearing about Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sadhus do not suffer from material miseries, because their thoughts are always absorbed in Me. By association with pure devotees, one’s ears and heart become completely satisfied while hearing krishna-katha. This higher taste enables one to gradually become attracted to Me in full faith and devotion. Due to this attraction, the devotee gains a distaste for mundane sense gratification, and by becoming fixed in devotional service, he can achieve My association in this very life.”
Devahuti asked, “My dear son, I am after all, a woman, and so it is very difficult for me to understand the Absolute Truth, due to possessing lesser intelligence. But, if You kindly explain to me how I can engage in devotional service in such a way that I can easily attain Your lotus feet, then I will surely understand it.”
Being born from her body, Lord Kapila was already compassionate toward Devahuti, and after hearing this statement, He became even more so. The Lord then described the sankhya system of philosophy, which is a combination of devotional service and mystic realization. The culmination of this process is given as follows.
When the mind is perfectly purified by the practice of yoga, one should concentrate on the tip of his nose with half-closed eyes, and see the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within. The Lord has a cheerful, lotus-like countenance, which is adorned with reddish eyes. He wears shining yellow cloth, on His chest is the curl of white hair known as Shrivatsa, and around His neck hangs the brilliant Kaustubha gem. Also around His neck is a garland of forest flowers, surrounded by humming bees, and He is further adorned with a pearl necklace, crown, and pairs of armlets, bracelets and anklets. While standing upon the lotus of the devotee’s heart, the Lord is most charming to look at, and His serene demeanor gladdens the eyes and souls of all those who are fortunate enough to behold Him. He is ever youthful, and always eager to bestow His blessings upon His devotees.
While fixing his mind upon the Lord’s eternal form, the yogi should not see His body in it’s entirety, but should view each individual limb separately. The devotee should first of all concentrate his mind upon the Lord’s lotus feet, which are adorned with the marks of a thunderbolt, a goad, a banner, and a lotus. The Lord’s lotus feet, with their splendorous ruby nails act like thunderbolts that shatter the mountain of sin stored in the mind of the meditating devotee. For this reason, one should concentrate his mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord for a long time.
The yogi should then meditate upon the activities of Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, who is always very carefully massaging the Lord’s legs and thighs. Next, the devotee should meditate upon the Lord’s thighs, which are the storehouse of all energies. Then, he should contemplate the Lord’s rounded hips, which are encircled by a nice sash.
The yogi should thereafter meditate upon the Lord’s moonlike navel, from which the entire universe has sprung. Next, the yogi should concentrate his mind upon the Lord’s nipples, which resemble a pair of exquisite emeralds. Then, he should concentrate upon the Lord’s chest, which is the abode of the goddess Maha-Lakshmi, and which is the source of all transcendental pleasure for the mind and eyes.
Thereafter, the devotee should fix his mind upon the Lord’s neck, which enhances the beauty of the Kaustubha gem that hangs down to His chest. The yogi can then meditate upon the Lord’s four arms, which are the source of all the powers by which the demigods control the various functions of material nature. Next, the yogi can contemplate the Lord’s ornaments, which were polished by Mount Mandara as it revolved during the churning of the Milk Ocean.
The devotee should then contemplate the Sudarshana chakra, which has one thousand spokes and is dazzlingly effulgent. He can next concentrate his mind upon the Lord’s conch shell and the Kaumodaki club, which is smeared with the blood of the demons. One should also meditate upon His garland, which is always surrounded by buzzing bumblebees, and the pearl necklace around His neck, which is considered to be the pure living entities that are always engaged in His service.
The devotee should next meditate upon the lotus-like face of the Lord. His nose is prominent, and the glittering of His alligator-shaped earrings illuminates His crystal-clear cheeks. The Lord’s beautiful face is adorned with curly black hair, and decorated by lotus-petal eyes and dancing eyebrows.
Thereafter, the yogi should meditate with full devotion upon the compassionate glances that the Lord frequently casts, for they soothe the most fearful miseries of material life. Those glances, which are accompanied by smiles of love, are full of abundant mercy. The yogi should meditate upon the benevolent smile of the Lord, for it dries up the ocean of tears that is caused by intense grief. He should also meditate upon the Lord’s arched eyebrows, because they charm the god of sex, for the welfare of the sages.
Then, with a heart filled with love and devotion, the devotee should think of the laughter of Lord Vishnu, which is extremely captivating. When the Lord laughs, His small teeth, which resemble jasmine buds, made rosy by the splendor of His lips, become visible. Once having devoted his mind to this vision, the yogi should no longer desire to see anything else.
By following this process of meditation, the yogi gradually develops pure attachment to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The hair on his body stands erect, due to excessive joy, and he is constantly bathed in the stream of tears that are brought about by his intense love for the Lord. The body of such a liberated yogi, who is absorbed in samadhi, is taken care of by the Supreme Lord Himself. Thus, the yogi no longer even understands how the body is moving, or if he does, he considers its activities to be like the activities of a body in a dream.
Devahuti said, “My dear Lord, please describe in detail the continual process of birth and death, for by hearing of such calamities, we may become detached from the activities of this material world.”
In response, Lord Kapila described the movements of the living entities, and the results of adverse fruitive activities. Just as a mass of clouds cannot understand the powerful influence of the wind that carries it, so a person in material consciousness cannot understand how he is being carried by the powerful time factor. Whatever such a materialist produces with great pain and labor, for the purpose of achieving so-called happiness, is destroyed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the time factor, and thus he laments.
He foolishly takes his body and bodily relations to be permanent, and whatever species he appears in, he becomes satisfied with that condition and thus is unwilling to give up his body, even when in hell. Such satisfaction with one’s standard of life is due to a deep-rooted attraction for the body, wife, children and the rest. Although burning with anxiety, such a fool performs mischievous acts to maintain his family, while keeping within his heart a hope that is never to be fulfilled.
He gives his heart and senses to a woman who falsely charms him with maya, and thus he enjoys her embraces and talks in a solitary place. The attached householder is similarly enchanted by the sweet words of his small children, and so he remains in family life, which is full of politics and diplomacy. While trying to counteract the miseries of life, he secures money by lying, cheating and committing violence. Although he employs his income in the service of his family, the attached householder eats only a small portion of the food purchased, and then he goes to hell for those whom he earned money by sinful means.
After suffering repeated failures in business, a man will finally beg, borrow or steal money so that he can go on maintaining his family and social position. If unsuccessful, however, he always thinks of his failure, and thus, due to intense grief and anxiety, he becomes bereft of all beauty. Upon seeing him unable to support them properly, a man’s wife and other dependents do not treat him as respectfully as before, just as miserly farmers neglect their old and worn-out oxen. And yet, although those whom he formerly supported now neglectfully maintain him, the foolish family man does not become averse to household life. Finally, after becoming deformed by the influence of old age, he prepares to meet his death.
While remaining at home, and accepting whatever remnants of food are given to him, just like a pet dog, he becomes afflicted with numerous diseases. Due to loss of appetite, he can only eat a small morsel of food, and because of invalidity- he can no longer work. His eyes begin to bulge from their sockets, because of the pressure of air from within, and because of the congestion of mucus, he has difficulty breathing and thus makes a peculiar sound while inhaling and exhaling.
In this way, he finally comes under the clutches of death, and so he lies down, surrounded by his lamenting relatives. Although he wants to impart some final instructions to his family members, he no longer has the power of speech, and thus he dies a frustrated man, practically bereft of consciousness, due to the great pain.
At the time of death, he sees the Yamadutas wrathfully come before him, and thus in great fear, he passes stool and urine. Just as the police arrest a criminal, the Yamadutas take away a man who has engaged in sinful sense gratification. After binding him around the neck with a strong rope, they cover his subtle body so that he may undergo severe punishment. While being carried away by the Yamadutas, he trembles in their hands, and as he remembers the sinful activities of his past life, he becomes terribly distressed. Under the scorching sun, he has to pass along roads of hot sand, while forest fires rage on both sides. While dogs continually bite him, the Yamadutas whip his back when he becomes too tired to walk. Although greatly afflicted by hunger and thirst, the sinful person finds no drinking water or resting-place along the road.
Sometimes he falls unconscious, due to fatigue, and yet he is forced by the Yamadutas to get up and continue walking. But, because all of this is enacted on the subtle platform, he passes 99,000 yojanas in just two or three minutes. After being brought into the presence of Yamaraja, the sinful person is immediately engaged in the torturous punishments that he is destined to suffer.
He may be placed in the midst of burning wood so that his limbs are set on fire. He may have to eat his own flesh, or have it eaten by others. Dogs and vultures may tear out his intestines, although he remains alive to see it, and snakes, scorpions, spiders, or mosquitoes may torment him. Sometimes, his limbs may be cut off or torn apart by elephants. He may be thrown from hilltops, confined within a cave, or kept underwater.
Especially, those persons whose lives were built around illicit sex indulgence are put into very miserable conditions in the hells known as Tamishra, Andha-tamishra, and Raurava. After quitting his body, the sinful man goes to the darkest regions of hell, and the wealth that he acquired by envying others is the passage money by which he leaves this world. After suffering in hell, one has to pass through the lower forms of life in a regular order so as to become purged of his sins, and thus once again be reborn as a human being upon the earth.
Under the supervision of the Supreme Lord, according to his karma, the living entity is put into a particle of male semen and then injected into the mother’s womb, so that he can assume a particular type of body. On the first night, the semen and ovum mix, and by the firth day, the mixture ferments into a bubble. By the tenth day, it develops into a small lump of flesh, and at the end of one month, the head is formed. At the end of two months, the fingers, toes, hair, bones, and skin appear, as well as the nine outlets. Within four months, the seven essential ingredients of the body come into being- skin, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen. At the end of five months, hunger and thirst are felt, and by the end of six months, the fetus begins to move on the right side of the abdomen if a male, and on the left side if a female.
The fetus grows by receiving nutrition from the food and drink that are consumed by the mother and passed on through the umbilical cord. All the while, the child remains in an abominable place, which is the breeding ground for all kinds of worms, due to the presence of stool and urine. Since his tender body is bitten all over by these hungry worms, the child suffers terribly and thus loses consciousness from moment to moment. Because the mother eats food that is too bitter, pungent, sour or salty, the child suffers almost unbearable pain. While placed within the amnion and surrounded by the mother’s intestines, the child remains laying with his head turned toward his belly, so that his back and neck are arched like a bow. In this way, he is caged without any freedom, and is pushed downward by the air that presses against him during the week prior to delivery.
If he is fortunate, the child is given an opportunity to remember all the troubles that he had endured during his previous one hundred births, and thus he laments grievously.
Having developed consciousness from the seventh month, the child begins praying to the Lord with folded hands: “My dear Lord, I am taking shelter of You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because You have put me into this miserable condition of life, You can also give me relief if You so desire. Because of forgetting my relationship with You, O Lord, I have been put under the control of the material nature, forcing me to undergo a hard struggle for existence while on the path of repeated birth and death.”
“Because maya is so strong, without Your mercy, I will not be able to engage in Your transcendental loving service, and therefore, I am surrendering unto You. I have fallen into a pool of blood, stool and urine within my mother’s womb, and her gastric fire is scorching my body. Being very anxious to get out of here, I have been counting the days and wondering, ‘O my Lord, when shall I, a wretched soul, become released from this confinement?’ ”
“My dear Lord, by Your mercy I have come to my senses, although only ten months old, and thus there is no way for me to properly express my gratitude. By your grace, I have received this human body, which affords the facility for understanding my relationship with You. Although I am in such a miserable condition, I have now come to my clear consciousness. I think that it is better for me to remain here and meditate upon Your lotus feet, rather than come out of the womb and become captured by Your external energy, for that will make me forget everything.”
As the child is thus worshiping the Lord, the wind that helps parturition begins propelling him downward, face first, so that he may be born. After being suddenly pushed by that wind, he comes out of the womb, head downward, with great difficulty, and due to the severe agony, he is breathless and deprived of memory. Smeared all over with blood and stool, the child cries as he is given to the care of persons who cannot understand his wants. Since he is unable to refuse what is given to him, he falls into undesirable circumstances. Being made to lay down on a bed that is infested with germs, the poor child cannot even scratch his body to get relief from the itching sensation. In that helpless condition- mosquitoes, bugs and germs bite his tender skin, and thus he cries bitterly.
Due to the spell of maya, he cannot remember the determination to gain salvation that he had possessed while within the womb. In this way, he suffers as a baby. Then, later on, when he is enrolled in school, he also suffers due to being forced to study when he would rather play. In youth, he has so many desires that he cannot fulfill, and thus he gradually becomes angry and frustrated. In order to vanquish his soul, the young man increases his false prestige and anger, and thereby creates enmity toward similarly lusty people. By such ignorance, he accepts the material body as the self, and other nonpermanent things as his own.
For the sake of his body, he performs so many sinful activities that keep him within the cycle of repeated birth and death. If he associates with sensually-minded persons who are simply concerned with the satisfaction of the tongue and genitals, then he certainly takes to the path of unrighteousness, and thereafter, goes to hell again. Because such companionship makes one devoid of truthfulness, cleanliness, mercy, gravity, good intelligence, shyness, austerity, fame, forgiveness, control of the mind and senses, and future good fortune- one should never associate with a course fool who is bereft of the knowledge of self-realization, and therefore no better than a dancing dog that is led around by the hands of a woman.
There is no greater bondage than that which results from attachment to women or men who are overly fond of women. Even Lord Brahma became bewildered at the sight of his own daughter, and thus he shamelessly ran after her in the form of a stag when she took the form of a doe. Amongst all the living beings created by Brahma, only Narayana Rishi is immune to attraction for the form of a woman, which is the complete representation of maya. The strength of maya in the form of a woman is so great that just by the movement of her eyebrows, a woman can keep the greatest world-conquerors under her grip. For this reason, attractive women are declared in shastra to be the gateway to hell, especially for those who are trying to advance in spiritual life.
Devahuti became free from all ignorance after hearing from Lord Kapila. She offered her obeisances and then satisfied her son, by offering Him the following prayers.
Devahuti said, “My dear Lord, although You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, You have taken birth from my womb. Since the entire creation is wound up within Your abdomen at the time of devastation, one may wonder how You could appear in this way. It is possible, though, for at the end of the millenium, You lie down upon a banyan leaf, and in the form of a small baby, You lick the toe of Your lotus foot. In other words, You are perfectly free to act in any way You so desire.”
“My dear Lord, to say nothing of the spiritual advancement of those who see You eye to eye, even those who are born in the family of dog-eaters immediately become qualified to perform Vedic sacrifices if they once utter Your holy name, chant Your glories, offer You obeisances, or even remember You. How glorious are they whose tongues are engaged in chanting Your holy name! Even if born in the family of dog-eaters, such persons are worshipable. Such chanters of Your holy name must have already executed all kinds of austerities, performed fire sacrifices, bathed in all the holy places, studied the Vedas, and achieved all the good manners of the Aryans.”
Being very satisfied by the words of Devahuti, Lord Kapila replied to her with gravity, “My dear mother, the path of self-realization that I have taught you is very easy, and by following it you will very soon become liberated, even while remaining in your present body. In this way, you will ultimately reach Me in My eternal, transcendental abode.”
Thereafter, Lord Kapila took permission from His mother and departed, since His mission had been fulfilled. Devahuti remained in Kardama’s ashram, where she practiced deep meditation upon the Lord in devotional service. Due to bathing three times daily, her hair gradually turned gray, and because of her severe austerities, her body became very thin.
The abode of Kardama, due to its great beauty, was considered to be the flower crown of the River Sarasvati. Because of Kardama’s mystic power, even the demigods in heaven envied his opulence. Inside Kardama’s palace, the couches were made of gold, and the chairs were made of ivory and covered with golden lace cloth. The walls were constructed from first-class marble, and inlaid with precious jewels. There was no need for lighting, because the rays of those jewels illuminated everything brightly. Surrounding the household of Kardama were very beautiful gardens that were filled with all varieties of flowers and fruit trees.
When Devahuti used to enter these gardens to bathe in the lotus ponds, the Gandharvas would sing of Kardama’s glories. And yet, in spite of possessing such opulence, Devahuti gave up all bodily comforts and wore only torn cloth. Her only regret, which was transcendental, was that her son had left home, and thus she constantly meditated upon Him in separation. By following the instructions of Lord Kapila, Devahuti easily gave up all material attachment. By thus attaining purity of heart, she became completely freed from the onslaught of material pangs. While situated in the blissful trance of meditation, she completely forgot about her material body, just as a person is no longer aware of his body while dreaming.
Still, because the Vidyadhara women who had been created by Kardama were taking care of her needs, and since she was without any anxiety, Devahuti did not become emaciated. Finally, at Kardama’s ashram, which was known as Siddhapada, Devahuti achieved the supreme perfection of life by going back home, back to Godhead, and the material elements of her body melted into water that became the most sacred of rivers.
Meanwhile, after leaving His mother, Lord Kapila travelled to the northeast, and as He went along, the Apsaras, Gandharvas, Charanas, and other celestial beings offered Him prayers of glorification. Then, after retracing His steps, Lord Kapila came to Ganga-sagara, where the Ganga reaches the Bay of Bengal, and at that place, the Ocean gave Him residence. Even now, Kapila Muni is staying there in the trance of meditation, and He is worshiped by the great acharyas of the sankhya philosophical system.