वैराग्य पञ्चकम् - 2

सिलं किमनलं भवेदनलमौदरम् बाधितुम् पयः प्रसृतिपूरकम् किमु न धारकम् सारसम्।
अयत्न मलमल्लकम् पथि पटच्चरम् कच्चरम् भजन्ति विबुधा मुधा ह्यहह कुक्षितः कुक्षितः॥

सिलं = plough/field
औदरं = stomach
अनलं =fire (jataraagni) / grains of different plants
बाधितुं = to subside
भवेत् किं = not enough?
प्रसृति पूरकं =hand full of
सारसं=pond water
धारकं= to sustain
किमु न =not enough?
पथि=on the way
कच्चरं =dirty
पटच्चरं =piece of cloth
मलमल्लिकं =loincloth
विबुधाः = scholars
कुक्षितः= kings/for the sake of stomach
मुधा = useless
भजन्ति हि =praising
अहह= oh alas....

Is it not enough to quench the fire of hunger with a few rice grains from the fields? Is not a handful of water from a lake enough to sustain oneself? Does not a dirty piece of cloth found on the roadside serve as a loincloth to keep one's modesty? Alas! even the wise resort to petty kings for the sake of their stomachs.

Food, water and cloth are grouped together and called "BASIC" necessities of life. If scholars who pursue knowledge for moksha resort to begging kings, what to say of common men!

श्रीमद्भागवतपुराणकथाः - प्रह्लादस्तुतिः - ५

नैषा परावरमतिर्भवतो ननु स्याज्जन्तोर्यथात्मसुहृदो जगतस्तथापि ।
संसेवया सुरतरोरिव ते प्रसादः सेवानुरूपमुदयो न परावरत्वम् ॥7.9.27
नैषा —not this
परावरमति: —discrimination of higher or lower
भवतो — of Your Lordship
ननु — indeed
स्यात् — there can be
जन्तोः— of ordinary living entities
यथा as
आत्मसुहृदो — of one who is the friend
जगत:— of the whole material world
तथापि — but still (there is such a demonstration of intimacy or difference)
संसेवया — according to the degree of service rendered by the devotee
सुरतरोरिव — like that of the wish-yielding tree
ते प्रसादः —Your blessing
सेवानुरूपम् — according to the category of service one renders to the Lord
उदयः— manifestation
न परावरत्वम् — not discrimination due to higher or lower levels.
Prahlada says:  O Lord, You do not have discrimination as superior and inferior, of those who seek your refuge.  You consider one and all as the same, You are everyone's friend.   Indeed You are like the wish yielding tree which just grants the wishes of the one who asks of it, without judging them.
The Prahlada stuti is truly magnificent. Each and every sloka in this stuti (43 slokas ) is a gem. The verses here are some of my favourite.
How grateful Prahlada must have been to have his torture and death-threats removed by the Lord! But to start with he never did have a doubt in his mind about being saved. He was always unperturbed just as a true ज्ञानी.

श्रीमद्भागवतपुराणकथाः - प्रह्लादस्तुतिः - ४

बालस्य नेह शरणं पितरौ नृसिंह नार्तस्य चागदमुदन्वति मज्जतो नौः ।
तप्तस्य तत्प्रतिविधिर्य इहाञ्जसेष्ठस्तावद् विभो तनुभृतां त्वदुपेक्षितानाम् ॥7.9.19
नृसिंह O my Lord Nṛsiḿha
न इह शरणं पितरौ — the father and mother are not shelter (protection) in this world
बालस्य — of a little child
— nor
अगदं — medicine
उदन्वति in the water of the ocean
आर्तस्य च — of a person suffering from some disease
नौः — the boat
मज्जतः — of a person who is drowning
तप्तस्य of a person suffering from a condition of material misery
तत्प्रतिविधिः— the counteraction (invented for stopping the suffering of material existence)
यः इष्टः that which is accepted (as a remedy)
इह in this material world
अञ्जसा — very easily
तावत् — similarly
विभो O my Lord, O Supreme
तनुभृताम् — of the living entities who have accepted material bodies
त्वत्-उपेक्षितानाम् — who are neglected by You and not accepted by You.
For those who are neglected by the Lord, there is indeed no refuge.  Their remedy may be temporarily beneficial but certainly of an impermanent nature.  For the parents cannot protect the child, a doctor or medicine cannot save the sick nor can a boat save the drowning man.   

श्रीमद्भागवतपुराणकथाः - प्रह्लादस्तुतिः - ३

नैवात्मनः प्रभुरयं निजलाभपूर्णो मानं जनादविदुषः करुणो वृणीते ।
यद्यद् जनो भगवते विदधीत मानं तच्चात्मने प्रतिमुखस्य यथा मुखश्रीः ॥7.9.11
अयं प्रभुः — this Lord
निजलाभपूर्णः — is always satisfied in Himself
करुणः —Who is so kind to the foolish, ignorant person
वृणीते — accepts
मानम् — respect
जनात् — from a person
अविदुषः — who does not know ( that the aim of life is to please the Supreme Lord)
नैव आत्मनः — not for His personal benefit
यत् यत् — whatever
जनः a person
भगवते — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead
विदधीत — may offer
मानं — worship
तत् — that indeed
आत्मने —is for his own benefit
यथा — just as
मुखश्रीः— the decoration of the face.
प्रतिमुखस्य — (shows up as )the reflection of the face in the mirror
Indeed, the Supreme benevolent God accepts the worship of his devotee for the devotee's own benefit as He does not require any thing from anybody.  Just as a beautiful decorated face in turn shows up a beautiful decorated reflection so also, devotion unto the Lord reflects itself as His manifold blessings.  

श्रीमद्भागवतपुराणकथाः - प्रह्लादस्तुतिः - २

मन्ये धनाभिजनरूपतपःश्रुतौजस्तेजःप्रभावबलपौरुषबुद्धियोगाः ।
नाराधनाय हि भवन्ति परस्य पुंसो भक्त्या तुतोष भगवान् गजयूथपाय ॥7.9.9
मन्ये I think
धन— riches
अभिजन— aristocratic family
रूप— personal beauty
तपः— austerity
श्रुत— knowledge from studying the Vedas
ओज: — sensory prowess
तेजः— bodily effulgence
प्रभाव— influence
बल— bodily strength
पौरुष— diligence
बुद्धि— intelligence
योगाः — mystic power
नाराधनाय भवन्ति — are not for satisfying
परस्य पुंसो — Supreme Personality of Godhead
हि — indeed
भगवान् — the Supreme Personality of Godhead
तुतोष — was satisfied
भक्त्या — simply by devotional service
गजयूथपाय— unto the King of elephants (Gajendra).
Indeed, one's education, beauty and other superficial 'qualifications' would not please the Supreme Being.  Is not the Lord endowed with all glory, so  would He be stunned by the presence of but a fraction of these?  Only when arrogance on possessing beauty, strength etc take a back seat and  sincere devotion and love surface, does he/she become endearing to the Lord.

श्रीमद्भागवतपुराणकथाः - प्रह्लादस्तुतिः - १

The most celebrated and oft repeated story from Srimad Bhagavatam is the story of Prahlada.

The vile Hiranyakashipu, wanting to ask for death-less-ness, considering himself very smart, instead, asked for death, neither at day or at night, neither by man or beast, neither up nor down, so on and so forth. Hiranyakashipu was a great enemy of Vishnu and he had got this boon to avenge himself the death of his brother Hiranyaksha at the hands of Vishnu. It was indeed difficult to find a loophole in his boon and kill him by any creation of Lord Brahma. Having got his boon he went on to torture sages, people and divine and semi-divine beings for many yugas. Under his reign the world it seemed had forgotten Lord Vishnu. This however, as rightly pointed out by Prahlada himself (मन्ये धनाभिजनरूपतपःश्रुतौजस्तेजःप्रभावबलपौरुषबुद्धियोगाः । नाराधनाय हि भवन्ति परस्य पुंसो) did not seem to bother the Lord.
Ironically Prahlada, Hiranyakashipu’s own young son was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and refused to acknowledge the greatness of his father as Supreme Being. This irritated Hiranyakashipu and he was even ready to kill his own son to prove his superiority. Such was his hatred which had won over his पुत्रवात्सल्य. Hence he threw Prahlada in fire, out of which he came without even a singed hair; he fed him poison which did not even make him drowsy; he pushed him from the mountain-top and Prahlada did not even have a scratch! Even after witnessing these miracles, Hiranyakashipu did not even have an inkling of the greatness of the Supreme being which was supporting his son. Then came the instance when he drew out his sword and asked Prahlada, “Show me that power which is supporting you!” Prahlada replied, “the very question you ask is by that Power.” “Alright then, where is it?” “Everywhere” “Everywhere! If it is everywhere, how come I don’t see it in this pillar? Let it come and save you” So saying he struck the pillar and out came Nrsimha in all his glory. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Nrsimha exclusively for Prahlada.
The little boy Prahlada was not afraid of the Lord, even though He looked gruesome and He had just killed his father. He went on to praise the Lord and thank him for his mercies.

श्रीमद्भागवतपुराणकथाः - ध्रुवस्तुतिः - ३ (concluded)

सत्याशिषो हि भगवंस्तव पादपद्मम् आशीस्तथानुभजतः पुरुषार्थमूर्तेः|
अप्येवम् आर्य भगवान् परिपाति दीनान् वाश्रेव वत्सकमनुग्रहकातरोऽस्मान्॥ 4.9.17॥

भगवन् — my Lord
तव — Your
पादपद्मम् — lotus feet
हि — certainly
सत्याशीः — real benediction
आशिषः — compared with other benedictions
तथा — in that way
अनुभजतः — for the devotees
पुरुषार्थमूर्तेः — the personification of the real goal of life
आर्य— O Lord
अनुग्रहकातरः — eager to bestow mercy
अस्मान् — upon me
परिपाति — maintains
दीनान् — the poor in heart
इव — like
वाश्रा — a cow
वत्सकम् — unto the calf

The अन्तर्यामी resides in each and every being and rejuvenates the beings with life – sight, hearing, taste and feelings. If the God within were absent, merely the body would become useless. Prince Dhruva firstly thanks the Lord for granting him the things which are “basic” and so taken for granted by many.
His anger and frustration at his younger brother and step mother was long gone or non-existent. After having seen the Lord, Dhruva expressed his gratitude for being and prayed in earnest that he may cross over the dangerous भवाब्धि: by his associations with people devout in His feet. He entreats the Merciful Lord who takes care of all his creations with kindness and thoughtfulness just as a cow would look after her new born calf.

श्रीमद्भागवतपुराणकथाः - ध्रुवस्तुतिः - २

भक्तिं मुहुः प्रवहतां त्वयि मे प्रसङ्गो भूयादनन्तमहताम् अमलाशयानाम् ।
येनाञ्जनसोल्बणमुरुव्यसनं भवाब्धिं नेष्ये भवद्गुणकथामृतपानमत्तः ॥ 4.9.11॥

अनन्त — O unlimited
मे — my
भूयात् — may it become
प्रसङ्गः — intimate association
महताम् — of the great devotees
प्रवहताम् — of those who perform
भक्तिं — devotional service
मुहुः — constantly
त्वयि — unto You
अमलाशयानाम् — whose hearts are freed from material contamination
येन — by which
नेष्ये — I shall cross
अञ्जसा — easily
उल्बणम् — terrible
भवाब्धिम् — the ocean of material existence
उरु — great
व्यसनम् — full of dangers
पान — by drinking
भवत् — Your
अमृत — nectar, eternal
गुण — transcendental qualities
कथा — pastimes

Dhruva continues with his stuti. To cross this ocean of transmigratory existence, eternal devotion to the lord and intimate association with his devotees is a necessity.

श्रीमद्भागवतपुराणकथाः - ध्रुवस्तुतिः - १

Prince Dhruva was the son of King Uttanapada. One day, he wanted to climb in his father’s lap, as his half-brother Prince Uttama had. It was afterall a big desire for a small child. When he was turned down by his step mother Suruchi, his disappointment was too much to bear. His own mother Sunithi, the first queen of Uttanapada too was helpless in reinstating that right. Hence she, a devout person advised Dhruva to seek to please Srimannarayana, the Universal father, by penance.
Even though Prince Dhruva was but five years old he decided to follow his mother’s advice in earnest and proceeded towards the forest. Sage Narada, met him on the way and knowing him to be determined to meditate upon Lord Vishnu, blessed and initiated him.
His joy when the Lord appeared before him was beyond bounds -”दृग्भ्यां प्रपश्यन् प्रपिबन्निवार्भकः” “as if drinking in the sight with his eyes”.
He fell flat in the feet of the Lord and proceeded to praise Him:

योऽन्तः प्रविश्य मम वाचमिदं प्रसुप्तां सञ्जीवयत्यखिलशक्तिधरः स्वधाम्ना ।
अन्यांश्च हस्तचरणश्रवणत्वगादीन् प्राणान्नमो भगवते पुरुषाय तुभ्यम् ॥4.9.6॥

यः — the Supreme Lord who
अखिलशक्तिधरः — possessing universal energy
प्रविश्य — entering
अन्तः — within
मम — my
वाचम् — words
सञ्जीवयति — rejuvenates
इमाम् — all these
प्रसुप्ताम् — which are all inactive or dead
स्वधाम्ना — by His internal potency
अन्यान् च — other limbs also
हस्त-चरण-श्रवण-त्वक्-आदीन् — like hands-legs-ears-skin, and so on
प्राणान् — life force
नमः— let me offer my obeisances
भगवते — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead
पुरुषाय — the Supreme Person
तुभ्यम् — unto You.

ब्राह्मणाः भोजनप्रियाः!

When I was trying to think of an equivalent for the word "misconception" in sanskrit, some of the words that came up were
  • अयथार्थः - loosely translated as 'false'
  • विपर्यय - reversed, inverted, opposite hence erroneous knowledge
  • तर्कः - this is very specific to तर्कशास्त्र - hypothetical reasoning/confutation
  • मूढग्राह - this term I came upon at a website. I liked it immediately.
More often than not, misconceptions are based on ideas that have been handed down without the thinking that goes along with it. One such is the title of this post "ब्राह्मणाः भोजनप्रियाः!"

Sri Rama Shastri was very famous for thinking and providing out of the box explanations for some simple stuff. He has given a wonderful twist to this expression.

"ब्राह्मणाः भो! जनप्रियाः"

A brahmin's work, as enumerated by Manu, was यजनं, याजनम्, अध्ययनम्, अध्यापनं, दानं, प्रतिग्रहः, च। Each one of these was designed with the welfare of the whole world in mind. A brahmin performed sacrifices for लोकक्षेम, he helped others to perform sacrifice. He studied in order to teach others. He accepted donation in order give more in charity.

अत एव, भोः जनाः, जनप्रियान् ब्राह्मणान् भोजनप्रिया इति मूढबुद्धिं त्यजन्तु।