The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Meeting of Narayana and Narada which is chapter 2 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the second chapter of the Vasudeva-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 2 - Meeting of Nārāyaṇa and Nārada

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Skanda asked:

1. O you expert in making enquiries, O sinless one, you are asking a very great (difficult) question, a reply to which cannot be found in hundreds of years even by great knowers of Brahman, by one’s own reasoning, except through the grace of God.

2. I shall tell you what became known to me through the favour of Vāsudeva. There is nothing that should not be told to a person devoted to Dharma, O pious-minded one.

3-4. When the battle of Bhārata was over, the King (Yudhiṣṭhira) having no enemy yet born, asked Bhīṣma who was superior among the knowers of Dharma this very question. He (Bhīṣma) was lying on the bed of arrows. He had attained undisturbed spiritual identity with Acyuta (Kṛṣṇa) through meditation. He was expert born in Vedas and Āgamas.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

5. If one desires attainment of the four (main) objectives of life (i.e. Dharma, Wealth, Pleasure and Liberation), what deity should be worshipped by one among the four castes (Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra) and in any of the four stages of life (i.e. Brahmacarya, Gṛhastha, Vānaprastha and Sannyāsa), O (grand)father?

6. What Siddhi (accomplishment) can be obtained without any obstacles? How can it be achieved within a short time? How can a person of a meagre store of merits attain a great position? O grandfather, you are omniscient. Please remove ṃis doubt (problem) of mine.

Skanda said:

1. When asked thus by that pious-souled Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīṣma, the son of Śantanu, looked at the lotus-face of Lord Kṛṣṇa and smiled gently, O sage.

8. Directed to speak by a gesture of his eyes by him (Kṛṣṇa), he narrated the greatness of Vāsudeva as proclaimed by Nara and Nārāyaṇa, as was heard from (his) father.

9. Having heard it, even Nārada went again to Kurukṣetra. He

came back to Kailāsa, and narrated it to Father, who in turn told it to me.

10. O guileless one, I shall communicate fully that to you, who (devoutly) enquire about it. O excellent sage, it is decided in a great assembly, and is devoid of all doubts.

11. Vāsudeva, the Supreme Brahman, Śrīkṛṣṇa, the Supreme Man, the God, should be worshipped by men irrespective of their entertainment of desires for objects, or desirelessness, and even by liberated persons.

12. In every way, he is to be pleased with devotion, by means of performance of one’s respective Dharmas (specific religious duties), by twice-born castes in'their stages of life, and by women, Śūdra and other lower castes.

13. Therefore, all religious and ritualistic acts pertaining to gods and manes should always be done out of love (and devotion) for him in the proper manner, as prescribed in the Vedas.

14-15. Whatever auspicious act is performed by men here for the sake of attainment of happiness—even if it is properly done (in the Śāstric way)—if that act be devoid of its relation with Kṛṣṇa, it should be known as perishable and conducive to little fruit. It lacks excellence of fruit, and due to factors like inauspiciousness of place etc., it is full of defects. It is never conducive to the attainment of men’s cherished objects.

16-17. Verily, that act is righteous, if it is performed for pleasing Śrīkṛṣṇa. If rel??? [related?] to him, then thereby everything becomes free from restrictions. It gives imperishable fruit, much more than that desired by oneself. It does not at all become defective in qualities by its contact with impure place etc.

18. O Brāhmaṇa-sage, no impediment can frustrate that (pious) act, from any quarter, through the power of the Discus-bearing Lord. It gives success in the attainment of the object desired by him.

19. Even if one’s own merit be scanty, through direct contact with the Supreme Soul, it (merit) gains considerable strength, O Brāhmaṇa.

20. Just as fire, though merely a spark, becomes uncontrollable forest-conflagration through its contact with heaps of wild (dry) wood, so it happens in ṃis case through its contact with Hari.

21. Therefore, persons desirous of proper achievements (of their objectives), should propitiate Vāsudeva, irrespective of their being established in Dharma of the type of active worldly life, or of the (non-worldly) contemplative devotional type.

22. Here, they cite this ancient legend in the form a dialogue between Nārada and Sage Nārāyaṇa.

23. Lord Vāsudeva who is eternally abiding in Brahmaloka, manifested himself through the daughter of Dakṣa from sage Dharma, for the welfare of the world.

24. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, formerly in the Svāyaṃbhuva Manvantara in Kṛta Yuga, he manifested himself in the twin form of Nara and Nārāyaṇa.

25. For performance of penance only for the welfare of men, they proceeded from the hermitage of their father Dharma and both Nara and Nārāyaṇa came to the hermitage of Badarī.

26. There, both the Lords of the world, emaciated with their veins lined like cords, shine with their own refulgence (so much so), that they were difficult to look at even by gods.

27. He, on whom they confer their blessing, deserves (i.e. is capable) to see them. Otherwise, it is not possible to see them, even for residents of their place.

28. On one occasion Nārada, the Yogī, who was desired by them to be seen, was strongly urged to do so in his heart, by their inner soul (will power).

29. From the peak of the great Mount Meru he immediately came by aerial path to the place called Badaryāśrama (the hermitage of Badarī), O Brāhmaṇa.

30. He quickly came there at the time of their performance of daily religious duties. He saw them from afar engaged in the religious duties of the first stage of life (i.e. Brahmacaryāśrama).

31-31. As soon as he saw the performance of religious duties by those Lords, a great curiosity arose in his mind: ‘Wonderful! Both of these great Lords are adorable to all embodied beings. These are veritable Supreme Brahman. What could be their daily religious routine. They are the faṃers (progenitors) of all beings, the deity of all gods. What deity or manes could these highly intelligent ones might be worshipping!’

33. Thinking thus in his mind, that devotee of Nārāyaṇa came near him, paid obeisance to him, stood with palms folded in reverence.

34. When their duties (worship etc.) to gods and manes were over, he was seen by them. He was worshipped as per Śāstric injunctions, O sinless one.

35. Having seen that unprecedented, greatly wonderful procedure (of reception), the highly pleased Nārada who was sitting near, became wonder-struck.

36. After having observed Nārāyaṇa properly, with his piously disposed inner soul, he bowed down to him and addressed these words to the Lord.

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