Bhaktavijaya: Stories of Indian Saints

by Justin E. Abbott | 1933

This is the English translation of Bhaktavijaya which is a Marathi poem written by Mahipati in 40,000 lines. The text documents the legends of Indian saints from various backgrounds and extensively covers figures like Ekanath, Tukaram, and Ramadasa, highlighting their contributions to scholarship, philosophy, poetry, and social reform. The Bhaktavi...

14.6: Four kinds of bathing

Hearing these words of the Brahmans, the Soul of the universe replied, ‘I certainly will do so.’

99. Hrishikeshi (the Lord of the heart, Krishna) then said to the Brahmans, ‘Your command is My authority, but I have one request to make with my whole body and speech.’

100. The One who is dark as a cloud (Krishna) further said to the Brahmans, ‘Take care of Nama. Though I have searched, I have found no Godloving bhakta equal to him.

101. You are righteous teachers of the Vedas. The stream of your words has the form of sacred waters. O Swamis, I have already well bathed in the water of your truthful words.

102. I am the Beginning, the Unconquered and the Adhokshaja (the Pervader of earth and sky). But I have faith in you. You are worthy of My supreme worship. Indeed, you are My supreme deity.

103. You tell me to perform a bath. Bathing is of four different kinds. I will explain this clearly to you.

104. Know that to hear and meditate on the Puranas and Hari-kirtans is superior to all forms of bathing.

105. No one has ever declared that any bathing was of more value than experience, than study, or than the vision of the supreme Spirit.

106. The second form of bathing is that of making oneself clean within and without. Anyone who has the good fortune to accomplish this, does not require any other means.

107. The third form of bathing is to put all your organs of sense under control and to destroy all desire. If anyone performs this bathing, why should he need other rites?

108. The fourth form of bathing superior to all others, is to have compassion on all creatures. Seldom can there he found one good man out of a thousand who has performed this bath.

109. If anyone should ask Me regarding the fifth form of bathing it is the bathing with water. This bathing is spoken of as merely for the public eye.

110. Lust, anger, avarice, caste-feeling, seductions and hypocrisy are hereditary in one’s body. They do not leave one by bathing in water.

111. So they must first be driven out by means of right thinking, and by a heart indifferent to earthly things. This purification of the heart must be obtained through association with saints.

112. The fact of the infinite number of rebirths is itself called a penance for the person who has the regular rule of repeating the names, Ram [Rama], Krishna, Govinda.

113. Exactly as your mental state is, so will you reap its fruit. To My mind Kama seems spotless.’

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