The great sage Maitreya continued speaking to Vidura: My dear Vidura, in this way Lord
Siva instructed the sons of King Barhisat. The sons of the King also worshiped Lord Siva
with great devotion and respect. Finally, Lord Siva became invisible to the princes.
All the Praceta princes simply stood in the water for ten thousand years and recited the
prayers given to them by Lord Siva. While the princes were undergoing severe austerities
in the water, their father was performing different types of fruitive activities. At
this time the great saint Narada, master and teacher of all spiritual life, became very
compassionate upon the King and decided to instruct him about spiritual life.
Narada Muni asked King Pracinabarhisat: My dear King, what do you desire to achieve by
performing these fruitive activities? The chief aim of life is to get rid of all miseries
and enjoy happiness, but these two things cannot be realized by fruitive activity.
The King replied: O great soul, Narada, my intelligence is entangled in fruitive activities;
therefore I do not know the ultimate goal of life. Kindly instruct me in pure knowledge
so that I can get out of the entanglement of fruitive activities.
Those who are interested only in a so-called beautiful life—namely remaining as a householder
entangled by sons and a wife and searching after wealth—think that such things are
life’s ultimate goal. Such people simply wander in different types of bodies throughout
this material existence without finding out the ultimate goal of life.
The great saint Narada said: O ruler of the citizens, my dear King, please see in the
sky those animals which you have sacrificed without compassion and without mercy in the
sacrificial arena. All these animals are awaiting your death
so that they can avenge the injuries you have inflicted upon them. After you die, they will
angrily pierce your body with iron horns. In this connection I wish to narrate an old
history connected with the character of a king called Puranjana. Please try to hear
me with great attention. My dear King, once in the past lived a king
named Puranjana, who was celebrated for his great activities. He had a friend named Avijnata
[“the unknown one”]. No one could understand the activities of Avijnata.
King Puranjana began to search for a suitable place to live, and thus he traveled all over
the world. Even after a great deal of traveling, he could not find a place just to his liking.
Finally he became morose and disappointed. King Puranjana had unlimited desires for sense
enjoyment; consequently he traveled all over the world to find a place where all his desires
could be fulfilled. Unfortunately he found a feeling of insufficiency everywhere.
Once, while wandering in this way, he saw on the southern side of the Himalayas, in
a place named Bharata-varsa [India], a city that had nine gates all about and was characterized
by all auspicious facilities. That city was surrounded by walls and parks,
and within it were towers, canals, windows and outlets. The houses there were decorated
with domes made of gold, silver and iron. The floors of the houses in that city were
made of sapphire, crystal, diamonds, pearls, emeralds and rubies. Because of the luster
of the houses in the capital, the city was compared to the celestial town named Bhogavati.
In that city there were many assembly houses, street crossings, streets, restaurants, gambling
houses, markets, resting places, flags, festoons and beautiful parks. All these surrounded
the city. On the outskirts of that city were many beautiful
trees and creepers encircling a nice lake. Also surrounding that lake were many groups
of birds and bees that were always chanting and humming.
The branches of the trees standing on the bank of the lake received particles of water
carried by the spring air from the falls coming down from the icy mountain.
In such an atmosphere even the animals of the forest became nonviolent and nonenvious
like great sages. Consequently, the animals did not attack anyone. Over and above everything
was the cooing of the cuckoos. Any passenger passing along that path was invited by that
atmosphere to take rest in that nice garden. While wandering here and there in that wonderful
garden, King Puranjana suddenly came in contact with a very beautiful woman who was walking
there without any engagement. She had ten servants with her, and each servant had hundreds
of wives accompanying him. The woman was protected on all sides by a
five-hooded snake. She was very beautiful and young, and she appeared very anxious to
find a suitable husband. The woman’s nose, teeth and forehead were
all very beautiful. Her ears were equally very beautiful and were bedecked with dazzling
earrings. The waist and hips of the woman were very
beautiful. She was dressed in a yellow sari with a golden belt. While she walked, her
ankle bells rang. She appeared exactly like a denizen of the heavens.
With the end of her sari the woman was trying to cover her breasts, which were equally round
and well placed side by side. She again and again tried to cover them out of shyness while
she walked exactly like a great elephant. Puranjana, the hero, became attracted by the
eyebrows and smiling face of the very beautiful girl and was immediately pierced by the arrows
of her lusty desires. When she smiled shyly, she looked very beautiful to Puranjana, who,
although a hero, could not refrain from addressing her.
My dear lotus-eyed, kindly explain to me where you are coming from, who you are, and whose
daughter you are. You appear very chaste. What is the purpose of your coming here? What
are you trying to do? Please explain all these things to me.
My dear lotus-eyed, who are those eleven strong bodyguards with you, and who are those ten
specific servants? Who are those women following the ten servants, and who is the snake that
is preceding you? My dear beautiful girl, you are exactly like
the goddess of fortune or the wife of Lord Siva or the goddess of learning, the wife
of Lord Brahma. Although you must be one of them, I see that you are loitering in this
forest. Indeed, you are as silent as the great sages. Is it that you are searching after
your own husband? Whoever your husband may be, simply by understanding that you are so
faithful to him, he will come to possess all opulences. I think you must be the goddess
of fortune, but I do not see the lotus flower in your hand. Therefore I am asking you where
you have thrown that lotus. O greatly fortunate one, it appears that you
are none of the women I have mentioned because I see that your feet are touching the ground.
But if you are some woman of this planet, you can, like the goddess of fortune, who,
accompanied by Lord Visnu, increases the beauty of the Vaikuntha planets, also increase the
beauty of this city by associating with me. You should understand that I am a great hero
and a very powerful king on this planet. Certainly your glancing upon me today has
very much agitated my mind. Your smile, which is full of shyness but at the same time lusty,
is agitating the most powerful cupid within me. Therefore, O most beautiful, I ask you
to be merciful upon me. My dear girl, your face is so beautiful with
your nice eyebrows and eyes and with your bluish hair scattered about. In addition,
very sweet sounds are coming from your mouth. Nonetheless, you are so covered with shyness
that you do not see me face to face. I therefore request you, my dear girl, to smile and kindly
raise your head to see me. Narada continued: My dear King, when Puranjana
became so attracted and impatient to touch the girl and enjoy her, the girl also became
attracted by his words and accepted his request by smiling. By this time she was certainly
attracted by the King. The girl said: O best of human beings, I do
not know who has begotten me. I cannot speak to you perfectly about this. Nor do I know
the names or the origin of the associates with me.
O great hero, we only know that we are existing in this place. We do not know what will come
after. Indeed, we are so foolish that we do not care to understand who has created this
beautiful place for our residence. My dear gentleman, all these men and women
with me are known as my friends, and the snake, who always remains awake, protects this city
even during my sleeping hours. So much I know. I do not know anything beyond this.
O killer of the enemy, you have somehow or other come here. This is certainly great fortune
for me. I wish all auspicious things for you. You have a great desire to satisfy your senses,
and all my friends and I shall try our best in all respects to fulfill your desires.
My dear lord, I have just arranged this city of nine gates for you so that you can have
all kinds of sense gratification. You may live here for one hundred years, and everything
for your sense gratification will be supplied. How can I expect to unite with others, who
are neither conversant about sex nor capable of knowing how to enjoy life while living
or after death? Such foolish persons are like animals because they do not know the process
of sense enjoyment in this life and after death.
The woman continued: In this material world, a householder’s life brings all kinds of
happiness in religion, economic development, sense gratification and the begetting of children,
sons and grandsons. After that, one may desire liberation as well as material reputation.
The householder can appreciate the results of sacrifices, which enable him to gain promotion
to superior planetary systems. All this material happiness is practically unknown to the transcendentalists.
They cannot even imagine such happiness. The woman continued: According to authorities,
the householder life is pleasing not only to oneself but to all the forefathers, demigods,
great sages, saintly persons and everyone else. A householder life is thus beneficial.
O my dear hero, who in this world will not accept a husband like you? You are so famous,
so magnanimous, so beautiful and so easily gotten.
O mighty-armed, who in this world will not be attracted by your arms, which are just
like the bodies of serpents? Actually you relieve the distress of husbandless women
like us by your attractive smile and your aggressive mercy. We think that you are traveling
on the surface of the earth just to benefit us only.
The great sage Narada continued: My dear King, those two—the man and the woman—supporting
one another through mutual understanding, entered that city and enjoyed life for one
hundred years. Many professional singers used to sing about
the glories of King Puranjana and his glorious activities. When it was too hot in the summer,
he used to enter a reservoir of water. He would surround himself with many women and
enjoy their company. Of the nine gates in that city, seven were
on the surface, and two were subterranean. A total of nine doors were constructed, and
these led to different places. All the gates were used by the city’s governor.
My dear King, of the nine doors, five led toward the eastern side, one led toward the
northern side, one led toward the southern side, and two led toward the western side.
I shall try to give the names of these different doors.
The two gates named Khadyota and Avirmukhi were situated facing the eastern side, but
they were constructed in one place. Through those two gates the King used to go to the
city of Vibhrajita accompanied by a friend whose name was Dyuman.
Similarly in the east there were two sets of gates named Nalini and Nalini, and these
were also constructed in one place. Through these gates the King, accompanied by a friend
named Avadhuta, used to go to the city of Saurabha.
The fifth gate situated on the eastern side was named Mukhya, or the chief. Through this
gate, accompanied by his friends named Rasajna and Vipana, he used to visit two places named
Bahudana and Apana. The southern gate of the city was known as
Pitrhu, and through that gate King Puranjana used to visit the city named Daksina-pancala,
accompanied by his friend Srutadhara. On the northern side was the gate named Devahu.
Through that gate, King Puranjana used to go with his friend Srutadhara to the place
known as Uttara-pancala. On the western side was a gate named Asuri.
Through that gate King Puranjana used to go to the city of Gramaka, accompanied by his
friend Durmada. Another gate on the western side was known
as Nirrti. Puranjana used to go through this gate to the place known as Vaisasa, accompanied
by his friend Lubdhaka. Of the many inhabitants of this city, there
are two persons named Nirvak and Pesaskrt. Although King Puranjana was the ruler of citizens
who possessed eyes, he unfortunately used to associate with these blind men. Accompanied
by them, he used to go here and there and perform various activities.
Sometimes he used to go to his private home with one of his chief servants [the mind],
who was named Visucina. At that time, illusion, satisfaction and happiness used to be produced
from his wife and children. Being thus entangled in different types of
mental concoction and engaged in fruitive activities, King Puranjana came completely
under the control of material intelligence and was thus cheated. Indeed, he used to fulfill
all the desires of his wife, the Queen. When the Queen drank liquor, King Puranjana
also engaged in drinking. When the Queen dined, he used to dine with her, and when she chewed,
King Puranjana used to chew along with her. When the Queen sang, he also sang. Similarly,
when the Queen cried, he also cried, and when the Queen laughed, he also laughed. When the
Queen talked loosely, he also talked loosely, and when the Queen walked, the King walked
behind her. When the Queen would stand still, the King would also stand still, and when
the Queen would lie down in bed, he would also follow and lie down with her. When the
Queen sat, he would also sit, and when the Queen heard something, he would follow her
to hear the same thing. When the Queen saw something, the King would also look at it,
and when the Queen smelled something, the King would follow her to smell the same thing.
When the Queen touched something, the King would also touch it, and when the dear Queen
was lamenting, the poor King also had to follow her in lamentation. In the same way, when
the Queen felt enjoyment, he also enjoyed, and when the Queen was satisfied, the King
also felt satisfaction. In this way, King Puranjana was captivated
by his nice wife and was thus cheated. Indeed, he became cheated in his whole existence in
the material world. Even against that poor foolish King’s desire, he remained under
the control of his wife, just like a pet animal that dances according to the order of its