Gajendra Returns to the Spiritual World
This Fourth Chapter describes the previous birth of Gajendra and the crocodile. It tells how the crocodile became a Gandharva and how Gajendra became an associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There was a king on the Gandharva planet whose name was Hūhū. Once this King Hūhū was enjoying with women in the water, and while enjoying he pulled the leg of Devala Ṛṣi, who was also taking a bath in the water. Upon this, the sage became very angry and immediately cursed him to become a crocodile. King Hūhū was very sorry when cursed in that way, and he begged pardon from the sage, who in compassion gave him the benediction that he would be freed when Gajendra was delivered by the Personality of Godhead. Thus the crocodile was delivered when killed by Nārāyaṇa.
When Gajendra, by the mercy of the Lord, became one of the Lord’s associates in Vaikuṇṭha, he got four hands. This achievement is called sārūpya-mukti, or the liberation of receiving a spiritual body exactly like that of Nārāyaṇa. Gajendra, in his previous birth, had been a great devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. His name was Indradyumna, and he was the King of the Tāmila country. Following the Vedic principles, this King retired from family life and constructed a small cottage in the Malayācala Hills, where he always worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead in silence. Agastya Ṛṣi, along with many disciples, once approached King Indradyumna’s āśrama, but because the King was meditating on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he could not receive Agastya Ṛṣi properly. Thus the ṛṣi became very angry and cursed the King to become a dull elephant. In accordance with this curse, the King was born as an elephant, and he forgot all about his previous activities in devotional service. Nonetheless, in his birth as an elephant, when he was dangerously attacked by the crocodile, he remembered his past life in devotional service and remembered a prayer he had learned in that life. Because of this prayer, he again received the mercy of the Lord. Thus he was immediately delivered, and he became one of the Lord’s four-handed associates.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī ends this chapter by describing the good fortune of the elephant. Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that by hearing the narration of Gajendra’s deliverance, one can also get the opportunity to be delivered. Śukadeva Gosvāmī vividly describes this, and thus the chapter ends.
तदा देवर्षिगन्धर्वा ब्रह्मेशानपुरोगमा: ।
मुमुचु: कुसुमासारं शंसन्त: कर्म तद्धरे: ॥ १ ॥
śaṁsantaḥ karma tad dhareḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; tadā — at that time (when Gajendra was delivered); deva-ṛṣi-gandharvāḥ — the demigods, sages and Gandharvas; brahma-īśāna-purogamāḥ — headed by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva; mumucuḥ — showered; kusuma-āsāram — a covering of flowers; śaṁsantaḥ — while praising; karma — transcendental activity; tat — that (gajendra-mokṣaṇa); hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When the Lord delivered Gajendra, King of the elephants, all the demigods, sages and Gandharvas, headed by Brahmā and Śiva, praised this activity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and showered flowers upon both the Lord and Gajendra.
It is evident from this chapter that great sages like Devala Ṛṣi, Nārada Muni and Agastya Muni will sometimes curse someone. The curse of such a personality, however, is in fact a benediction. Both the crocodile, who had been a Gandharva in his previous life, and Gajendra, who had been a king named Indradyumna, were cursed, but both of them benefited. Indradyumna, in his birth as an elephant, attained salvation and became a personal associate of the Lord in Vaikuṇṭha, and the crocodile regained his status as a Gandharva. We find evidence in many places that the curse of a great saint or devotee is not a curse but a benediction.
ऋषयश्चारणा: सिद्धास्तुष्टुवु: पुरुषोत्तमम् ॥ २ ॥
gandharvā nanṛtur jaguḥ
ṛṣayaś cāraṇāḥ siddhās
neduḥ — vibrated; dundubhayaḥ — kettledrums; divyāḥ — in the sky of the higher planetary system; gandharvāḥ — residents of Gandharvaloka; nanṛtuḥ — danced; jaguḥ — and sang; ṛṣayaḥ — all the saintly sages; cāraṇāḥ — the inhabitants of the Cāraṇa planet; siddhāḥ — the inhabitants of the Siddha planet; tuṣṭuvuḥ — offered prayers; puruṣa-uttamam — to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Puruṣottama, the best of males.
There was a beating of kettledrums in the heavenly planets, the inhabitants of Gandharvaloka began to dance and sing, while great sages and the inhabitants of Cāraṇaloka and Siddhaloka offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Puruṣottama.
मुक्तो देवलशापेन हूहूर्गन्धर्वसत्तम: ॥ ३ ॥
प्रणम्य शिरसाधीशमुत्तमश्लोकमव्ययम् ।
अगायत यशोधाम कीर्तन्यगुणसत्कथम् ॥ ४ ॥
yaḥ — he who; asau — that; grāhaḥ — became a crocodile; saḥ — he; vai — indeed; sadyaḥ — immediately; parama — very nice; āścarya — wonderful; rūpa-dhṛk — possessing the form (of his original Gandharva position); muktaḥ — was delivered; devala-śāpena — by the cursing of Devala Ṛṣi; hūhūḥ — whose name was formerly Hūhū; gandharva-sattamaḥ — the best of Gandharvaloka; praṇamya — offering his obeisances; śirasā — by the head; adhīśam — unto the supreme master; uttama-ślokam — who is worshiped by the choicest verses; avyayam — who is the supreme eternal; agāyata — he began to chant; yaśaḥ-dhāma — the glories of the Lord; kīrtanya-guṇa-sat-katham — whose transcendental pastimes and qualities are glorious.
The best of the Gandharvas, King Hūhū, having been cursed by Devala Muni, had become a crocodile. Now, having been delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he assumed a very beautiful form as a Gandharva. Understanding by whose mercy this had happened, he immediately offered his respectful obeisances with his head and began chanting prayers just suitable for the transcendental Lord, the supreme eternal, who is worshiped by the choicest verses.
The story of how the Gandharva had become a crocodile will be described later. The curse by which the Gandharva took this position was actually a blessing, not a curse. One should not be displeased when a saintly person curses someone, for his curse, indirectly, is a blessing. The Gandharva had the mentality of an inhabitant of the celestial planetary system, and for him to become an associate of the Supreme Lord would have taken millions of long years. However, because he was cursed by Devala Ṛṣi, he became a crocodile and in only one life was fortunate enough to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face and be promoted to the spiritual world to become one of the Lord’s associates. Similarly, Gajendra was also delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead when he was freed from the curse of Agastya Muni.
लोकस्य पश्यतो लोकं स्वमगान्मुक्तकिल्बिष: ॥ ५ ॥
parikramya praṇamya tam
lokasya paśyato lokaṁ
svam agān mukta-kilbiṣaḥ
saḥ — he (King Hūhū); anukampitaḥ — being favored; īśena — by the Supreme Lord; parikramya — circumambulating; praṇamya — offering his obeisances; tam — unto Him; lokasya — all the demigods and men; paśyataḥ — while seeing; lokam — to the planet; svam — his own; agāt — went back; mukta — being delivered; kilbiṣaḥ — from the reactions of his sin.
Having been favored by the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and having regained his original form, King Hūhū circumambulated the Lord and offered his obeisances. Then, in the presence of all the demigods, headed by Brahmā, he returned to Gandharvaloka. He had been freed of all sinful reactions.
प्राप्तो भगवतो रूपं पीतवासाश्चतुर्भुज: ॥ ६ ॥
prāpto bhagavato rūpaṁ
gajendraḥ — the King of the elephants, Gajendra; bhagavat-sparśāt — because of being touched by the hand of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vimuktaḥ — was immediately freed; ajñāna-bandhanāt — from all kinds of ignorance, especially the bodily concept of life; prāptaḥ — achieved; bhagavataḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; rūpam — the same bodily features; pīta-vāsāḥ — wearing yellow garments; catuḥ-bhujaḥ — and four-handed, with conchshell, disc, club and lotus.
Because Gajendra, King of the elephants, had been touched directly by the hands of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was immediately freed of all material ignorance and bondage. Thus he received the salvation of sārūpya-mukti, in which he achieved the same bodily features as the Lord, being dressed in yellow garments and possessing four hands.
If one is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead by having his gross body touched by the Lord, his body turns into a spiritual body, and he can go back home, back to Godhead. Gajendra assumed a spiritual body when his body was touched by the Lord. Similarly, Dhruva Mahārāja assumed his spiritual body in this way. Arcanā-paddhati, daily worship of the Deity, provides an opportunity to touch the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus it enables one to be fortunate enough to get a spiritual body and go back to Godhead. Not only by touching the body of the Supreme Lord, but simply by hearing about His pastimes, chanting His glories, touching His feet and offering worship — in other words, by serving the Lord somehow or other — one is purified of material contamination. This is the result of touching the Supreme Lord. One who is a pure devotee (anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam), who acts according to the śāstra and the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, certainly becomes purified. Like Gajendra, he assumes a spiritual body and returns home, back to Godhead.
इन्द्रद्युम्न इति ख्यातो विष्णुव्रतपरायण: ॥ ७ ॥
indradyumna iti khyāto
saḥ — this elephant (Gajendra); vai — indeed; pūrvam — formerly; abhūt — was; rājā — a king; pāṇḍyaḥ — of the country known as Pāṇḍya; draviḍa-sat-tamaḥ — the best of those born in Draviḍa-deśa, South India; indradyumnaḥ — by the name Mahārāja Indradyumna; iti — thus; khyātaḥ — celebrated; viṣṇu-vrata-parāyaṇaḥ — who was a first-class Vaiṣṇava, always engaged in the service of the Lord.
This Gajendra had formerly been a Vaiṣṇava and the king of the country known as Pāṇḍya, which is in the province of Draviḍa [South India]. In his previous life, he was known as Indradyumna Mahārāja.
गृहीतमौनव्रत ईश्वरं हरिम् ।
समर्चयामास कुलाचलाश्रम: ॥ ८ ॥
gṛhīta-mauna-vrata īśvaraṁ harim
jaṭā-dharas tāpasa āpluto ’cyutaṁ
samarcayām āsa kulācalāśramaḥ
saḥ — that Indradyumna Mahārāja; ekadā — once upon a time; ārādhana-kāle — at the time of worshiping the Deity; ātmavān — engaged in devotional service in meditation with great attention; gṛhīta — taken; mauna-vrataḥ — the vow of silence (not talking with anyone); īśvaram — the supreme controller; harim — the Personality of Godhead; jaṭā-dharaḥ — with matted locks; tāpasaḥ — always engaged in austerity; āplutaḥ — always merged in love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead; acyutam — the infallible Lord; samarcayām āsa — was worshiping; kulācala-āśramaḥ — he made his āśrama in Kulācala (the Malaya Hills).
Indradyumna Mahārāja retired from family life and went to the Malaya Hills, where he had a small cottage for his āśrama. He wore matted locks on his head and always engaged in austerities. Once, while observing a vow of silence, he was fully engaged in the worship of the Lord and absorbed in the ecstasy of love of Godhead.
समागमच्छिष्यगणै: परिश्रित: ।
तं वीक्ष्य तूष्णीमकृतार्हणादिकं
रहस्युपासीनमृषिश्चुकोप ह ॥ ९ ॥
samāgamac chiṣya-gaṇaiḥ pariśritaḥ
taṁ vīkṣya tūṣṇīm akṛtārhaṇādikaṁ
rahasy upāsīnam ṛṣiś cukopa ha
yadṛcchayā — out of his own will (without being invited); tatra — there; mahā-yaśāḥ — very celebrated, well-known; muniḥ — Agastya Muni; samāgamat — arrived; śiṣya-gaṇaiḥ — by his disciples; pariśritaḥ — surrounded; tam — him; vīkṣya — seeing; tūṣṇīm — silent; akṛta-arhaṇa-ādikam — without offering a respectful reception; rahasi — in a secluded place; upāsīnam — sitting in meditation; ṛṣiḥ — the great sage; cukopa — became very angry; ha — it so happened.
While Indradyumna Mahārāja was engaged in ecstatic meditation, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the great sage Agastya Muni arrived there, surrounded by his disciples. When the Muni saw that Mahārāja Indradyumna, who was sitting in a secluded place, remained silent and did not follow the etiquette of offering him a reception, he was very angry.
रयं दुरात्माकृतबुद्धिरद्य ।
विप्रावमन्ता विशतां तमिस्रं
यथा गज: स्तब्धमति: स एव ॥ १० ॥
ayaṁ durātmākṛta-buddhir adya
viprāvamantā viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
yathā gajaḥ stabdha-matiḥ sa eva
tasmai — unto Mahārāja Indradyumna; imam — this; śāpam — curse; adāt — he gave; asādhuḥ — not at all gentle; ayam — this; durātmā — degraded soul; akṛta — without education; buddhiḥ — his intelligence; adya — now; vipra — of a brāhmaṇa; avamantā — insulter; viśatām — let him enter; tamisram — darkness; yathā — as; gajaḥ — an elephant; stabdha-matiḥ — possessing blunt intelligence; saḥ — he; eva — indeed.
Agastya Muni then spoke this curse against the King: This King Indradyumna is not at all gentle. Being low and uneducated, he has insulted a brāhmaṇa. May he therefore enter the region of darkness and receive the dull, dumb body of an elephant.
An elephant is very strong, it has a very big body, and it can work very hard and eat a large quantity of food, but its intelligence is not at all commensurate with its size and strength. Thus in spite of so much bodily strength, the elephant works as a menial servant for a human being. Agastya Muni thought it wise to curse the King to become an elephant because the powerful King did not receive Agastya Muni as one is obliged to receive a brāhmaṇa. Yet although Agastya Muni cursed Mahārāja Indradyumna to become an elephant, the curse was indirectly a benediction, for by undergoing one life as an elephant, Indradyumna Mahārāja ended the reactions for all the sins of his previous life. Immediately after the expiry of the elephant’s life, he was promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka to become a personal associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, in a body exactly like that of the Lord. This is called sārūpya-mukti.
एवं शप्त्वा गतोऽगस्त्यो भगवान् नृप सानुग: ।
इन्द्रद्युम्नोऽपि राजर्षिर्दिष्टं तदुपधारयन् ॥ ११ ॥
आपन्न: कौञ्जरीं योनिमात्मस्मृतिविनाशिनीम् ।
हर्यर्चनानुभावेन यद्गजत्वेऽप्यनुस्मृति: ॥ १२ ॥
evaṁ śaptvā gato ’gastyo
bhagavān nṛpa sānugaḥ
indradyumno ’pi rājarṣir
diṣṭaṁ tad upadhārayan
yad-gajatve ’py anusmṛtiḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam — thus; śaptvā — after cursing; gataḥ — left that place; agastyaḥ — Agastya Muni; bhagavān — so powerful; nṛpa — O King; sa-anugaḥ — with his associates; indradyumnaḥ — King Indradyumna; api — also; rājarṣiḥ — although he was a rājarṣi; diṣṭam — because of past deeds; tat — that curse; upadhārayan — considering; āpannaḥ — got; kauñjarīm — of an elephant; yonim — the species; ātma-smṛti — remembrance of one’s identity; vināśinīm — which destroys; hari — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arcana-anubhāvena — because of worshiping; yat — that; gajatve — in the body of an elephant; api — although; anusmṛtiḥ — the opportunity to remember his past devotional service.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: My dear King, after Agastya Muni had thus cursed King Indradyumna, the Muni left that place along with his disciples. Since the King was a devotee, he accepted Agastya Muni’s curse as welcome because it was the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, although in his next life he got the body of an elephant, because of devotional service he remembered how to worship and offer prayers to the Lord.
This is the unique position of a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although the King was cursed, he welcomed the curse because a devotee is always aware that nothing can happen without the desire of the Supreme Lord. Although the King was not at fault, Agastya Muni cursed him, and when this happened the King considered it to be due to his past misdeeds. Tat te ’nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (Bhāg. 10.14.8). This is a practical example of how a devotee thinks. He regards any reverses in life as blessings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, instead of being agitated by such reverses, he continues his activities of devotional service, and Kṛṣṇa takes care of him and enables him to be promoted to the spiritual world, back to Godhead. If a devotee has to suffer the reactions of his past misdeeds, the Supreme Lord arranges for him to be given only a token of these reactions, and very soon he is freed from all the reactions of material contamination. One should therefore adhere to devotional service, and the Lord Himself will very soon see to one’s promotion to the spiritual world. A devotee should not be disturbed by unfortunate circumstances, but must continue his regular program, depending on the Lord for everything. The word upadhārayan, “considering,” is very significant in this verse. This word indicates that a devotee knows what is what; he understands what is happening in material, conditional life.
स्तेनापि पार्षदगतिं गमितेन युक्त: ।
कर्माद्भुतं स्वभवनं गरुडासनोऽगात् ॥ १३ ॥
tenāpi pārṣada-gatiṁ gamitena yuktaḥ
karmādbhutaṁ sva-bhavanaṁ garuḍāsano ’gāt
evam — thus; vimokṣya — delivering; gaja-yūtha-pam — the King of the elephants, Gajendra; abja-nābhaḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whose navel sprouts a lotus flower; tena — by him (Gajendra); api — also; pārṣada-gatim — the position of the Lord’s associate; gamitena — who had already gotten; yuktaḥ — accompanied; gandharva — by the denizens of Gandharvaloka; siddha — the denizens of Siddhaloka; vibudhaiḥ — and by all great learned sages; upagīyamāna — were being glorified; karma — whose transcendental activities; adbhutam — all-wonderful; sva-bhavanam — to His own abode; garuḍa-āsanaḥ — sitting on the back of Garuḍa; agāt — returned.
Upon delivering the King of the elephants from the clutches of the crocodile, and from material existence, which resembles a crocodile, the Lord awarded him the status of sārūpya-mukti. In the presence of the Gandharvas, the Siddhas and the other demigods, who were praising the Lord for His wonderful transcendental activities, the Lord, sitting on the back of His carrier, Garuḍa, returned to His all-wonderful abode and took Gajendra with Him.
In this verse the word vimokṣya is significant. For a devotee, mokṣa or mukti — salvation — means getting the position of the Lord’s associate. The impersonalists are satisfied to get the liberation of merging in the Brahman effulgence, but for a devotee, mukti (liberation) means not to merge in the effulgence of the Lord, but to be directly promoted to the Vaikuṇṭha planets and to become an associate of the Lord. In this regard, there is a relevant verse in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.8):
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk
“One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances unto You, is certainly a bona fide candidate for liberation.” A devotee who tolerates everything in this material world and patiently executes his devotional service can become mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk, a bona fide candidate for liberation. The word dāya-bhāk refers to a hereditary right to the Lord’s mercy. A devotee must simply engage in devotional service, not caring about material situations. Then he automatically becomes a rightful candidate for promotion to Vaikuṇṭhaloka. The devotee who renders unalloyed service to the Lord gets the right to be promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, just as a son inherits the property of his father.
When a devotee gets liberation, he becomes free from material contamination and engages as a servant of the Lord. This is explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.10.6): muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ svarūpena vyavasthitiḥ. The word svarūpa refers to sārūpya-mukti — going back home, back to Godhead, and remaining the Lord’s eternal associate, having regained a spiritual body exactly resembling that of the Lord, with four hands, holding the śaṅkha, cakra, gadā and padma. The difference between the mukti of the impersonalist and that of the devotee is that the devotee is immediately appointed an eternal servant of the Lord, whereas the impersonalist, although merging in the effulgence of the brahmajyoti, is still insecure and therefore generally falls again to this material world. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho ’nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ (Bhāg. 10.2.32). Although the impersonalist rises to the Brahman effulgence and enters into that effulgence, he has no engagement in the service of the Lord, and therefore he is again attracted to materialistic philanthropic activities. Thus he comes down to open hospitals and educational institutions, feed poor men and perform similar materialistic activities, which the impersonalist thinks are more precious than serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ. The impersonalists do not think that the service of the Lord is more valuable than serving the poor man or starting a school or hospital. Although they say brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā — “Brahman is real, and the material world is false” — they are nonetheless very eager to serve the false material world and neglect the service of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
कृष्णानुभावो गजराजमोक्षणम् ।
स्वर्ग्यं यशस्यं कलिकल्मषापहं
दु:स्वप्ननाशं कुरुवर्य शृण्वताम् ॥ १४ ॥
svargyaṁ yaśasyaṁ kali-kalmaṣāpahaṁ
duḥsvapna-nāśaṁ kuru-varya śṛṇvatām
etat — this; mahā-rāja — O King Parīkṣit; tava — unto you; īritaḥ — described; mayā — by me; kṛṣṇa-anubhāvaḥ — the unlimited potency of Lord Kṛṣṇa (by which He can deliver a devotee); gaja-rāja-mokṣaṇam — delivering the King of the elephants; svargyam — giving elevation to higher planetary systems; yaśasyam — increasing one’s reputation as a devotee; kali-kalmaṣa-apaham — diminishing the contamination of the Kali-yuga; duḥsvapna-nāśam — counteracting the causes of bad dreams; kuru-varya — O best among the Kurus; śṛṇvatām — of persons who hear this narration.
My dear King Parīkṣit, I have now described the wonderful power of Kṛṣṇa, as displayed when the Lord delivered the King of the elephants. O best of the Kuru dynasty, those who hear this narration become fit to be promoted to the higher planetary systems. Simply because of hearing this narration, they gain a reputation as devotees, they are unaffected by the contamination of Kali-yuga, and they never see bad dreams.
शुचय: प्रातरुत्थाय दु:स्वप्नाद्युपशान्तये ॥ १५ ॥
śucayaḥ prātar utthāya
yathā — without deviation; anukīrtayanti — they chant; etat — this narration of the deliverance of Gajendra; śreyaḥ-kāmāḥ — persons who desire their own auspiciousness; dvi-jātayaḥ — the twice-born (brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas); śucayaḥ — especially the brāhmaṇas, who are always clean; prātaḥ — in the morning; utthāya — after getting up from sleep; duḥsvapna-ādi — beginning with sleeping badly at night; upaśāntaye — to counteract all troublesome positions.
Therefore, after getting up from bed in the morning, those who desire their own welfare — especially the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and in particular the brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇavas — should chant this narration as it is, without deviation, to counteract the troubles of bad dreams.
Every verse in the Vedic literature, especially in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā, is a Vedic mantra. Here the words yathānukīrtayanti are used to recommend that this literature be presented as it is. Unscrupulous persons, however, deviate from the actual narration and interpret the text in their own way with grammatical jugglery. Such deviations are to be avoided. This is a Vedic injunction supported by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, one of the mahājanas, or authorities. He says, yathānukīrtayanti: one should recite the mantra as it is, without deviation, for then one will be eligible to rise to the platform of all good fortune. Śukadeva Gosvāmī especially recommends that those who are brāhmaṇas (śucayaḥ) recite all these mantras after rising from bed in the morning.
Because of sinful activities, at night we have bad dreams, which are very troublesome. Indeed, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was obliged to see hell because of a slight deviation from devotional service to the Lord. Therefore, duḥsvapna — bad dreams — occur because of sinful activities. A devotee sometimes accepts a sinful person as his disciple, and to counteract the sinful reactions he accepts from the disciple, he has to see a bad dream. Nonetheless, the spiritual master is so kind that in spite of having bad dreams due to the sinful disciple, he accepts this troublesome business for the deliverance of the victims of Kali-yuga. After initiation, therefore, a disciple should be extremely careful not to commit again any sinful act that might cause difficulties for himself and the spiritual master. Before the Deity, before the fire, before the spiritual master and before the Vaiṣṇavas, the honest disciple promises to refrain from all sinful activity. Therefore he must not again commit sinful acts and thus create a troublesome situation.
शृण्वतां सर्वभूतानां सर्वभूतमयो विभु: ॥ १६ ॥
idam — this; āha — said; hariḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prītaḥ — being pleased; gajendram — unto Gajendra; kuru-sat-tama — O best of the Kuru dynasty; śṛṇvatām — hearing; sarva-bhūtānām — in the presence of everyone; sarva-bhūta-mayaḥ — all-pervading Personality of Godhead; vibhuḥ — the great.
O best of the Kuru dynasty, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul of everyone, being thus pleased, addressed Gajendra in the presence of everyone there. He spoke the following blessings.
ये मां त्वां च सरश्चेदं गिरिकन्दरकाननम् ।
वेत्रकीचकवेणूनां गुल्मानि सुरपादपान् ॥ १७ ॥
शृङ्गाणीमानि धिष्ण्यानि ब्रह्मणो मे शिवस्य च ।
क्षीरोदं मे प्रियं धाम श्वेतद्वीपं च भास्वरम् ॥ १८ ॥
श्रीवत्सं कौस्तुभं मालां गदां कौमोदकीं मम ।
सुदर्शनं पाञ्चजन्यं सुपर्णं पतगेश्वरम् ॥ १९ ॥
शेषं च मत्कलां सूक्ष्मां श्रियं देवीं मदाश्रयाम् ।
ब्रह्माणं नारदमृषिं भवं प्रह्लादमेव च ॥ २० ॥
मत्स्यकूर्मवराहाद्यैरवतारै: कृतानि मे ।
कर्माण्यनन्तपुण्यानि सूर्यं सोमं हुताशनम् ॥ २१ ॥
प्रणवं सत्यमव्यक्तं गोविप्रान् धर्ममव्ययम् ।
दाक्षायणीर्धर्मपत्नी: सोमकश्यपयोरपि ॥ २२ ॥
गङ्गां सरस्वतीं नन्दां कालिन्दीं सितवारणम् ।
ध्रुवं ब्रह्मऋषीन्सप्त पुण्यश्लोकांश्च मानवान् ॥ २३ ॥
उत्थायापररात्रान्ते प्रयता: सुसमाहिता: ।
स्मरन्ति मम रूपाणि मुच्यन्ते तेꣷहसोऽखिलात् ॥ २४ ॥
ye māṁ tvāṁ ca saraś cedaṁ
brahmaṇo me śivasya ca
kṣīrodaṁ me priyaṁ dhāma
śveta-dvīpaṁ ca bhāsvaram
gadāṁ kaumodakīṁ mama
śriyaṁ devīṁ mad-āśrayām
brahmāṇaṁ nāradam ṛṣiṁ
bhavaṁ prahrādam eva ca
avatāraiḥ kṛtāni me
sūryaṁ somaṁ hutāśanam
go-viprān dharmam avyayam
dhruvaṁ brahma-ṛṣīn sapta
puṇya-ślokāṁś ca mānavān
smaranti mama rūpāṇi
mucyante te ’ṁhaso ’khilāt
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; ye — those who; mām — Me; tvām — you; ca — also; saraḥ — lake; ca — also; idam — this; giri — hill (Trikūṭa Mountain); kandara — caves; kānanam — gardens; vetra — of cane; kīcaka — hollow bamboo; veṇūnām — and of another kind of bamboo; gulmāni — clusters; sura-pādapān — celestial trees; śṛṅgāṇi — the peaks; imāni — these; dhiṣṇyāni — abodes; brahmaṇaḥ — of Lord Brahmā; me — of Me; śivasya — of Lord Śiva; ca — also; kṣīra-udam — the Ocean of Milk; me — My; priyam — very dear; dhāma — place; śveta-dvīpam — known as the white island; ca — also; bhāsvaram — always brilliant with spiritual rays; śrīvatsam — the mark named Śrīvatsa; kaustubham — the Kaustubha gem; mālām — garland; gadām — club; kaumodakīm — known as Kaumodakī; mama — My; sudarśanam — Sudarśana disc; pāñcajanyam — conchshell named Pāñcajanya; suparṇam — Garuḍa; pataga-īśvaram — the king of all birds; śeṣam — the resting place Śeṣa Nāga; ca — and; mat-kalām — My expanded part; sūkṣmām — very subtle; śriyam devīm — the goddess of fortune; mat-āśrayām — all dependent upon Me; brahmāṇam — Lord Brahmā; nāradam ṛṣim — the great saint Nārada Muni; bhavam — Lord Śiva; prahrādam eva ca — as well as Prahlāda; matsya — the Matsya incarnation; kūrma — the Kūrma incarnation; varāha — the boar incarnation; ādyaiḥ — and so on; avatāraiḥ — by different incarnations; kṛtāni — done; me — My; karmāṇi — activities; ananta — unlimited; puṇyāni — auspicious, pious; sūryam — the sun-god; somam — the moon-god; hutāśanam — the fire-god; praṇavam — the oṁkāra mantra; satyam — the Absolute Truth; avyaktam — the total material energy; go-viprān — the cows and brāhmaṇas; dharmam — devotional service; avyayam — never ending; dākṣāyaṇīḥ — the daughters of Dakṣa; dharma-patnīḥ — bona fide wives; soma — of the moon-god; kaśyapayoḥ — and of the great ṛṣi Kaśyapa; api — also; gaṅgām — the river Ganges; sarasvatīm — the river Sarasvatī; nandām — the river Nandā; kālindīm — the river Yamunā; sita-vāraṇam — the elephant Airāvata; dhruvam — Dhruva Mahārāja; brahma-ṛṣīn — great ṛṣis; sapta — seven; puṇya-ślokān — extremely pious; ca — and; mānavān — human beings; utthāya — getting up; apara-rātra-ante — at the end of the night; prayatāḥ — being very careful; su-samāhitāḥ — with concentrated minds; smaranti — remember; mama — My; rūpāṇi — forms; mucyante — are delivered; te — such persons; aṁhasaḥ — from sinful reactions; akhilāt — of all kinds.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Freed from all sinful reactions are those who rise from bed at the end of night, early in the morning, and fully concentrate their minds with great attention upon My form; your form; this lake; this mountain; the caves; the gardens; the cane plants; the bamboo plants; the celestial trees; the residential quarters of Me, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva; the three peaks of Trikūṭa Mountain, made of gold, silver and iron; My very pleasing abode [the Ocean of Milk]; the white island, Śvetadvīpa, which is always brilliant with spiritual rays; My mark of Śrīvatsa; the Kaustubha gem; My Vaijayantī garland; My club, Kaumodakī; My Sudarśana disc and Pāñcajanya conchshell; My bearer, Garuḍa, the king of the birds; My bed, Śeṣa Nāga; My expansion of energy the goddess of fortune; Lord Brahmā; Nārada Muni; Lord Śiva; Prahlāda; My incarnations like Matsya, Kūrma and Varāha; My unlimited all-auspicious activities, which yield piety to he who hears them; the sun; the moon; fire; the mantra oṁkāra; the Absolute Truth; the total material energy; the cows and brāhmaṇas; devotional service; the wives of Soma and Kaśyapa, who are all daughters of King Dakṣa; the rivers Ganges, Sarasvatī, Nandā and Yamunā [Kālindī]; the elephant Airāvata; Dhruva Mahārāja; the seven ṛṣis; and the pious human beings.
तेषां प्राणात्यये चाहं ददामि विपुलां गतिम् ॥ २५ ॥
teṣāṁ prāṇātyaye cāhaṁ
dadāmi vipulāṁ gatim
ye — those who; mām — unto Me; stuvanti — offer prayers; anena — in this way; aṅga — O King; pratibudhya — getting up; niśa-atyaye — at the end of night; teṣām — for them; prāṇa-atyaye — at the time of death; ca — also; aham — I; dadāmi — give; vipulām — the eternal, unlimited; gatim — transferral to the spiritual world.
My dear devotee, unto those who rise from bed at the end of night and offer Me the prayers offered by you, I give an eternal residence in the spiritual world at the end of their lives.
इत्यादिश्य हृषीकेश: प्राध्माय जलजोत्तमम् ।
हर्षयन्विबुधानीकमारुरोह खगाधिपम् ॥ २६ ॥
ity ādiśya hṛṣīkeśaḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti — thus; ādiśya — advising; hṛṣīkeśaḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Hṛṣīkeśa; prādhmāya — blowing; jala-ja-uttamam — the conchshell, the best of the aquatics; harṣayan — pleasing; vibudha-anīkam — the host of demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva; āruroha — got up; khaga-adhipam — on the back of Garuḍa.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: After giving this instruction, the Lord, who is known as Hṛṣīkeśa, bugled with His Pāñcajanya conchshell, in this way pleasing all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā. Then He mounted the back of His carrier, Garuḍa.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Fourth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Gajendra Returns to the Spiritual World.”