Chapter 20: Lord Vishnu's Appearance in the Sacrificial Arena of Prithu Mahârâja :




(1) Maitreya said: 'The Supreme Personality, the Lord of Vaikunthha  satisfied by the sacrifices unto Him, the Lord of All Sacrifices, appeared together with the mighty Indra and spoke as the enjoyer of the sacrifice to King Prithu. (2) The Supreme Lord said: 'This person [King Indra] who disturbed the hundredth horse sacrifice you performed, begs your pardon, you ought to forgive him. (3) Those considerate souls who are willing to act in favor of others in this world oh god of man, belong to the best human beings. They never resort to malice in relation to other living beings for they never forget the soul present within this vehicle of time. (4) If people like you who persistently are of service to the elders, become bewildered by the external energy of God, the only thing that is achieved is weariness. (5) Therefore he who well acquainted knows that one owes this body to one's ignorance, desires and karma, will never become the slave of it. (6) In other words, which person of life experience would in his detachment call himself the proprietor of the wealth, house and children that result from such a bodily concept? (7) The one pure self that is enlightened and free from material characteristics, constitutes the reservoir of all good qualities that transcendental to the body and the mind and pervading all is the undivided witness unrelated to the material world.  (8) Anyone who thus knows about the soul that exists within this body is, despite of being situated within material nature, as a person never affected by its modes. Such a one is situated in Me. (9) He who  free from ulterior motives always doing his duty worships Me with faith and devotion will oh King, discover that his mind step by step finds the highest satisfaction. (10) Free from the modes of nature and with an equal vision, he who innerly free from contaminations is of peace will achieve the equipoise of My spirit of emancipation. (11) Any person who knows this changeless soul as simply being the indifferent superintendent of the physical elements, the knowing and working senses and the mind, will find all good fortune. (12) Those bound to Me in friendship and enlightenment will never become disturbed with the experience of happiness or distress to the different qualities and constant change of the material body consisting of the physical elements, the active senses, its intentions and the mind. (13) Equipoised in happiness and distress, equal to all who are greater, lower or are found in between and with the senses and mind controlled, be that way the protector of all citizens oh hero, together with the others [the officials] as arranged by Me. (14) Ruling the populace in goodness it is certain for a king in his next life to be the collector of a sixth of the results of the pious activities [of his subjects]. Being of a different approach he, solely collecting taxes, will have to do without this sixth and be faced with the sins of the citizens he didn't protect.  (15) Thus being the protector of the earth as someone whose chief interest it is to be unattached in respect of the principles as approved and handed down by the foremost twice-born ones, you will soon see yourself being loved by the citizens and at home be visited by the perfected ones in person. (16)  Because I've been captivated by your excellent qualities*, please request any benediction from Me you desire oh chief of the humans. I certainly cannot easily be obtained by mere sacrifices, austerities or just doing yoga. I am present in the one who is even-minded.'



(17) Maitreya said: 'The conqueror of the world thus being led by the Supreme Master of All, the Personality of Vishnu, bowed his head to the instructions of the Lord. (18) King Indra, ashamed of his own actions then lovingly touched the feet of him [Prithu] who of course with an embrace gave up his anger. (19) The Supreme Lord, the Supersoul, next received worship with all the paraphernalia from Prithu whose devotion, having taken to the lotus feet, gradually increased. (2o) Even though he was ready to depart, the Lord with the lotus eyes, the well-wisher of the devotees,  detained by His kindness couldn't leave him. (21) He, the first among the kings could, with his eyes full of tears standing before the Lord with folded hands, not behold Him nor utter a word. His voice was choked up and within his heart embracing Him he remained in that position.  (22) Not satisfied [just] to see Him before his eyes, he thereupon wiping the tears from his face addressed the Original Personality of Godhead who with His hand resting upon the high shoulder of Garuda, the enemy of the snakes, barely touched the ground with His lotus feet.  


(23) Prithu said: 'Oh Almighty One, how can a learned man ask from You who are the master of all blessings, for benedictions that are also available to all those embodied living beings who are bewildered by the modes of nature, even when they are in hell? Nor do I ask oh Supreme One, for Your enlightenment [to be one with You]. (24) I do not desire even that oh master, because I then have to do without the nectar delivered by the mouths of the devotees at Your lotus feet. Just give me a million ears to [relish that] what rises from the core of their hearts [the stories about You]. Let that be my benediction. (25) That soothing breeze of the nectarean [saffron] particles of Your lotus feet  oh Lord praised in the scriptures delivered by the mouths of the great ones, restores of those who strayed from the path of devotional service the remembrance of the forgotten truth and makes other benedictions unnecessary. (26) When someone somehow or other, even only once, in association with those who are advanced listens to the all-auspicious glorification of You oh honored one, how can someone appreciative of Your characteristics, unless he is an animal, then ever cease with that what the Goddess of Fortune in her desire to hear about You has accepted as Your quality? (27) Therefore I shall engage in the service of You, the all-inclusive Supreme, Original Personality [Pûrushottama] and reservoir of all transcendental qualities. With me, who as anxious indeed as the goddess with the lotus in her hand, competing in relation to the one Master, let there between her and me be no quarrel in the single-mindedness of acting in respect of Your feet. (28) The mother of the universe oh Ruler of the Cosmic Reality, [being jealous] might ruin my desire to be of her action. But what difference would she make with You who always favorably inclined to the poor, as a consequence of Your benevolence consider even the most insignificant service as very great? (29) Saintly persons rather worship You therefore who dispel the misconceptions produced by the modes of nature. Oh Supreme Lord I cannot think of any other purpose [in the life] of devotees than the remembrance of Your lotus feet. (30) I consider that what You said [to me] with the words 'make your choice', as a bewildering favor  in the direction of the material world. How [is that supposed to work] when ordinary people [like me] who are not tied to what You say in the Vedic literatures, time and again feel attracted to engage in karmic actions? (31) The people in general oh Lord, are divided about Your illusory energy because of which they, missing the real knowledge, desire everything but the true matters of the soul. Please bestow that what You deem desirable, just like a father would do for the welfare of his child.'



(32) Maitreya said: 'Thus being worshiped by the original king He, the seer of the entire universe, said to him: 'My dear King let there be your devotion for Me. By the good fortune of  intelligently having acted unto Me like this, you will certainly overcome My illusory energy that is so difficult to give up. (33) Do therefore without neglect what I ordered you to do oh protector of the citizens, anyone who acts according to My injunctions will achieve all good fortune wherever he is.'



(34) Maitreya said: 'Showing His appreciation for these words of the wise king, the son of Vena, He, the Infallible One, after sufficiently having blessed him and being worshiped by him, decided  to leave. (35-36) After they [by the king] with an intelligence dedicated to the Lord and with folded hands, sweet words and riches were properly respected in a spirit of devotional service, all the followers of the Lord of Vaikunthha departed: the godly ones, the sages, the forefathers, the artisans, the perfected ones, the heavenly singers, the snakelike beings, the superhuman beings, the nymphs, the earthly humans, the birds and all the other different living entities [compare 3.10: 28-29]. (37) Having captivated the minds of the saintly king and all his priests, the protector of the living creation, the infallible Supreme Lord, also returned to His abode. (38) With offering his obeisances to the Supreme Soul, the king had [thus] received the revelation of the Unmanifested One, the God of Gods. He then returned to his home.'