Chapter 21: Instructions by Prithu Mahârâja
Slokam- 1 to 52.
(1) Maitreya said [when King Prithu returned to his capital]: 'The city at the golden gates and everywhere around was decorated with pearls, flower garlands and cloth and there was also highly fragrant incense. (2) The streets, the parks and the lanes that were sprinkled with water scented with sandalwood and aguru [a fragrant herb] were decorated with unbroken rice, flowers, fruits in their peel, precious stones, parched grains and lamps. (3) With everything being cleansed and festooned with leaves of various trees like fresh mango leaves and the flowers and fruits hanging down from pillars of banana trees and betel nut trees, it all looked very nice. (4) The citizens and many a beautiful radiating virgin decorated with tinkling earrings, came to welcome him equipped with lamps and countless articles of worship. (5) Even though the king when he entered the palace was honored with the sounds of kettledrums, conch shells and the Vedic chants of the priests, he took no pride in it. (6) With the great glory of thus being revered and pleased everywhere by the nobles and the commoners, he on his turn wished them all the best. (7) He had been so from the beginning: magnanimous in all his actions and doing great works regularly. He had become the greatest of the great and thus ruling with the achievement of a repute that had spread all over the world, he [finally] was elevated to the Supreme lotus feet.' "
(8) Sûta said: "Oh greatest of the devotees, oh leader of the sages [S'aunaka], after Maitreya thus befittingly had expounded on the high reputation of that ideal king so qualified because of his countless qualities, Vidura proved his great respect and addressed him. (9) Vidura said: 'When he [Prithu] was enthroned by the great ones of learning, he realized the full respect of the enlightened community and by that grace of Vishnu he could expand to the strength of rule by dint of which he managed to break open [and exploit] the earth. (10) Who wouldn't enjoy to hear about his glories, about his intelligence and his chivalry to the example of which even to this day so many kings and their local rulers proceed in procuring what they desire for their livelihood? Please tell me [more] about those good deeds.'
(11) Maitreya proceeded: 'Living in the land between the two rivers the Ganges and the Yamunâ, he who was destined to enjoy the fortune of his pious deeds exhausted his merits. (12) Except for the brahmin culture and the ones in succession devoted to the Infallible One [the Vaishnavas], there was for everyone on the seven continents his irrevocable order as the one ruler holding the scepter. (13) And so he once upon a time took a vow to initiate a great sacrifice to the occasion of which the authorities of God assembled: the brahmin sages, the wise kings and all the great devotees. (14) To that occasion he offered his obeisances to all those respectable souls who deserved it according to their respective positions, standing in their midst like the moon between the stars. (15-16) He was a tall man, well built with strong arms and a lotuslike fair complexion, eyes as bright as a sunrise, a straight nose and a beautiful face with a grave expression, high shoulders and teeth brilliant at the smile. He had a broad chest, a firm waist with beautiful folds in his abdomen like the leaf of a banana tree, a coiled navel, thighs of a golden hue and an arched instep. (17) With fine, curly, slick black hair on his head and a neck like a conch he was dressed in a very valuable dhotî with over his upper body a wrapper worn like a sacred thread. (18) He with all the beauty of his physique was the one appointed to give up his garments according to the regulations. Nicely covered by a black deerskin and with a ring of kus'a grass around his finger he then performed as was required. (19) With starry eyes as moist as the dew he glanced over all the ones around him and then, for the purpose of pleasing the assembly, began to speak in terms of the following elevating discourse. (20) What he reminded them of was of a great importance and beauty, and flowery, crystal clear and free from doubt spoken to the benefit of all.
(21) The king addressing the ones present said: 'Listen carefully oh great souls present here, how I as an inquisitive man feel obliged to present to you dear nobles, my conclusions concerning the principles of dharma. (22) I, carrying the scepter as the king of all the citizens, am engaged in this world as the protector and employer of each person the way he is born in the context of his own [Vedically] established, separate social order. (23) By executing of Him, the Seer of all destiny, that what the experts in Vedic knowledge speak about, I expect to fulfill all the objectives as desired everywhere by everyone. (24) Anyone who as a king exacts taxes from the citizens without reminding them of their respective [varnâs'rama] duties, will according to the impiety of his citizens, also have to relinquish the enjoyment of his own fortune. (25) Therefore my dear citizens it suffers no doubt that whatever you without grumbling do in accord with [the varnâs'rama system of] Him beyond the senses, [not only serves your own interest, but also] constitutes a great service unto me. That way you serve the interest of the welfare of me your protector. (26) All of you present here as people faithful to the forefathers, the gods, the sages and the sinless, please take this at heart: in the hereafter the results of one's actions are equally shared by the performer, the director and the supporter of the deeds. (27) Oh respectable ones, there must be someone like Him who by some [scriptures] is called the Lord of Sacrifice, for one evidently in this material world and in the hereafter sometimes is faced with embodiments of [great] power and beauty. (28-29) Manu, Uttânapâda [Dhruva's father], Dhruva and no doubt the great king Priyavrata and my grandfather Anga, these great and saintly personalities and also others of the Unborn Soul like Prahlâda and Bali Mahârâja, give evidence of the existence of the One holding the Club. (30) Except for descendants like my father who abominably acting like death personified had lost his way on the path of religion, one as good as always ascribes the elevation to higher worlds and class to the [in dharmic action] being liberated from the material motive for the sake of the One Supreme Soul. (31) Persons of penance destroy, because of their inclination to serve at the lotus feet, immediately the dirt that accumulated in their minds in countless births. Just like the [Ganges] water that emanating from His toes vanquishes all dirt, they, day after day, see their purity increasing. (32) By particularly time and again gathering strength in seeking in a systematic, scientific way refuge at His lotus feet, the person disgusted with the endless ruminations will purify himself. But if he surrenders to a materially motivated life full of hindrances, he will never achieve such a thing. (33) All you citizens, in order to be satisfied, be sure of being devoted at His lotus feet according to your personal sense of duty. Be in your thoughts, your words and in a physical sense of the particular qualities of your own type of work and answer with an open mind in the full of your conviction to all that is wanted as far as your talents allow. (34) He who is present in this world with His various qualities and transcendence is in the science of being free from contaminations in relation to His form worshiped with different kinds of sacrifices that are performed with the physical means and the practicing of mantras, for the purpose of which there are the forms and names upon which one concentrates. (35) Just like fire manifests differently depending the shape and quality of the firewood, the Almighty One manifests differently with a body in which He accepts a consciousness and engages in activities that are the result of a certain combination of undifferentiated matter [see also 3.26: 10], the time, the mental disposition and the dutifulness. (36) Oh all of you who together with me abide by the Lord, you who enjoy the Supreme Spiritual Master His mercy, and who by dint of the godly who are of sacrifice, the Supreme Controller Himself and the occupational duties incessantly on this earth with firm determination are occupied with worship, with these activities you are relating to me. (37) Never at any time those who are of great opulence [the rulers] should exercise power over the blessed ones who are of devotion to the Unconquerable One [Vishnu], nor over the ones who exercise tolerance, do penance and are highly educated, for they personally constitute the ruling class of the twice-born ones in society. (38) The Original Personality, the oldest and eternal Lord and godhead of the brahminical culture acquired the opulence of the eternal fame of being the great elevated leader that purifies the entire universe, by exercising respect for their lotus feet. (39) The unlimited, independent Lord dwelling in each his heart is very satisfied when one wants to be of service at the feet of the learned ones who are very dear to Him, when one humbly following in His footsteps in every respect tries to be constantly engaged in serving the brahmin class. (40) A person automatically without delay achieves the greatest peace and the satisfaction of his soul when he regularly relates to them by means of delivering service, for who would be a better mouth and hand for the ghee that is offered? (41) Ananta, the Lord of the Snake bed is never as pleased to eat from sacrifices in the fire that with faith are performed by the knowers of the Absolute, as much as He is satisfied with the life force [of the offerings] that, by the different names of the demigods, is not withheld from the mouth of a devotee, for He will never abandon those transcendental swans. (42) Everything that the constant, pure and original brahminical culture is reflecting with faith, austerity, auspicious actions, silence, an absorbed mind and sense control, is carried for the sake of the true meaning and purpose of the Vedic vision in which this world appears as clear as in a mirror. (43) Oh people of culture, I will carry the dust of the lotus feet of all of them on my helmet until the end of my life. Everyone who always engages this way will soon vanquish his sins and be blessed with all qualities. (44) He whose wealth consists of good conduct and gratitude, he who seeks refuge with the learned and acquired all the good qualities, will achieve all the fortune of God. May the Maintainer of the three worlds as also His devotees be pleased with the brahmin class, the cows and with me.'
(45) Maitreya said: 'The king speaking thus was congratulated by all the saintly people: the elderly, the godly and the twice-born who satisfied and happy minded exclaimed 'sâdhu, sâdhu!' ['well done, well spoken!' They said:] (46) 'The Vedic teaching which says that someone becomes victorious in all the worlds through his son has become true now that he [Prithu] in a grand manner has delivered his most sinful father Vena from the darkness [in which he landed] after being cursed by the brahmins. (47) Also Hiranyakas'ipu, who because of repeatedly blaspheming the Supreme Lord entered the darkest regions, was delivered by the actions of his son Prahlâda.
(48) Best of all warriors, dear father of the earth whose devotion unto the Infallible One, the one Maintainer of all the worlds, is so exemplary, may you life forever. (49) Today, oh Supreme One of Purity, we because of you are under the rule of the Lord of Liberation Mukunda, of Him, Vishnu who appearing in the stories of the scriptures is glorified as the worshipable Lord of the brahmins. (50) It is a common thing oh lord, to rule over citizens for one's income. What is of greatness is the nature of your affection and mercy for all living beings. (51) Today it is, because of you, more likely for us, who by the will of God are wandering and have lost their goal of life because of our past deeds, to reach the other side of the darkness of material existence. (52) Our obeisances to you whom we honor as a personality moved by the quality of goodness, as someone who by dint of his personal prowess inspires the brahmin culture and maintains [the honor of] the ruling class.'