Svayambhuva Manu, with the assistance of Lord Brahma, thus fulfilled his
desires. With the permission of the great sage Narada, he delivered to his son
the governmental responsibility for maintaining and protecting all the planets of the universe. He thus achieved relief from the most dangerous, poisonous ocean of material desires.
Svayambhuva Manu was practically hopeless because such a great
personality as Narada was instructing his son Priyavrata not to accept
household life. Now he was very pleased that Lord Brahmahad interfered by
inducing his son to accept the responsibility for ruling the government of the
universe. From Bhagavad-geeta we get information that Vaivasvata Manu was
the son of the sun-god and that his son, Maharaja Iksvaku, ruled this planet
earth. Svayambhuva Manu, however, appears to have been in charge of the
entire universe, and he entrusted to his son, Maharaja Priyavrata, the
responsibility for maintaining and protecting all the planetary systems.
Dhara-mandala means "planet." This earth, for instance, is called
dhara-mandala. Akhila, however, means "all" or "universal." It is therefore
difficult to understand where Maharaja Priyavrata was situated, but from this
literature his position certainly appears greater than that of Vaivasvata Manu,
for he was entrusted with all the planetary systems of the entire universe.
Another significant statement is that Svayambhuva Manu took great
satisfaction from abnegating the responsibility for ruling all the planetary
systems of the universe. At present, politicians are very eager to take charge of
the government, and they engage their men in canvassing from door to door to
get votes to win the post of president or a similar exalted office. On the
contrary, however, herein we find that King Priyavrata had to be persuaded by
Lord Brahma to accept the post of emperor of the entire universe. Similarly,
his father, Svayambhuva Manu, felt relieved to entrust the universal
government to Priyavrata. Thus it is evident that the kings and executive
heads of government in the Vedic age never accepted their positions for sense
enjoyment. Such exalted kings, who were known as rajarsis, ruled only to
maintain and protect the kingdom for the welfare of the citizens. The history
of Priyavrata and Sväyambhuva Manu describes how exemplary, responsible
monarchs performed the duties of government with disinterest, keeping
themselves always aloof from the contamination of material attachment.
Material affairs have herein been compared to an ocean of poison. They
have been described in a similar way by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura in one
of his songs:
samsara-visanale, diva-nisi hiya jvale,
judaite na kainu upaya
"My heart is always burning in the fire of material existence. and I have made
no provisions for getting out of it."
golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana,
rati na janmila kene taya
"The only remedy is hari-nama-sankirtana, the chanting of the Hare Krishna
maha-mantra, which is imported from the spiritual world, Goloka Vrindavana.
How unfortunate I am that I have no attraction for this." Manu wanted to seek
shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord, and therefore when his son Priyavrata
took charge of his worldly affairs, Manu was very relieved. That is the system
of Vedic civilization. At the end of life, one must free himself from worldly
affairs and completely engage in the service of the Lord.
The word surarsi-vara-anumatena is also significant. Manu entrusted the
government to his son with the permission of the great saint Narada. This is
particularly mentioned because although Narada wanted Priyavrata to become
free from all material affairs, when Priyavrata took charge of the universe by
the request of Lord Brahmä and Manu, Narada was also very pleased.