rule



 

 

Canto 10

Vande Krishna

   

 

Chapter 64: On Stealing from a Brahmin: King Nriga a Chameleon

(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'One day [in their youth] oh King, the Yadu boys Sâmba, Pradyumna, Câru, Bhânu, Gada and others went to a park to play. (2) Playing there for a long time they, being thirsty, looked for water and discovered an amazing creature in a dry well. (3) They saw there a chameleon that was as big as a mountain and with a mind filled with wonder they, moved by compassion, tried to lift it up. (4) With straps of leather and twisted ropes attached to it, the boys failed to lift the creature out of the well and so they reported it excitedly to Krishna. (5) The lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, the Maintainer of the Universe, taking a look saw it and picked it easily up with His left hand. (6) Being touched by the hand of Uttamas'loka, the chameleon form was immediately given up for the one of a beautiful heavenly being with a  complexion of molten gold and wonderful ornaments, clothes and garlands. (7) Even though He was very well aware of what had led to this situation,  Mukunda asked, so that the common man (also) could know: 'Who are you oh fortunate soul? Considering your excellent appearance I dare say you are an exalted demigod! (8) What action has brought you oh good soul, in this condition that you certainly did not deserve? Please tell Us, eager to know, all about yourself - that is to say, if you deem this the proper place to speak about it.'

(9) S'rî S'uka said: 'The king thus being questioned by Krishna whose forms are unlimited, with his helmet as brilliant as the sun bowed down to Mâdhava and addressed Him. (10) Nriga said: 'I, the ruler of man called Nriga [see 9.1: 11-12, 9.2: 17], am a [grand-]son of Ikshvâku oh Master. Maybe You have heard that I am counted among the men of charity. (11) What would be unknown to You oh Master, oh Witness of the Mind of all Beings whose vision is not impeded by time? Nevertheless I will speak as You wish. (12) I have donated as many cows as there are grains of sand on earth, as there are stars in the sky or as there are raindrops in a shower of rain. (13)  I gave away dairy cows that were honestly acquired, that were young, sweet, of beauty, brown and fair and endowed with many other qualities, together with their calves, with gold on their horns, silver on their hooves and adorned with fine fabrics and garlands. (14-15) I, of pious works and performing worship with fire sacrifices, was of charity and gave ornaments to truth-loving, young and talented brahmins with families in need, who were known for their austerity and vast knowledge of the Vedas and who had good qualities and a good character. I donated cows, land, gold, houses, horses and elephants, marriageable girls with maidservants, sesame seeds, silver, bedding and clothing, jewels, furniture and chariots. (16) Unknowingly I gave a cow owned by a certain first class dvija [a brahmin not accepting gifts anymore, see 7.11] away to another twice-born soul. Having wandered off, the cow had mingled with my herd. (17) As the cow was led away she was spotted by her master who said: 'She is mine!' But he who had accepted the gift said thereupon: 'Nriga gave this one to me!'

(18) The two learned ones arguing in defense of their own interest said to me: 'You sir, as a giver have been a thief!' Hearing this I was dumbstruck.

(19-20) Thus being embarrassed in respect of my religious duty, I begged the two men of learning: 'Please give me this one cow and I will give you a hundred thousand of the best quality in return! Please you both, have mercy with your servant. I did not know what I was doing. Save me from the danger of falling down into a dirty hell!'

(21) 'I do not want that at all oh King!' the owner said and went away.

'I am not interested in all those other cows', the other one said and left.

(22) After this had happened I was by the messengers of Yamarâja taken to his abode and there oh God of Gods, oh Master of the Universe, questioned by the Lord of Death and Retribution [as follows, see also 5.26: 6, 6.1: 31 and 6.3]. (23) 'Do you first want to face the consequences of your bad deeds oh King, or those of your good deeds? As for your unlimited deeds of charity, I see a splendid world.'

(24) I thus said: 'Let me first experience my bad deeds oh Godhead.' He then said: 'Then fall!' and as I was falling oh Master, I saw myself as a chameleon! (25) Being Your servant generous towards the brahmins and hankering for Your presence oh Kes'ava, not even today the memory of You has left me [see also 5.8: 28]. (26) Oh Almighty One, how can You now in person be visible to me, You, the Supreme Soul, upon whom the masters of yoga within their spotless hearts meditate through the eye of the scriptures? How oh Adhoks'aja, can I, whose intelligence was blinded by severe troubles, now be able to perceive You? Is that not reserved for those whose material life in this world has ended? (27-28) Oh God of Gods, Master of the Universe, Lord of the Cows and  Supreme Personality! Oh Path Laid out for Man, Master of the Senses, Grace of the Verses, oh You Infallible and Undiminishing One! Please permit me to leave for the world of the gods oh Krishna, oh Master, may, wherever I reside, my mind take to the shelter of Your feet! (29) My obeisances unto You, the Source of All Beings, the Absolute of the Truth and the Possessor of Unlimited Potencies. I offer You, Krishna [*], the son of Vasudeva, the Lord of all forms of yoga, my respects.'

(30) Thus having spoken and having circumambulated Him he, after touching Krishna's feet with his crown, received permission to leave and boarded, for all humans to see, a most excellent celestial chariot. (31) Krishna, the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, the God and Soul of Dharma devoted to the brahmins, addressed His personal associates and was as follows of instruction for the royalty: (32) 'If even for someone, who is of a greater potency than fire, the smallest amount of property that he consumes [steals or denies] of a brahmin, is difficult to enjoy, what then to say of kings who think they are the Lord Himself? (33) The hâlâhala poison [that was churned with Mandâra] I do not consider real poison because there was a remedy for it [namely S'iva, see 8.7]. That what belongs to a brahmin though, I call real poison [when it is misappropriated], for that has no antidote in the world. (34) Poison destroys the one who ingests it and fire is extinguished with water, but the fire that burns with the kindling wood of the belongings of a brahmin burns one's community down to the ground. (35) When one enjoys a brahmin's property without his permission, that will destroy three of one's generations [in a family line see **], but when one enjoys it with force by means of an external power [as by governmental actions or by corporate interests], ten previous and ten subsequent generations will be affected [with a contamination of one's honor, see also 9.8]. (36) Members of the royal class, do, blinded by royal opulence [see also B.G. 1: 44], not foresee their downfall into hell, when they childishly covet the property of a good natured brahmin. (37-38) Those kings and other members of the royal family who, failing in their control, usurped the share of a brahmin, will for as many years be cooked in the hell called Kumbhîpâka [5.26: 13], as there were particles of dust touched by the teardrops of generous brahmins who, for the sake of their beloved ones, had to cry over the means of support that were stolen from them. (39) He who deprives a brahmin of his livelihood, whether it was provided by oneself or someone else, will for sixty thousand years be born as a worm in feces. (40) May I never acquire the wealth belonging to a brahmin. They who desire such a thing are short-lived and will be defeated. They will lose their kingdom and turn into horrifying snakes. (41) Dear followers, do not be inimical towards a man of learning, not even when he has committed a sin. Whether he strikes you physically time and again or curses you, you should always honor him. (42) The way I always take care to bow down to persons of learning, all of you should be of the same respect. He who acts otherwise, qualifies for being punished by Me. (43) The property taken away from a brahmin leads to the downfall of the taker, even done unknowingly. Just like we saw it happen to the person of Nriga with the brahmin's cow.'

(44) After thus having exhorted the residents of Dvârakâ, the Supreme Lord Mukunda, the Purifier of All Worlds, entered His palace.'

 

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 Third revised edition, loaded July 25, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Aadhar edition and Vedabase links:

Text 1

The son of Vyâsa said: 'One day [in their youth] oh King, the Yadu boys Sâmba, Pradyumna, Câru, Bhânu, Gada and others went to a park to play.
The son of Vyâsa said: 'One day [in their youth], o King, went the yadu-boys Sâmba, Pradyumna, Câru, Bhânu, Gada and others to a park to play. (Vedabase)

 

Text 2

Playing there for a long time they, being thirsty, looked for water and discovered an amazing creature in a dry well.

Playing for a long time there looked they thirsty for water and discovered they in a dry well an amazing creature. (Vedabase)

 

Text 3

They saw there a chameleon that was as big as a mountain and with a mind filled with wonder they, moved by compassion, tried to lift it up.

There they saw a chameleon as big as a mountain and with a mind filled with wonder about it made they, moved by compassion, the effort to lift it up. (Vedabase)

  

Text 4

With straps of leather and twisted ropes attached to it, the boys failed to lift the creature out of the well and so they reported it excitedly to Krishna.

Attaching straps of leather and twisted ropes were the boys not able to lift out the creature and so reported they it excitedly to Krishna. (Vedabase)

 

Text 5

The lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, the Maintainer of the Universe, taking a look saw it and picked it easily up with His left hand.

The Lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, the Maintainer of the Universe, going there saw it and picked it with His left hand easily up. (Vedabase)

 

Text 6

Being touched by the hand of Uttamas'loka, the chameleon form was immediately given up for the one of a beautiful heavenly being with a complexion of molten gold and wonderful ornaments, clothes and garlands.

Being touched by the hand of Uttamas'loka, was immediately the chameleon form given up for the one of a heavenly being beautiful with a complexion of molten gold and wonderful ornaments, clothes and garlands. (Vedabase)

 

Text 7

Even though He was very well aware of what had led to this situation, Mukunda asked, so that the common man (also) could know: 'Who are you oh fortunate soul? Considering your excellent appearance I dare say you are an exalted demigod!'

Though well aware of the cause of this asked Mukunda, so that the people in general might know: 'Who are You, o fortunate one, from your excellent appearance I dare say you're an exalted demigod! (Vedabase)

 

Text 8

What action has brought you oh good soul, in this condition that you certainly did not deserve? Please tell Us, eager to know, all about yourself - that is to say, if you deem this the proper place to speak about it.'

What action brought you to this condition, which you certainly didn't deserve, o good soul; please tell Us, eager to know, all about yourself - that is, if you think it's the right time to speak about it here.' (Vedabase)

 

Text 9

S'rî S'uka said: 'The king thus being questioned by Krishna whose forms are unlimited, with his helmet as brilliant as the sun bowed down to Mâdhava and addressed Him.

S'rî S'uka said: 'The king thus as such questioned by Krishna whose forms are unlimited, with his helmet as brilliant as the sun bowed down to Mâdhava and spoke to Him. (Vedabase)

    

Text 10

Nriga said: 'I, the ruler of man called Nriga [see 9.1: 11-12, 9.2: 17], am a [grand-]son of Ikshvâku oh Master. Maybe You have heard that I am counted among the men of charity.

Nriga said: 'I, the ruler of man named Nriga [see 9.1: 11-12, 9.2: 17], am a son of [S'raddha next to the elder brother] Ikshvâku, o master, maybe Your ear caught that I am counted among the men of charity. (Vedabase)

 

Text 11

What would be unknown to You oh Master, oh Witness of the Mind of all Beings whose vision is not impeded by time? Nevertheless I will speak as You wish.

What indeed would be unknown to You o Master, Witness of the Mind of all Beings, Whose vision is undisturbed by time; yet I 'll speak as You order. (Vedabase)

  

Text 12

I have donated as many cows as there are grains of sand on earth, as there are stars in the sky or as there are raindrops in a shower of rain.

As many grains of sand there are on earth, as many stars there are in the sky or as many raindrops there are to a shower of rain, that many cows have I donated. (Vedabase)

 

Text 13

I gave away dairy cows that were honestly acquired, that were young, sweet, of beauty, brown and fair and endowed with many other qualities, together with their calves, with gold on their horns, silver on their hooves and adorned with fine fabrics and garlands.

I gave cows complete with milk, being young , sweet, of beauty and endowed with other qualities; brown and fair, together with their calves, adorned with gold on their horns, silver on their hooves, fine cloth and garlands. (Vedabase)

 

Text 14-15

I, of pious works and performing worship with fire sacrifices, was of charity and gave ornaments to truth-loving, young and talented brahmins with families in need, who were known for their austerity and vast knowledge of the Vedas and who had good qualities and a good character. I donated cows, land, gold, houses, horses and elephants, marriageable girls with maidservants, sesame seeds, silver, bedding and clothing, jewels, furniture and chariots.

I, of pious works and performing worship with fire sacrifices, did adorn nicely and gave in charity to the saintly, young, exceptional brahmins, dedicated to the truth, well-known for their austerity and vast learning in the Vedas, who with their families in need were of good qualities and character: cows, land, gold, houses, horses and elephants; marriageable girls with maidservants, sesame seeds, silver, bedding and clothing; jewels, furniture and chariots. (Vedabase)

  

Text 16

Unknowingly I gave a cow owned by a certain first class dvija [a brahmin not accepting gifts anymore, see 7.11] away to another twice-born soul. Having wandered off, the cow had mingled with my herd.

I unknowingly, gave of a certain first class dvija [a brahmin not accepting gifts anymore, see 7.11] away to another twice-born soul a cow, which being lost had mingled with my herd. (Vedabase)

    

Text 17

As the cow was led away she was spotted by her master who said: 'She is mine!' But he who had accepted the gift said thereupon: 'Nriga gave this one to me!'

She being led away was spotted by her master who said: 'She's mine', whereas he who had accepted the gift said: 'Nriga gave this one to me!' (Vedabase)

 

Text 18

The two learned ones arguing in defense of their own interest said to me: 'You sir, as a giver have been a thief!' Hearing this I was dumbstruck.

The two learned ones arguing in defense of their own interest said to me: 'You sir, as a giver were a thief!' to the hearing of which I fell in perplexity. (Vedabase)

 

Text 19-20

Thus being embarrassed in respect of my religious duty, I begged the two men of learning: 'Please give me this one cow and I will give you a hundred thousand of the best quality in return! Please you both, have mercy with your servant. I did not know what I was doing. Save me from the danger of falling down into a dirty hell!'

Embarrassed indeed in my religious duty I supplicated with both the men of learning with 'Please give me this one cow, I'll give you a hundred thousand of best quality! You both, please be of mercy with your servant who was unaware; save me from the danger of falling down into a dirty hell!' (Vedabase)

  

Text 21

'I do not want that at all oh King!' the owner said and went away.

'I am not interested in all those other cows', the other one said and left.

'I'm not in want at all o King!' thus spoke the owner and went away.

'Not even the additional countless cows I want', said the other one and left.

(Vedabase)

  

Text 22

After this had happened I was by the messengers of Yamarâja taken to his abode and there oh God of Gods, oh Master of the Universe, questioned by the Lord of Death and Retribution [as follows, see also 5.26: 6, 6.1: 31 and 6.3].

To this occasion was I by the messengers of Yamarâja taken to his abode and there by the Lord of Death and Retribution [as follows], o God of Gods, o Master of the Universe [see also 5.26: 6, 6.1: 31 and 6.3] asked the question: (Vedabase)

 

Text 23

'Do you first want to face the consequences of your bad deeds oh King, or those of your good deeds? As for your unlimited deeds of charity, I see a splendid world.'

'Do you first want to experience your bad deeds, o King, or rather your good deeds; as I see no end to the shining world of what you religiously gave in charity.' (Vedabase)

 

Text 24

I thus said: 'Let me first experience my bad deeds oh Godhead.' He then said: 'Then fall!' and as I was falling oh Master, I saw myself as a chameleon!

I thus said: 'I'll first take my bad deeds o Godhead', and so said he: 'Then fall!' and as I was falling, o Master, saw I myself as a chameleon! (Vedabase)

 

Text 25

Being Your servant generous towards the brahmins and hankering for Your presence oh Kes'ava, not even today the memory of You has left me [see also 5.8: 28].

Being Your servant generous towards the brahmins, o Kes'ava, has me not even today left the memory of the audience of You that I lost and hanker for [see also 5.8: 28]. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 26

Oh Almighty One, how can You now in person be visible to me, You, the Supreme Soul, upon whom the masters of yoga within their spotless hearts meditate through the eye of the scriptures? How oh Adhoks'aja, can I, whose intelligence was blinded by severe troubles, now be able to perceive You? Is that not reserved for those whose material life in this world has ended?

How, o Almighty One, can You in person be visible to me; You, the Supreme Soul who meditated by the masters of yoga are visible to the eye of a spotless heart - how, o Adhoks'aja, can I, whose intelligence was blinded by severe troubles, be allowed to perceive what is for those whose material life out here is completed? (Vedabase)

 

Text 27-28

Oh God of Gods, Master of the Universe, Lord of the Cows and  Supreme Personality! Oh Path Laid out for Man, Master of the Senses, Grace of the Verses, oh You Infallible and Undiminishing One! Please permit me to leave for the world of the gods oh Krishna, oh Master, may, wherever I reside, my mind take to the shelter of Your feet!

O, God of Gods, Master of the Universe, Lord of the Cows, Supreme Personality; o Path Laid out for Man, Master of the Senses, Grace of the Verses, Infallible and Undiminishing One, please permit me to leave, o Krishna, for the world of the gods, o Master; may wherever I reside my consciousness be of the shelter of Your feet! (Vedabase)

  

Text 29

My obeisances unto You, the Source of All Beings, the Absolute of the Truth and the Possessor of Unlimited Potencies. I offer You, Krishna [*], the son of Vasudeva, the Lord of all forms of yoga, my respects.'

My obeisances unto You the Source of All Beings, the Absolute of the Truth and the Possessor of Unlimited Potencies; I offer to the Spiritual Pleasure of His Attraction, Krishna [*], the son of Vasudeva, the Lord of All forms of yoga [all forms of uniting in the consciousness], my respects.' (Vedabase)

 

 Text 30

Thus having spoken and having circumambulated Him he, after touching Krishna's feet with his crown, received permission to leave and boarded, for all humans to see, a most excellent celestial chariot.

Thus having spoken and circumambulating Him got he, touching His feet with his crown, permission to leave and boarded he, before all humans to see, a most excellent celestial chariot. (Vedabase)

  

Text 31

Krishna, the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, the God and Soul of Dharma devoted to the brahmins, addressed His personal associates and was as follows of instruction for the royalty:

Krishna, the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, the God and Soul of Dharma devoted to the brahmins, addressed His personal associates and was thus of instruction to the royalty in general. (Vedabase)

 

Text 32

'If even for someone, who is of a greater potency than fire, the smallest amount of property that he consumes [steals or denies] of a brahmin, is difficult to enjoy, what then to say of kings who think they are the Lord Himself?

If even for one more potent than fire but the little property consumed [stolen or denied] of a brahmin indeed is indigestible; what then to say of kings who imagine themselves to be controllers? (Vedabase)

 

Text 33

The hâlâhala poison [that was churned with Mandâra] I do not consider real poison because there was a remedy for it [namely S'iva, see 8.7]. That what belongs to a brahmin though, I call real poison [when it is misappropriated], for that has no antidote in the world.

The hâlâhala [that was churned with Mandâra] I do not consider poison as it knows a counteraction [namely S'iva, see 8.7]; what belongs to a brahmin [though] I call poison indeed [once being misappropriated] as for that there is no antidote in the world. (Vedabase)

 

Text 34

Poison destroys the one who ingests it and fire is extinguished with water, but the fire that burns with the kindling wood of the belongings of a brahmin burns one's community down to the ground.

Poison destroys the one who ingests it; fire is extinguished with water, but the fire that burns with the kindling wood of the belongings of brahmin burns one's community down to the root. (Vedabase)

 

Text 35

When one enjoys a brahmin's property without his permission, that will destroy three of one's generations [in a family line see **], but when one enjoys it with force by means of an external power [as by governmental actions or by corporate interests], ten previous and ten subsequent generations will be affected [with a contamination of one's honor, see also 9.8].

A brahmins property enjoyed without permission destroys three persons [in line see **] but by force [like by governance or corporate interests] enjoyed [is that true for the honor of] ten previous and ten subsequent generations [see also 9.8]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 36

Members of the royal class, do, blinded by royal opulence [see also B.G. 1: 44], not foresee their downfall into hell, when they childishly covet the property of a good natured brahmin.

Members of the royalty, blinded by royal opulence [see also B.G. 1: 44] do not foresee their own fall in hell childishly hankering for the property of a good natured brahmin. (Vedabase)

 

Text 37-38

Those kings and other members of the royal family who, failing in their control, usurped the share of a brahmin, will for as many years be cooked in the hell called Kumbhîpâka [5.26: 13], as there were particles of dust touched by the teardrops of generous brahmins who, for the sake of their beloved ones, had to cry over the means of support that were stolen from them.

As many particles of dust touched by the teardrops of generous brahmins who for their association do cry over their means of support being stolen, that many years will the kings and the other members of the royal family as usurpers of the brahmin's share missing the control be cooked in the hell called Kumbhîpâka [5.26: 13]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 39

He who deprives a brahmin of his livelihood, whether it was provided by oneself or someone else, will for sixty thousand years be born as a worm in feces.

He then who steals what a brahmin owns, whether it was given by oneself or someone else, is for sixty thousand years born as a worm in feces. (Vedabase)

 

Text 40

May I never acquire the wealth belonging to a brahmin. They who desire such a thing are short-lived and will be defeated. They will lose their kingdom and turn into horrifying snakes.

Let the wealth of a brahmin not come my way; the desire for that makes people short-lived, defeats them and deprives them of the kingdom, turning them into snakes that trouble others. (Vedabase)


Text 41

Dear followers, do not be inimical towards a man of learning, not even when he has committed a sin. Whether he strikes you physically time and again or curses you, you should always honor him.

Dear followers, do not be inimical towards a man of learning, not even when he has sinned; even striking you physically time and again or cursing you, should you always offer him your obeisances. (Vedabase)

 

Text 42

The way I always take care to bow down to persons of learning, all of you should be of the same respect. He who acts otherwise, qualifies for being punished by Me.

As I carefully bow down to the learned ones all the time, should also all of you; he who does otherwise is a candidate for being punished by Me. (Vedabase)

 

Text 43

The property taken away from a brahmin leads to the downfall of the taker, even done unknowingly. Just like we saw it happen to the person of Nriga with the brahmin's cow.'

The property indeed taken away from a brahmin leads to the fall-down of the taker, even done unknowingly as, as we saw, happened to the person of Nriga with the cow of the brahmin.' (Vedabase)

 

Text 44

After thus having exhorted the residents of Dvârakâ, the Supreme Lord Mukunda, the Purifier of All Worlds, entered His palace.

The property indeed taken away from a brahmin leads to the fall-down of the taker, even done unknowingly as, as we saw, happened to the person of Nriga with the cow of the brahmin.' (Vedabase)

 

*: In the Mahâbhârata (Udyoga-parva 71.4), is stated to the name of Krishna: "The word krish is the attractive feature of the Lord's existence, and na means 'spiritual pleasure.' When the verb krish is added to na, it becomes krishna, which indicates the Absolute Truth."

**: According to S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî, does tri-pûrusha, the Sanskrit term used here, refer to oneself, one's sons and one's grandsons.

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Commons License
The text and audio are offered under the conditions of the
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
The picture of Vishnu with a chameleon is a collage of Anand Aadhar.

Production:
Filognostic Association of The Order of Time.


 

 

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