Canto 5: The Creative ImpetusChapter 5: Lord Ṛṣabhadeva's Teachings to His Sons

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.5.28

śrī-śuka uvāca

evam anuśāsyātmajān svayam anuśiṣṭān api lokānuśāsanārthaḿ mahānubhāvaḥ parama-suhṛd bhagavān ṛṣabhāpadeśa upaśama-śīlānām uparata-karmaṇāḿ mahā-munīnāḿ bhakti-jñāna-vairāgya-lakṣaṇaḿ pāramahaḿsya-dharmam upaśikṣamāṇaḥ sva-tanaya-śata-jyeṣṭhaḿ parama-bhāgavataḿ bhagavaj-jana-parāyaṇaḿ bharataḿ dharaṇi-pālanāyābhiṣicya svayaḿ bhavana evorvarita-śarīra-mātra-parigraha unmatta iva gagana-paridhānaḥ prakīrṇa-keśa ātmany āropitāhavanīyo brahmāvartāt pravavrāja

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvācaŚrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evamin this way; anuśāsya — after instructing; ātma-jān — His sons; svayam — personally; anuśiṣṭān — highly educated in culture; api — although; loka-anuśāsana-artham — just to instruct the people; mahā-anubhāvaḥ — the great personality; parama-suhṛt — everyone's sublime well-wisher; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ṛṣabha-apadeśaḥ — who is celebrated and known as Ṛṣabhadeva; upaśama-śīlānām — of persons who have no desire for material enjoyment; uparata-karmaṇām — who are no longer interested in fruitive activities; mahā-munīnām — who are sannyāsīs; bhakti — devotional service; jñāna — perfect knowledge; vairāgya — detachment; lakṣaṇam — characterized by; pāramahaḿsya — of the best of human beings; dharmam — the duties; upaśikṣamāṇaḥ — instructing; sva-tanaya — of His sons; śata — hundred; jyeṣṭham — the eldest; parama-bhāgavatama topmost devotee of the Lord; bhagavat-jana-parāyaṇama follower of the devotees of the Lord, brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas; bharatamBharata Mahārāja; dharaṇi-pālanāya — with a view to ruling the world; abhiṣicya — placing on the throne; svayam — personally; bhavane — at home; eva — although; urvarita — remaining; śarīra-mātra — the body only; parigrahaḥ — accepting; unmattaḥa madman; iva — exactly like; gagana-paridhānaḥ — taking the sky as His dress; prakīrṇa-keśaḥ — having scattered hair; ātmaniin Himself; āropita — keeping; āhavanīyaḥ — the Vedic fire; brahmāvartāt — from the place known as Brahmāvarta; pravavrāja — began to travel all over the world.

TRANSLATION

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Thus the great well-wisher of everyone, the Supreme Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, instructed His own sons. Although they were perfectly educated and cultured, He instructed them just to set an example of how a father should instruct his sons before retiring from family life. Sannyāsīs, who are no longer bound by fruitive activity and who have taken to devotional service after all their material desires have been vanquished, also learn by these instructions. Lord Ṛṣabhadeva instructed His one hundred sons, of whom the eldest, Bharata, was a very advanced devotee and a follower of Vaiṣṇavas. In order to rule the whole world, the Lord enthroned His eldest son on the royal seat. Thereafter, although still at home, Lord Ṛṣabhadeva lived like a madman, naked and with disheveled hair. Then the Lord took the sacrificial fire within Himself, and He left Brahmāvarta to tour the whole world.

PURPORT

Actually the instructions given to Lord Ṛṣabhadeva's sons were not exactly meant for His sons because they were already educated and highly advanced in knowledge. Rather, these instructions were meant for sannyāsīs who intend to become advanced devotees. Sannyāsīs must abide by Lord Ṛṣabhadeva's instructions while on the path of devotional service. Lord Ṛṣabhadeva retired from family life and lived like a naked madman even while still with His family.

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