Canto 9: LiberationChapter 2: The Dynasties of the Sons of Manu

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.2.14

evaḿ vṛtto vanaḿ gatvā

dṛṣṭvā dāvāgnim utthitam


brahma prāpa paraḿ muniḥ


evam vṛttaḥ — being situated in such an order of life; vanamto the forest; gatvā — after going; dṛṣṭvā — when he saw; dāva-agnima forest fire; utthitam — existing there; tena — by that (fire); upayukta-karaṇaḥ — engaging all the senses of the body by burning; brahma — transcendence; prāpahe achieved; param — the ultimate goal; muniḥas a great saintly person.


With this attitude, Pṛṣadhra became a great saint, and when he entered the forest and saw a blazing forest fire, he took this opportunity to burn his body in the fire. Thus he achieved the transcendental, spiritual world.


The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.9):

janma karma ca me divyam

evaḿ yo vetti tattvataḥ

tyaktvā dehaḿ punar janma

naiti mām eti so 'rjuna

"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." Pṛṣadhra, because of his karma, was cursed to take his next birth as a śūdra, but because he took to saintly life, specifically concentrating his mind always upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he became a pure devotee. Immediately after giving up his body in the fire, he reached the spiritual world, as mentioned in Bhagavad-gītā (mām eti), as a result of his devotional situation. Devotional service performed by thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is so powerful that although Pṛṣadhra was cursed he avoided the terrible consequence of becoming a śūdra and instead returned home, back to Godhead. As stated in Brahma-saḿhitā (5.54):

yas tv indra-gopam athavendram aho sva-karma-

bandhānurūpa-phala-bhājanam ātanoti

karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājāḿ

govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi

Those who engage in devotional service are unaffected by the results of their material activities. Otherwise, everyone, from the smallest microbe up to the King of heaven, Indra, is subject to the laws of karma. A pure devotee, being always engaged in the service of the Lord, is exempt from these laws.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness