22-1 | Śrī Rāma Carita Mānasa Stotra

Atri Ke Atithi

Śrī Rām acaritam ānasa

(The Mānasa lake containing the exploits of Śrī Rāma)

Descent Three


I reverence Bhagavān Śaṅkara, the progeny of Brahmā, the very root of the tree of piety, the beloved, devotee of King Śrī Rāma, the full moon that brings joy to the ocean of wisdom, the sun that opens the lotus of dispassion, the wind that disperses the clouds of ignorance, who dispels the thick darkness of sin and eradicates the threefold agony and who wipes off obloquy. (1)

I worship Śrī Rāma, the delighter of all, whose graceful form is an embodiment of joy and is dark as a rainy cloud, who is clad in a charming yellow bark and carries in

His hands a bow and an arrow who has a beautiful, shining and well-equipped quiver fastened to His waist and has a pair of large lotus eyes, who is adorned with a tuft of matted locks on His head and who is seen journeying with Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa. (2)

Śrī Rāma’s virtues, Umā (Pārvatī), are mysterious. The sages as well as learned men develop dispassion (when they appreciate them); while the deluded fools who are hostile to Śrī Hari and have no love for piety get bewildered to hear of them.

I have portrayed to the best of my ability the incomparable and charming affection (for Śrī Rāma) of the citizens (of Ayodhyā) as well as of Bharata. Now hear of the all-holy exploits of the Lord, that He wrought in the forest to the delight of gods, men and sages. On one occasion Śrī Rāma culled lovely flowers and made with His own hands a number of ornaments, with which He fondly decked Sītā and sat with Her on a beautiful rock of crystal. The foolish son of Indra (the lord of celestials) took the form of a crow and wanted to test the might of Śrī Rāma (the Lord of Raghus) even as the most dull-witted ant would sound the depths of the ocean. The stupid fool, who had disguised himself as a crow with a sinister motive, bit Sītā in the foot with his beak and flew away. The Lord of Raghus came to know it only when blood ran from Her foot, and fitted a shaft of reed to His bow. (1 - 4)

The Lord of Raghus is extremely compassionate and is always fond of the meek. But the mischievous fool came and played a trick even with Him. (1)

Winged with a spell, the shaft presided over by Brahmā sped forth and the crow in terror took to flight. Indra’s son now assumed his own form and approached his father. But the latter refused to give him shelter knowing him to be an enemy of Śrī Rāma. Having lost hope (of protection) he felt as alarmed at heart as the sage Durvāsā was afraid of the Lord’s Discus. Weary and stricken with fear and grief, he traversed the abode of Brahmā, the realm of Lord Śiva and all other regions. But no one even asked him to sit down. Who can dare afford shelter to an enemy of Śrī Rāma? Listen, Garuḍa (mount of Śrī Hari), a mother becomes as terrible as death and a father assumes the role of Yama (the god of death), ambrosia turns into venom and a friend becomes as hostile as a hundred enemies, the celestial river (Gaṅgā) is converted into the Vaitaraṇī nay the whole world becomes hotter than fire to him who is inimical to Śrī Rāma. The sage Nārada saw Jayanta (Indra’s son) in distress and was moved with pity; for saints are always tender of heart. The sage sent him immediately to Śrī Rāma and he cried out, “Save me, O friend of the suppliant!” Bewildered and terrified he went and clasped His feet and said, “Mercy! mercy! O gracious Lord of Raghus. I could not perceive Your incomparable might and matchless glory, dull-witted as I am. I have reaped the fruit born by my own actions and have now sought refuge in You. Protect me, my Lord!” When the all-merciful Lord heard his most piteous appeal, He let him go with the loss of one eye, O Pārvatī. (1 - 7)

Out of folly Jayanta had committed offence against the Lord and therefore deserved death, the latter took compassion on him and let him go. Who is there so merciful as the Hero of Raghu’s line? (2)

Staying at Chitrakūṭa the Lord of Raghus performed exploits of many kinds, which are sweet to the ear as nectar. Śrī Rāma then thought to Himself, “People will throng here now that everyone has come to know me.” Taking leave of all the hermits, therefore, the two brothers (Śrī Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa) left the place with Sītā. When the Lord repaired to Atri’s hermitage, the great sage was rejoiced at the news. Thrilling all over (with joy) Atri sprang up and ran to meet Him; and seeing him come Śrī Rāma too advanced hurriedly towards him. Even as the two brothers prostrated themselves the sage lifted them, and clasping them to his bosom bathed them with tears of love. His eyes were gladdened by the sight of Śrī Rāma’s beauty and then he reverently escorted them to his hermitage. Paying his homage to the Lord he spoke kind words to Him and offered Him roots and fruits, which He relished much. (1 - 4)

As the Lord took His seat Atri (the chief of sages), supremely wise as he was, feasted his eyes on His loveliness, and joining his palms proceeded to extol Him - (3)

“I reverence You, who are so fond of Your devotees, compassionate and gentle of disposition. I adore Your lotus feet, which vouchsafe to Your selfless lovers a quarter in Your own abode. You are possessed of an exquisitely beautiful swarthy form; You are Mount Mandāra as it were, to churn the ocean of mundane existence; You have eyes like the full-blown lotus and rid Your votaries of pride and other vices. Immense is the might of Your long arms and immeasurable Your glory. You carry on Your person a quiver, a bow and an arrow, O Lord of the three worlds! The ornament of the solar race, You broke the bow of the great Lord Śiva. Delighting the greatest sages and saints, You crush the host of demons (the enemies of gods). You are an object of reverence to Lord Śiva, and are adored by Brahmā and other divinities. An embodiment of pure consciousness, You destroy all evils. I bow to Lakṣmī’s lord, the fountain of joy and the salvation of saints. I adore You with Your Spouse (Sītā) and younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa), Yourself a beloved younger Brother of Indra (Śachī’s lord). Men who worship the sole of Your feet and are free from jealousy, sink not into the ocean of metempsychosis, turbulent with the billows of wrangling. They who, living in seclusion, constantly worship You with their senses and mind etc., fully subdued for the sake of attaining liberation are able to realize their own self. I adore Him, the mysterious Lord, who is one (without a second), desireless, all-powerful and omnipresent, the teacher of the world, eternal, transcending the three Guṇas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) and absolute (self-existent). I adore Him who is fond of devotion, who is most difficult of access to sensually-minded strivers but who is a wish-yielding tree to His own devotees, nay, who is impartial and so easy to worship from day to day. I bow to Sītā’s lord, King Rāma of matchless beauty. I reverence You; be gracious to me and grant me devotion to Your lotus feet. Men who recite this hymn with reverence undoubtedly attain Your abode, acquiring devotion to Your feet at the same time.” (1 - 12)

Having prayed thus the sage bowed his head, and joining his palms spoke again: “My mind, O Lord, may never abandon Your lotus feet.” (4)

Then Sītā, who was so good-natured and modest, met Anasūyā (Atri’s wife) and clasped her feet. The sage’s wife felt extremely pleased at heart; she blessed Her and seating Her by her side arrayed Her in heavenly robes and ornaments that remained ever new, clean and charming. In affectionate and mild tones the holy lady then proceeded to discourse on some wifely virtues, making Her an occasion for such discourse: “Listen, O Princess: a mother, father and brother are all kind; but they bestow only limited joy. A husband, however, bestows unlimited joy (in the form of blessedness), O Videha’s daughter; vile is the woman who refuses to serve him. Fortitude, piety a friend and a wife - these four are put to the test only in times of adversity. A woman who treats her husband with disrespect - even though he is old, sick, dull-headed, indigent, blind, deaf, wrathful or most wretched - shall suffer various torments in hell (the abode of Yama). Devotion of body, speech and mind to her lord’s feet is the only duty, sacred vow and penance of a woman. There are four types of faithful wives in this world: so declare the Vedas, the Purāṇas and all the saints. A woman of the best type is convinced in her heart of hearts that she cannot even dream in this world of a man other than her lord. The middling regards another’s husband as her own brother, father or son (according to his age). She who is restrained by considerations of virtue or by the thought of her race is declared by the Vedas as a low woman. And know her to be the lowest woman in this world, who is restrained only by fear and want of opportunity. The woman who deceives her husband and loves a paramour is cast for a hundred cycles into the worst form of hell known by the name of Raurava. Who is so depraved as the woman who for the sake of a moment’s pleasure reckons not the torment that shall endure for a thousand million births! The woman who sincerely takes a vow of fidelity to her husband easily attains the highest state; while she who is disloyal to her lord is widowed as soon as she attains her youth wherever she may be reborn.  (1 - 10)

A woman is impure by her very birth; but she attains a happy state (hereafter) by nature serving her lord. (It is due to her loyalty to her husband that) Tulasī is loved by Śrī Hari even to this day and her glory is sung by all the four Vedas. Listen, Sītā: women will maintain their vow of fidelity to their husband by invoking your very name, Śrī Rāma being dear to you as your own life. It is for the good of the world that I have spoken to you on the subject.”  (5 A-B)

Janaka’s Daughter (Sītā) was overjoyed to hear this discourse and reverently bowed Her head at the feet of Anasūyā. The All-merciful then said to the sage, “With your permission I would go to some other forest. Continue to shower your grace on me; and knowing me to be your servant never cease loving me.” Hearing these words of the Lord, who was a champion of virtue the enlightened sage lovingly replied, “You are the same Rāma (the supreme Deity), the beloved of the desireless and the friend of the meek, whose favour is sought by Brahmā (the Unborn), Lord Śiva, the sage Sanaka and all other preachers (knowers) of the highest Reality; and yet you are addressing such polite words to me. I now understand the wisdom of Śrī (Goddess Lakṣmī), who chose You (as Her Lord) to the exclusion of all other gods. How can He who is unequalled and unsurpassed by anyone else be less amiable than He is! How can I say, ”You may go now, my lord? Tell me, my master, knowing as You do, the hearts of all.” Having spoken thus the sage kept gazing on the Lord, thrilling all over with emotion and his eyes flowing with tears. (1 - 5)

Thrilling all over with the excess of love, the sage riveted his eyes on the Lord’s lotus face. He thought to himself, ”What prayers did I mutter and what austerity did I perform that I was enabled to behold with my own eyes the Lord who is beyond all knowledge and transcends the three Guṇas as well as the senses and mind. It is through Japa (muttering of prayers). Yoga (concentration of mind) and a host of religious observances that man acquires devotion, which is incomparable (as a means of God-Realization). So does Tulasīdāsa sing the all-holy exploits of Śrī Rāma (the Hero of Raghu’s line) day and night.

The praises of Śrī Rāma destroy the impurities of the Kali age, subdue the mind and are a source of delight. Śrī Rāma remains ever propitious to those who listen to them with reverence. This terrible age (of Kali) is a repertory of sins; piety, spiritual wisdom, Yoga or Japa are out of place in this age. They alone, are wise, who worship Śrī Rāma giving up all other hopes. (6 A-B)

Bowing His head at the lotus feet of the sage, Śrī Rāma, the Lord of celestials, human beings and sages, proceeded to the woods. Śrī Rāma walked foremost, while Lakṣmaṇa followed Him in the rear, both appearing most lovely in the garb of hermits. Between the two Sītā (who was the same as Śrī, the Goddess of Prosperity) shone forth like Māyā, which stands between Brahma (the Absolute) and the Jīva (the individual soul). Rivers and thickets, hills and rugged valleys recognized their Lord and gave Him a smooth passage. Wherever the divine Lord of Raghus passed the clouds made a canopy in the heavens, Even as the trio wended their way the demon Virādha met them; and the Hero of Raghu’s line slayed him as soon as he made his appearance. (Meeting his death at the hands of the Lord), he immediately attained a beauteous (divine) form; finding him lead a miserable existence the Lord sent him to His own abode, Accompanied by His lovely younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) and Janaka’s Daughter (Sītā) the Lord then visited the sage Śarabhaṅga. (1 - 4)

Gazing on Śrī Rāma’s lotus face the eyes of the great sage reverently drank in its beauty like bees. Blessed indeed was the birth of Śarabhaṅga! (7)

Said the sage,”Listen, gracious Rāma (the Hero of Raghu’s line), the swan disporting in the Mānasa lake of Lord Śiva’s heart; I was about to leave for Brahmā’s abode when the report reached my ears that Śrī Rāma (Yourself) was coming to the forest. I have ever since watched the road day and night. My heart is now soothed at the sight of my lord. I have accomplished nothing (to deserve Your grace); yet You have shown Your grace to me knowing me to be Your humble servant. Really speaking, however, You have done me no favour, my lord; You have only redeemed Your vow, O Stealer of Your devotees” hearts! For the sake of this humble servant remain here (before my eyes) till I have quitted this body and meet You (in Your own abode).” So saying the sage offered to the Lord whatever practice of Yoga, sacrifices, Japa (muttering of prayers), penance and fasting he had done, and received in return the boon of Devotion. Having thus acquired the rare gift of Devotion the sage Śarabhaṅga prepared a funeral pile and discarding all attachment from his heart ascended it. (1 - 4)

“Constantly abide in my heart, O Lord, with Sītā and your younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) in Your qualified and embodied form swarthy as a dark cloud, O graceful Rāma!” (8)

Having said so he burnt his body with the fire of Yoga and by the grace of Śrī Rāma rose to Vaikuṇṭha. The sage was not absorbed into the person of Śrī Hari for this simple reason that he had already received the boon of personal devotion. The multitude of sages (assembled on the occasion) who saw the high state to which the great sage had now been translated were greatly delighted at heart. All the hosts of sages now extolled the Lord, “Glory to the friend of the suppliant, the fountain of mercy.” Then the Lord of Raghus went on further into the forest and many a host of great sage accompanied Him. Seeing a heap of bones the Lord of Raghus was moved with great compassion and enquired the hermits about the same. “Though knowing everything, how is it that You ask us, our master? We know You are all-seeing and can read the innermost feelings of all. Hosts of demons have devoured all the sages.” The eyes of Śrī Rāma (the Hero of Raghu’s race) filled with tears when He heard this. (1 - 4)

With uplifted arms He took a vow to rid the earth of demons. Then He gladdened all the hermits by visiting their hermitages one by one. (9)

The sage Agastya had a learned disciple, Sutīkṣṇa by name, who was a great lover of the Lord. He was devoted to Śrī Rāma’s feet in thought, word and deed and had no faith in any other deity even in dream. As soon as the news of the Lord’s approach reached his ears he rushed out hurriedly, indulging in his own fancy: “Will the Lord of Raghus, the befriender of the meek, O good heavens, ever show His grace to a wretch like me? Will Lord Śrī Rāma and His younger brother receive me as their own servant? I have no unswerving faith in my heart nor is my mind illumined by the light of devotion, dispassion or wisdom. I have no association with saints and practise neither Yoga (concentration of mind) nor Japa (muttering of prayers), nor the ritual. Nor do I claim any steadfast devotion to the Lord’s lotus feet. I bank on one characteristic of the all-merciful Lord; He holds the devotee dear who depends exclusively on Him. This inspires me with the hope that my eyes will be rewarded today by the sight of the Lord’s lotus face, that delivers one from the bondage of worldly existence.” The wise was drowned in a flood of love; his condition. O Pārvatī, cannot be described in words. He had no idea of the four quarters, much less of the intermediate points of the compass; nor could he make out the track. He did not know who he was or whither bound. He would now turn back and then resume his journey in the same direction; and now he would dance and sing songs of praise. The sage had been gifted with devotion of the nature of intense love and the Lord watched him hiding behind a tree. When the Hero of Raghu’s line, who dispels the fear of transmigration, saw the sage’s excessive love, He revealed Himself in his heart. The sage sat motionless in the middle of the path, his body bristling like a jack-fruit with its hair standing on end. The Lord of Raghus thereupon drew near and was delighted at heart to see the state of His devotee. Śrī Rāma tried many ways to rouse the sage; but he would not wake, lost as he was in the ecstasy of his vision. Śrī Rāma then withdrew His kingly guise and manifested His four- armed form in the sage’s heart. The sage thereupon started up in great agony, growing as restless as a noble serpent that has lost the gem on its head. But seeing before him the blissful Rāma in His swarthy form with Sītā and His younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa), the great and blessed sage was overwhelmed with affection and dropped like a log at His feet. Taking him in His long arms the Lord lifted him and with utmost affection pressed him to His bosom. While embracing the sage the gracious Lord shone forth like a Tamāla tree meeting a tree of gold. The sage gazed on Śrī Rāma’s face standing motionless like a figure drawn in a picture. (1 - 12)

Summoning courage in his heart and clasping His feet again and again the sage then conducted the Lord to his hermitage and adored Him homage in many ways. (10)

Said the sage, “Listen, O Lord, to my prayer: how am I to hymn Your praises? For immeasurable is Your glory and scant is my wit, which is as insignificant as the flash of a fire-fly before the sun. I constantly glorify Śrī Rāma (the Chief of Raghus), with a body dark as a string of blue lotuses, wearing a crown of matted locks on His head and clad in a hermit’s robes, and carrying a bow and arrow in His hands with a quiver fastened to His waist. The fire which consumes the thick forest of delusion, the sun that brings delight to the lotus-like saints, the lion who kills the herd of elephants in the form of demons, the hawk that kills the bird of metempsychosis, may He ever protect us. I extol Śrī Rāma, whose eyes resemble the red lotus, who is elegantly dressed, who is a full moon to Sītā’s Chakora-like eyes, who is a cygnet disporting in the Mānasa lake of Lord Śiva’s heart and who has a broad chest and long arms. A Garuḍa to devour the serpent of doubt, the queller of despair induced by heated controversy, the uprooter of transmigration, the delighter of gods, the embodiment of compassion, may He ever protect us, I sing the praises of Śrī Rāma, the reliever of earth’s burden, who is both with and without attributes, who is partial as well as impartial, who transcends knowledge, speech and the senses and has no compeer, nay, who is all-pure, all-comprehensive, faultless and unlimited. A veritable garden of wish-yielding trees to His devotees, who keeps away wrath, greed, pride and lust, who is most urbane in manners and the bridge to cross the ocean of mundane existence, may that champion of the solar race ever protect me. Matchless in power of arm, the home of strength, the armour for the protection of righteousness, endowed with a host of delightful virtues, may that Rāma whose very Name wipes out the greatest sins of the Kali age, be ever propitious to me. Even though He is passionless, all-pervading, imperishable and ever dwelling in the heart of all, let Him abide in my thoughts as the Slayer of Khara, roaming about in the woods with His younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) and Sītā. Let alone, my lord, those who know You to be both with and without attributes and the witness of all hearts. As for myself may Śrī Rāma, the lotus-eyed Lord of Kosala, take up His abode in my heart. Let not this exalted feeling disappear from my mind even in an unguarded moment that I am His servant and the Lord of Raghus my master.” Śrī Rāma was delighted at heart to hear the sage’s words, and in His delight He pressed the great sage to His bosom again. “Know Me to be supremely pleased, O sage; I am prepared to grant you any boon you may choose to ask.” The sage replied, “I have never asked any boon and know not what is real and what unreal (what to choose and what to reject). Therefore, O Delighter of Your devotees, grant me that which pleases You, O Lord of Raghus.” “May you become a repository of worldly wisdom and goodness as well as of intense devotion, dispassion and spiritual wisdom.” “I have received the boon that my Lord has been pleased to grant. Now vouchsafe to me that which is cherished by me.” (1 - 14)

“Armed with a bow and arrow and accompanied by Your younger brother and Janaka’s Daughter (Sītā), O Lord Śrī Rāma, pray dwell forever like a moon in the firmament of my heart, though free from every desire.” (11)

“So be it,” said Śrī Rāma (the Abode of Lakṣmī) as He joyously started on His visit to the jar-born sage, Agastya. “It is a long time since I last saw my Guru and came to live in this hermitage. Now, my lord, I will go with You to see my Guru; thus I am not putting You under any obligation.” The Fountain of Mercy saw through the sage’s cleverness and both the brothers smiled as they took him with them. Discoursing on the way on the incomparable cult of devotion to His own feet Śrī Rāma (the King of the gods) arrived at the hermitage of the sage (Agastya). Sutīkṣṇa immediately saw his Guru and after prostrating himself before the latter thus addressed him, “My lord, the two sons of King Daśaratha (Kosala’s lord), the support of the world, have come to see you - Śrī Rāma, accompanied by His younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) and Videha’s Daughter (Sītā), whose Name you repeat night and day, venerable sir.” Agastya started up as soon as he heard this and ran; at the sight of Śrī Hari his eyes filled with tears. The two brothers fell at the sage’s lotus feet; and the sage took and clasped them to his bosom with the utmost affection. Courteously enquiring after their welfare the enlightened sage conducted them to an magnificent seat and then offered worship in various ways to the Lord, saying “There is no other man so blessed as I am.” Whatever other sages had assembled there, were all delighted to behold the Fountain of Joy. (1 - 7)

As He sat in the midst of the assembly of sages with His face turned towards all (and their eyes fixed on His moon-like face), they seemed like a bevy of Chakora birds gazing on the autumnal moon. (12)

Then said Śrī Rāma (the Hero of Raghu’s line) to the sage, “I have nothing to hide from you, my lord. You know what for I have come; that is why, holy sir, I have not dwelt at length on this point. Now, my good sir, give me some advice, by following which I may be able to kill the enemies of the hermits.” The sage smiled when he heard the Lord’s remarks. “With what intention have You asked me this question? It is by virtue of my devotion to You, O Destroyer of sins, that I know a bit of Your glory. Your Māyā (Creative potency) is like a huge tree of the species known by the name of Uḍumbara, with the countless multitudes of universes for its clustering fruits. The animate and inanimate beings (inhabiting the various universes) are like the insects that dwell inside the fruits and know of no other thing fruit (besides the one they inhabit). The relentless and dreadful Time-spirit devours these fruits; but even that (all-devouring) Time ever trembles in fear of You. You, who are the suzerain lord of all the regional lords, have asked my advice as though You were an ordinary human being. I ask this boon of You, O Home of mercy: pray, dwell in my heart with Your Spouse (Sītā) and younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) and let me have intense devotion, dispassion, fellowship with the saints and unbroken love for Your lotus feet. Even though I know You to be the same as the indivisible and infinite Brahma (the Absolute), who can only be realized (and cannot be known by any other means) and is adored by the saints, and even though I depict You as such, I feel enamoured of Your qualified form again and again. You have always exalted Your servants; that is why You have thought fit to consult me, O Lord of Raghus. There is, my lord, a most charming and holy spot; it is called Pañchavaṭī. Sanctify the Daṇḍaka forest (where it is situated) and redeem it from the terrible curse of the great sage (Śukrācārya). Take up Your abode there, O Lord of Raghu’s line, and show Your grace to all the sages.” On receiving the sage’s permission Śrī Rāma departed and drew near to Pañchavaṭī in a short while. (1 - 9)

He met Jaṭāyu (the king of vultures); and developing friendship with him in many ways the Lord stayed near the Godāvarī, where He made Himself a thatched hut of leaves. (13)

From the time Śrī Rāma took up His abode there the sages lived happily and were rid of all fear. The hills, woods, streams and lakes were suffused with beauty and grew yet more lovely day by day. The birds and deer were full of joy, and the bees with their sweet humming looked very charming. Not even Śeṣa (the king of serpents) would be able to describe the forest which was adorned by Śrī Rāma (the Chief of Raghus) in His manifest form. Once upon a time, as the Lord was sitting at ease, Lakṣmaṇa addressed Him in guileless words: “O Lord of gods, human beings, sages and all animate and inanimate creation! I ask of You as of my own master. Instruct me, my lord, how I may be able to adore the dust of Your feet to the exclusion of everything else. Discourse to me on spiritual wisdom and dispassion as well as on Māyā (Illusion); and also speak to me about Bhakti due to which you shower Your grace.” (1 - 4)

“Also explain to me all the difference between God and the individual soul, so that I may be devoted to Your feet and my sorrow, infatuation and delusion may disappear.” (14)

“I will explain everything in a nutshell; listen, dear brother, with your mind, intellect and reason fully absorbed. The feeling of “I” and “mine” and “you” and “yours” is Māyā (Illusion), which holds sway over all created beings. Whatever is perceived by the senses and that which lies within the reach of the mind, know it all to be Māyā. And hear of its divisions too: they are two, viz., knowledge and ignorance. The one (ignorance) is vile and extremely painful, and has cast the Jīva into metempsychosis. The other (knowledge), which brings forth the creation and which holds sway over the three Guṇas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) is directed by the Lord and has no strength of its own. Spiritual wisdom is that which is free from all blemishes in the shape of pride etc., and which sees the Supreme Spirit equally in all. He alone, dear brother, should be called a man of supreme dispassion, who has spurned all supernatural powers as well as the three Guṇas (of which the universe is composed) as if of no more account than a blade of grass.” (1 - 4)

“That alone deserves to be called a Jīva (individual soul), which knows not Māyā nor God nor one’s own self. And Śiva (God) is He who awards bondage and liberation (according to one’s deserts), transcends all and is the motivator of Māyā.” (15)

 “Dispassion results from the practice of virtue, while spiritual wisdom comes of the practice of Yoga (concentration of mind); and wisdom is the bestower of liberation: so declare the Vedas. And that which melts My heart quickly, dear brother, is Devotion, which is the delight of My devotees. It stands by itself and requires no other prop; whereas Jñāna (knowledge of God in His absolute formless aspect) and Vijñāna (knowledge of the qualified aspect of God, both with and without form) depend on it. Devotion, dear brother, is incomparable and the very root of bliss; it can be acquired only by the favour of saints. I now proceed to tell you at some length the means of acquiring Devotion, an easy path by which men find Me. In the first place a man should cultivate excessive devotion to the feet of the Brāhmaṇas and secondly he should remain engaged in his own duty according to the lines laid down by the Vedas. This induces an aversion to the pleasures of sense and dispassion in its turn engenders a love for My Cult (the Cult of Devotion). This will bring steadfastness in the nine forms of Devotion such as Śravaṇa (hearing of the Lord’s praises etc.,) and the mind will develop an excessive fondness for My sports. Again, one should be extremely devoted to the lotus feet of saints and should be persistent in the practice of adoration through mind, speech and action. He should recognize Me as his preceptor, father, mother, kinsman, lord, deity and all and should be steadfast in My service. A thrill runs through his body as he sings My praises; his voice gets choked and his eyes flow with tears; he is free from lust and other vices, pride and hypocrisy. I am ever at the back and call of such a devotee. (1 - 6)

“Nay, I ever repose in the lotus heart of those who depend on Me in thought, word and deed and who worship Me in a selfless way.” (16)