Everything you need to become Krishna conscious at home

Kardama Muni, A First-Class Yogi

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by Satsvarupa dasa Adhikari (ISKCON-Boston)

First let me offer my humble obeisances to my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the pure servant of God and thus the knower of the scripture. All transcendental knowledge contained in this essay emanates from his teachings, which are exactly in line with the disciplic succession going back to Lord Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead and original source of this narration of Kardama Muni. The disciple of Srila Prabhupada has simply to present the teachings of the spiritual master intact; then there will be good benefit for the reader seeking self-realization and spiritual happiness.

In the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna teaches the mystic yoga process complete with sitting postures and the method of meditation under strict regulations. At the conclusion of the chapter, in the last verse, the Lord describes the topmost yogi: “He who, full of faith, offers everything to Me and worships Me, is the most united with Me in yoga.” Nowadays the yoga system, as taught authoritatively in Bhagavad-gita and the Patanjali-yoga-sutra, is not being followed. Instead, false teachers are allowing their students to engage in all kinds of material sense gratification whiled collecting a fee from them and inducing them to think in their meditation that they are one with God. Such students of false cheaters cannot actually be making spiritual progress in yoga.

Ultimate Yoga

The Vedic literature contains histories, however, of many great yogis who were accomplished in full mystic perfection. But even these yogic perfections, such as to be able to influence anyone; to be able to attain whatever one desires from any place in the universe, to fly in space, etc., are all material perfections, and they are ultimately exhausted. Yoga ultimately means to find Krsna, the Supreme Lord, in His localized aspect seated in the heart and to engage in eternal loving union with Him through devotional service. Yogis who are distracted from this path by material perfections have to return to the earth after death and again take another material birth and engage in devotional service before reaching the perfection of liberation, completely spiritual devotional service.

The following narration is an incident from the life of a great devotee yogi, Kardama Muni, who was not only a yogi but a perfect yogi, a devotee of the Lord. The narration of his activities appears in the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the most mature and spotless scripture of the entire Vedic literature. Kardama lived long, long ago, in the Satya-yuga, just after the dawn of the creation of the universe.

His Meditation On The Lord

At that time, Lord Brahma, the original creator empowered by Krsna, was ordering His sons to marry and beget children so that the universe might be populated with worthy offspring. Commanded by Lord Brahma, Kardama practiced meditative penances on the bank of the Sarasvati River for a period of 10,000 years. It is understood that the yoga system, in order to be rightly practiced, must be performed by persons who possess a very long duration of life; otherwise, there is no possibility of attaining real perfection. There is no point in attempting the preliminary practices of yoga, such as the different postures of sitting, unless one is able to practice until perfection. Kardama Muni was not one of the so-called yogis of the present age of Kali (age of quarrel and bluffing) who sit for a paltry fifteen minutes a day in yoga postures and claim spiritual advancement. It may be noted here that in the age in which Kardama lived, yoga meditation was the process recommended by the Vedic literature, whereas today the Vedic literature clearly states that there is no alternative to the chanting of the holy name: harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam/ kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha (Brhan-Naradiya Purana).

Why did Kardama practice meditation? It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam: “During that period of penance the sage Kardama devotedly waited upon the Personality of Godhead.” In other words, he practiced mystic yoga for 10,000 years just to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Therefore He is the first-class yogi. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes in his commentary to the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam: “One has to surrender unto the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, Krsna, in order to achieve real success. To attain perfection of the yoga practice or meditation, one must act in devotional service, namely hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. Certainly remembering is also meditation, but upon whom must one meditate? The Supreme Personality of Godhead. He must not only be remembered, but one must hear about the activities of the Lord, and chant His glories.” After engaging himself in different types of devotional service, Kardama Muni attained the perfection of meditation, which is attained only by those who are surrendered souls. Srila

Prabhupada writes: “Where there is no mention of the Personality of Godhead, then where is there yoga and surrender? And where there is no meditation upon the Personality of Godhead, then where is there any question of yoga practice?”

The Eternal Form Of The Personality Of Godhead

Perfection means that Kardama actually saw the Personality of Godhead. The form he saw was not imaginary. It is not that one can concentrate his mind on some arbitrary form of the imagination in meditation. It is clearly stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam: “The form which the Lord showed to Kardama was consistent with Vedic principles and can be understood through the study of the Vedas from authoritative sources.” The eternal blissful form of the Lord is described in the Bhagavatam: “Kardama Muni saw tht Supreme Personality of Godhead in His eternal form, effulgent like the sun. The Lord was wearing a garland of white lotuses and water lilies. He was clad in spotless yellow silk, His lotus face fringed with slick dark locks of curly hair; adorned with a crown of earrings, He held His characteristic conch and disc and mace in three of His hands and played with a white lily while smiling. His smiling captivates the hearts of all devotees. Having set His lotus feet on the shoulders of Garuda, He stood in the air with a golden streak on His breast and the famous Kaustubha gem suspended from His neck.” The descriptions given in Srimad-Bhagavatam are not products of the material energy. Kardama did not meditate for 10,000 years simply in order to see an imaginary vision concocted by his own brain. Rather, he attained a level of perfection by which the Lord was pleased with Him and revealed His transcendental form, which is never revealed to impersonalists. Perfection of yoga does not end with voidness; on the contrary, perfection of yoga is attained one sees the Personality of Godhead as He is in His eternal form.

When Kardama Muni saw the Lord, his transcendental desires were fulfilled, and he fell to the ground with head bowed and offered obeisances. He addressed the Supreme Personality of Godhead as follows: “O supreme worshipable Lord, You are the reservoir of all pleasure, and those who are advanced yogis aspire, through many, many births of performance of deep meditation, to see Your transcendental form.” Again it is seen that Kardama reached the ultimate in yoga and acknowledged the goal to which yogis aspire after many lives of yoga practice. The point is not to see void but to see the spiritual form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Clearly, then, Kardama was in the most advanced stage. His next words spoken unto the Lord are therefore difficult at first to understand: “Desirous of marrying a girl of like disposition who may prove a veritable cow of plenty in my married life, I too sought the center of Your lotus feet to satisfy my lustful desire.”

It is startling to hear a yogi, who is supposed to be freed from all attachment to material life by meditating in solitary celibate penance for many thousands of years and attaining sight of the Personality of Godhead, only asking for a nice wife. But explanation reveals to us that Kardama was even more exalted than we have so far understood. Not only did Kardama Muni not actually seek marriage out of lustful desire, but his desire was the desire of Krsna. As stated in the Bhagavatam, “I shall accept this nice chaste girl as my wife until she bears a child born out of the ray of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then I shall accept the life of devotional service which is practiced by the most perfect human beings. I know that this is the desire of Lord Visnu and that it is a process free from envy.”

It was the practice in former ages that great sages and saintly persons, after making their lives perfect, would beget children in order to serve the Lord in that way, and but for engaging in sex life to produce exceptional progeny, they strictly observed the laws of celibacy. As for Kardama’s statement about producing a child who would be a “ray of Visnu,” it may be told that Kardama Muni is the father of the incarnation of Godhead Lord Kapila, who is Visnu Himself. Lord Kapila appeared as the son of Kardama Muni and Devahuti for the purpose of preaching the godly Sankhya philosophy, which is a combination of mysticism and devotional service. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes in this connection, “One should beget a child who can perform the duties of Visnu, or else there is no need to produce children. There are two kinds of children born of good fathers. One is the child who is educated in Krsna consciousness so that he can be delivered from the clutches of maya in that very life, and the other is the child who brings forth the ray of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and who teaches the highest goal of life. Great householders pray to God to send His representative so that there may be an auspicious movement in human society, or they pray to the Lord for an opportunity to train a child in Krsna consciousness so that he won’t have to come back again to this miserable world. Parents should see to it that the child born of them must not enter again into the womb of a mother.”

Instructions On Marriage

Kardama prayed to the Lord as if he were under the grip of lust and desired the Lord’s mercy in the form of an ordinary marriage. By speaking in this way, Kardama, who was actually a liberated soul, brought out for all the future readers or hearers of Srimad-Bhagavatam many significant clarifications of marriage and married life. At his request, the Lord was able to show that a man should pray to the Supreme Personality of Godhead for whatever he wants, whether it be liberation, devotional service or the fulfillment of material desires. Material desires should be satisfied in accordance with the will of the Supreme Lord or the Vedas wherein there are prescriptions for a married life of regulated sense gratification. Even if one has lustful desires, if he takes his desires to the Supreme Lord and abides by His will, he will get far more than he could imagine, and he will eventually gain spiritual purification and association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ultimately it is God who awards. Man proposes and God disposes. If one can accept what the Lord offers as his share, then he will find it a richer share than he had ever dreamed of attaining by his own endeavors. But if he strains to exploit under the illusion of winning by his own endeavor, he will lose on all counts. For example, Kardama was an austere penniless yogi with no facilities for gaining a beautiful wife, yet since he prayed to the Lord for a wife, he was granted the most beautiful and highborn princess in the world.

Lord Visnu, who shone on the shoulders of Garuda, spoke to Kardama with transcendental words in accents as sweet as nectar. His eyebrows moved gracefully as He regarded the sage with a smile full of affection: “Having come to know what was in your mind, I have already arranged for that for which you have worshiped Me through the discipline of the mind and senses. My dear rsi, O leader of the living entities, for anyone who serves Me in devotional service by worshiping Me, especially persons like you who have given up everything unto Me, there is no question of frustration.” It is stated here that the Lord gives His devotees all pleasures and that He answers all their desires, although He never awards anything which might be detrimental to their devotional service. Even if the devotees approach the Personality of Godhead with material desires, there is no question of frustration in those desires.

The Lord Disposes

The Lord then outlined His plan of benedicting His devotee Kardama with a perfect wife: “Svayambhuva Manu is well known for his righteous acts. That celebrated emperor, who is head of religious activities, will come to see you with his wife Satarupa the day after tomorrow. His daughter, who is grown up and ready for marriage, has all good qualities; she is also searching for a good husband, and her eyes are black, My dear sir. Her parents will come to see you just to deliver their daughter as your wife.” In his purports, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada writes of the proper selection of a husband for a girl: “Girls are never thrown into the public street to search out their husband. When girls are grown up and are searching after a boy, they forget whether the boy they select is actually suitable for them. Out of the urge of sex desire a girl may accept anyone, but if the husband is chosen by the parents, they can consider who is to be selected and who is not to be selected.” For example, within the family of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a husband or wife is selected by the spiritual master or by his representative, the temple president, and so it is by the proper sanction.

The Lord predicted that nine daughters would come from the union of the marriage and that through the daughters great sages would duly beget future children. Finally the Lord said to His devotee Kardama, “With your heart cleansed by properly carrying out My command and having resigned to Me the fruit of all your acts, you will finally attain to Me.” Thus the Lord disclosed to Kardama that if he only acted under the direction of the Lord then all his acts, even in married life, would be completely sanctioned, and he would finally attain the supreme abode. The Lord finally requested Kardama to be compassionate to all living entities. He asked him to please give assurance to all that the universe is identified in Krsna and that Krsna is in everyone.

Kardama Attained Real Oneness

The Lord referred to Kardama’s upcoming householder life as well as to the last days of his life, when Kardama would again take up the renounced order. He was not simply to receive the potency of the Lord’s mercy and keep it for himself, but he was to distribute the knowledge of devotional service to everyone. By following the order of Visnu, Kardama Muni attained real oneness with God because the Lord wants His devotee to always think of Him and worship Him. It is not that the Lord wants the transcendentalist to try to usurp His position and become God Himself, but to always offer obeisances to Him and offer Him unlimited service. The Lord wishes to reciprocate with His devotees and supply the fulfillment of their desires. The Lord revealed to Kardama that he would be the father of an avatara of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. “Manifesting a part of My divine being through your wife Devahuti, O great sage, I shall instruct her in the philosophy which deals with the ultimate principles or categories.” This is the first reference to Kapiladeva, the first propounder of Sankhya philosophy. This Sankhya philosophy is not to be confused with the Sankhya philosophy propagated later by an atheistic godless imposter who was also named Kapila.

Having spoken to His devotee, the Lord left the Bindusarovara Lake, on a pathway leading to Vaikuntha. The sage stood below looking up, and he listened to the hymns which emanated from the flapping of the wings of the Lord’s carrier. Thc sage Kardama then waited for the time spoken of by the Lord, and he prayed.

As predicted, the great worldly leader Svayambhuva and his wife Satarupa journeyed on a chariot all over the globe and reached the hermitage where the sage Kardama was completing his long vows of austerity. Srimad-Bhagavatam states that the holy lake Bindusarovara was filled with “the drops of tears fallen from the eyes of the Lord, who was overwhelmed by extreme compassion for the sage who had sought His protection.” The lake area is described as resounding with the notes of overjoyed birds who were all pious, as were the fruit-bearing trees and the flowers. Svayambhuva Manu and Satarupa entered the hermitage and found Kardama sitting before a sacred fire into which he was offering oblations. Clad in rags, of high stature, and his eyes as big as the petals of a lotus, he looked like an unpolished gem. In these Bhagavatam descriptions of the brahmacari-yogi, it is stated that usually a yogi is skinny on account of his austerities and lack of comforts, but Kardama Muni had seen the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, and he looked healthy due to having received the nectar-like sound vibration.

The King And The Yogi

“Seeing that the monarch had come to his hermitage and bowing before him, the sage greeted him with benediction and received him with due honor.” The yogi then addressed the King with words of praise because he understood that unless a pious king is ruling, the wicked elements in society can overthrow the whole aim of the society, which is to help the citizens go back home, back to Godhead. He addressed the King as the protecting energy of Sri Hari (Krsna). After offering obeisances, the yogi then asked the King why he had come with a glad heart and how he, the yogi, could meet his wishes. The royal order formerly gave all protection to the brahmanas so that they could advance the society in terms of spiritual culture, and the brahmanas would give their valuable instructions to the royal order so that every citizen could become elevated to spiritual perfection.

Svayambhuva said that he was most fortunate to be able to touch his head to the dust from the feet of the sage, and he thanked him for his words of instruction. “We are seeking a worthy match for our daughter in terms of age, character and good qualities.” The father, Svayambhuva Manu, confided to Kardama that “the moment she heard from the sage Narada of your noble character, learning, beautiful appearance, youth and other virtues, she fixed her mind on you.” So although Devahuti had not seen Kardama Muni, she had fixed her heart upon him after hearing of him from Narada, and on the basis of that hearing she had decided to marry him. Svayambhuva offered his daughter with all reverence as a worthy match for taking charge of household duties. By household duties he did not mean sense gratification but mutual execution of Krsna consciousness, which is called, in Sanskrit, grhastha. There are two words in Sanskrit to describe married life. One, grhamedhi, means to accept a wife for sense gratification and to make one’s apartment a center for executing the same propensities as the animals, whereas the other, grhastha, means to gain a helper in Krsna consciousness. Devahuti was eligible to offer such help, for she was equal in age, character and quality to the sage.

Kardama Accepts Devahuti

Kardama at once agreed. “Certainly I have a desire to marry, and your daughter too has not yet married or given her word to anyone; therefore our marriage according to the Vedic system can take place.” Kardama expressed appreciation of Devahuti’s beauty. He too had heard of her, for she had attracted even the denizens of the heavenly planets by her personal beauty. Kardama had been ordered by his father Brahma to produce progeny, but actually the goal of his life was Visnu, in whom even Brahma originates, as do all living entities in all the worlds. Therefore, since it was the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kardama would marry and father children in the spirit of devotional service. This story in the Bhagavatam is related by the sage Maitreya to Vidura, and it continues. “The sage Kardama thus spoke very nicely regarding Devahuti. Then he became silent, thinking of his worshipable Lord Visnu, who has a lotus on His navel. When he was silent and smiling, his face attracted Devahuti, and she began to think within herself of the great sage.” As soon as Kardama Muni stopped talking and became silent, he at once began to think of Lord Visnu. The devotee may seem to be engaged in things other than Visnu, dealing and talking about other matters, but actually he is always thinking of Krsna, and thus his smile is so attractive as to win many admirers and followers.

Transcendental Married Life

After their marriage and the departure of her parents, Devahuti began to serve her husband with great love. She pleased him by giving up all sorts of lust, pride, envy, greed, sinful activities and vanity by fidelity and purity of mind. These are some of the qualities of a great husband’s great wife. Both were great by spiritual qualification. Devahuti was not proud because of her high birth. As can be seen from this narration, the union of Kardama and Devahuti is filled with pertinent instructions regarding how to live in transcendental married life with the goal of life, the center, being Krsna. Householders wishing to benefit from their union may listen with an aim to raising their married life to the transcendental stage. Devotion of the wife to the husband is recommended. Srila Prabhupada writes, “The wife is expected to be of the same category as the husband. She must be prepared to follow the principles of the husband; then there will be happy life. If the husband is a devotee and the wife is materialistic, then there cannot be any peace in the home.” In the case of Devahuti, by following the strict vows of a chaste woman she became very skinny, and therefore her husband became compassionate. She had formerly been the daughter of a great king and was now serving him just like an ordinary woman. She had become reduced in health, and her service was so selfless that she did not demand sense gratification even with her husband. She was simply acting to facilitate Kardama Muni’s engagement in spiritual life. Srila Prabhupada writes, “It is the duty of a faithful and chaste wife to help her husband in every respect, especially in Krsna consciousness.”

In the case of Devahuti, her husband rewarded her amply. Kardarma told her, “My dear Devahuti, I have achieved the grace of the Lord in my discharging of my own religious life of austerity, meditation and Krsna consciousness. I shall offer you all these achievements, which are free from lamentation, because you are engaged in my service, although you have not yet experienced these things. Now I am giving you transcendental vision to see how nice they are.” By her husband’s grace, Devahuti was able to feel practical realization simply by serving a great personality. Similarly, any sincere disciple of a bona fide spiritual master can achieve spiritual life simply by service.

Devahuti Desired Offspring

Coming from a great royal family, Devahuti had much aristocracy and wealth, but the greatest treasure, love of God, she had been unable to fully appreciate. She therefore expressed her full satisfaction to her great husband, who was under the protection of the spiritual energy. But she reminded him, “One thing you promised may be fulfilled now by our bodily union, because for a chaste woman it is very glorious to have children of the same quality.” Kardama Muni had certainly promised to her parents that he would stay with her until they had children. Since both were spiritually enlightened, a child was very desirable as an expansion of their qualities. Devahuti then asked her husband what arrangement should be made and what was required according to the scriptures in terms of conditions, time and place for the most suitable sex life. Sex life is meant for having good children. One must arrange everything so that the husband may be attracted by the beauty of the wife and a favorable mental situation may be created so that at the time of sex life the mental state may be transferred into the womb of the wife and nice children will come out of that marriage. Thus we see that the Vedic scriptures provide not only spiritual instructions but instructions on how to prosecute material existence nicely with the ultimate aim of spiritual perfection. It is mentioned in the Ayur-veda that when the passion of a man is greater than that of a woman, then there will be a greater chance of a boy being born. And if the passion of the woman is greater, then there will be more chance of a girl being born. Devahuti wanted her husband to instruct her according to scripture so that his passion might be increased. She also requested a suitable house because the hermitage in which Kardama was living was very simple and completely in the modes of goodness, with little possibility of passion.

The Aerial Mansion

Srimad-Bhagavatam then describes the miraculous accomplishments effected by the yogic power of Kardama Muni. Since he was completely perfected in yoga practice and sought to please his beloved wife, Kardama exercised his yogic power and instantly produced an aerial mansion which was fully arranged according to his will. It was a huge and wonderful structure filled with opulent pleasurable rooms and decorated with rubies, furniture and all kinds of attractive wealth. It was such a magnificent castle that the yogi himself was astonished at what he had created. Devahuti, however, because she was so niggardly in her appearance, with matted locks and a dirty dress, seemed afraid of the marvelous castle in the air. Kardama Muni knew her mind, and with further yogic powers he requested that she simply step into the Bindusarovara Lake, where he had arranged for hundreds of beautiful female maidservants to attend her and beautify her with ointments, scents, beautiful silks, etc. They offered her foods and drinks to improve her bodily condition, and they held a mirror for her, cleansed her, adorned her with garlands and marks of tilaka, and in general made much of her so that she finally emerged from the lake looking very beautiful with a smiling face and nice figure. She could understand that all this was taking place due to the yogic prowess of her husband and that nothing was impossible for such a yogi.

Husband and wife then traveled in the aerial mansion to the pleasure valleys of Mount Meru, which is frequented by the demigods. They traveled all over the universe and enjoyed pleasures together. Although yogis are known to display such wonderful powers, Kardama was more than a yogi, and his life is more praiseworthy than that of ordinary yogis. Even in his travelling through the universe for pleasure with his wife, his actual motivation was to produce good progeny in the service of Lord Visnu. It is stated in Bhagavad-gita (6.47), “Out of many yogis, he who is a devotee of the Lord is a first-class yogi.” Kardama Muni is therefore understood to be an already liberated soul, better than the conditioned demigods, who also can travel in space. So although he was enjoying with his wife, he was above material conditional life and transcendental to all material limitations. That is the verdict of the Bhagavatam.

He Returned To His Hermitage

After showing his wife the different arrangements throughout the entire extent of the universe, Kardama Muni returned to his own hermitage. Despite having such immense powers to travel all over the universe, Kardama did not claim that he was equal to God or comparable with the inconceivable energy of the Supreme Lord, as do some bogus yogis, who cannot travel in outer space but who simply instruct sitting postures and take fees from students. Kardama Muni remained a devotee of the Lord, and that is the real position of every living entity. Finally by his yogic powers he at once produced nine daughters through the womb of Devahuti. Devahuti, the sage devotee, bore all these children on one day, and all were charming in every limb and breathed the fragrance of red lotus flowers. Having begotten children through his wife, Kardama then prepared to leave household life, home and his beautiful wife to prosecute Krsna conscious life, as he had promised. His real business was always spiritual realization, and he did not forget this, even while travelling in the mansion.

It is described that Devahuti, seeing Kardama Muni about to leave, was smiling externally, but she was at heart very afflicted. The stories in the Bhagavatam, such as this narration, are not told for entertainment’s sake but are filled with instructions pertinent for spiritual advancement of life, even while one is within household life. In the Bhagavad-gita, Srila Prabhupada writes in a purport (p. 257): “As for detachment from children, wife and house, it is not meant that one should have no feeling for these. They are natural objects of affection. But when they are not favorable to spiritual progress, then we should not be attached to them. The best process for making the home nice is to live in Krsna consciousness. If one is in full Krsna consciousness, he can make his home very happy because this process of Krsna consciousness is very easy. It is just to chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and to take and accept the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Krsna, and have some discussion on books like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, and engage oneself in Deity worship. These four things will make one happy, and one should train the members of his family in this way. The family members can sit down morning and evening very nicely and chant together Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama; Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If we can mold our family life in such a nice way for developing Krsna consciousness by following these four principles, then there is no need to change from family life to renounced life. But if it is not congenial nor favorable for spiritual advancement, then family life should be abandoned. In all cases, one should be detached from the happiness and distress of family life because this world can never be fully happy or fully miserable. Happiness and distress are concomitant factors of material life.” Devahuti asked her husband to wait before going out alone and entering the order of sannyasa or renounced life. “My dear brahmana, as far as your daughters are concerned, they will find suitable husbands and go away to their respective places. But who will give me solace after your departure as a sannyasi?” Devahuti began to lament that she did not know that her husband was so advanced in spiritual realization, and she had been, as a less intelligent woman, mostly prone to sense enjoyment in his association. She pleaded to him, however, that even though she did not appreciate his glories, because she had taken shelter of him he must therefore deliver her from material entanglement. It is a known fact that association with a great personality is most important and by that means alone one can make great advancement in spiritual life. Devahuti finally realized with whom she was associating, and she wanted to utilize the advantage.

Devahuti pleaded so feelingly that Kardama recalled the words of Visnu to be compassionate to all, and so he replied, “Do not be disappointed, O princess, and just take heart. You are praiseworthy, and I tell you that the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead will come out from the womb of your body as your son.” Kardama Muni advised his wife to just engage in devotional service. “The Personality of Godhead, being worshiped by you, will disseminate our name and fame. He shall be the vanquisher of the knot of your heart by becoming your son and spreading spiritual knowledge.” Having received instruction from her husband, the bona fide spiritual master, Devahuti began to worship the master of the universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is situated in everyone’s heart. Concerning the appearance of the Personality of Godhead as the son of a couple of devotees, Srila Prabhupada writes: “The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the father of everyone. No one, therefore, is His father, but by His inconceivable energy He accepts some of the devotees as His parents and descendants. The devotee may ask the Lord to appear as his son. The Lord is already sitting within the heart of everyone, and if He comes out from the body of a devotee it does not mean that the particular woman becomes His mother in the material sense. He is always there. But in order to please His devotee He appears as her son. In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead Madhusudana, the killer of the demon Madhu, after many, many years of worship by Devahuti, appeared as the son of Kardama Muni, just as fire comes out from wood in sacrifice.” At the time of the appearance of the Lord, the demigods who fly freely in the sky dropped showers of flowers out of their good will, and everyone smiled and became very satisfied.

Description Of Kapiladeva

Lord Brahma, chief engineer of the universe and the father of Kardama, then appeared to the sage, and after praising his obedience and instructing him about the marriage of his nine daughters to nine great sages, he described the incarnation of God who had been born as the son of Kardama and Devahuti. “Your son, Kapila Muni, will be characterized by His golden hair and His eyes just like lotus petals.

Sitting in the yogic asana called padmamudra, His feet resembling lotus flowers, this incarnation of Godhead, by practical application of knowledge from the scriptures, will uproot the deep-rooted desire for work in this material world.” Kapiladeva’s conclusion, after exhaustive analysis of the material elements, is the same conclusion arrived at in Bhagavad-gita: devotional service. “Just become Krsna conscious. Just worship Krsna and become a devotee of Krsna. That is real knowledge, and anyone who follows that system becomes perfect without doubt.”

Prayer To Kapiladeva

Kardama approached the Lord, who was Lord Visnu Himself and had descended into his home, and he offered Him obeisances. Kardama said, “The householders are generally negligent, but in spite of that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has taken His appearance in their home, just to support His devotees.” Devotional service to the Lord is so sublime that even a householder can have the Supreme Personality of Godhead as one of the members of his household, as his son, as Kardama experienced. This is due to the fact that the Lord is called bhakta-vatsala; He is inclined to His devotees. Kardama paid obeisances to the innumerable forms of the Lord, none of which are material. His prayer to Kapiladeva is here stated: “I surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead who has descended in the form of Kapila and who is independently powerful and transcendental, who is the Supreme Person and the Lord of the sum total of matter and the time element, who is fully cognizant and who is the maintainer of all the universe via the three modes of material nature, and who absorbs the material manifestation after dissolution. Now I am liberated from the debts of my father, and all my desires are fulfilled. Now I wish to accept the order of a mendicant. Renouncing this family life, I shall always think of You, and thus I shall remain free from lamentation.”

God Entered His Home

It is described by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada that there are two kinds of devotees of the Lord. One is called gostyanandi, which means those preachers who have many followers for preaching the glories of the Lord and who live amongst those many followers just to organize missionary activities. The other devotees are atmanandi, or self-satisfied, and do not take the risk of preaching work. In this class was Kardama Muni. He remained alone, free from all anxieties, always moving from door to door to enlighten people about Krsna consciousness. The wonderful thing about Kardama Muni is that the Lord Himself, as Kapiladeva, had taken birth in his home as his own son, and yet he was preparing to leave that home to search out self-realization. God was present in his own home, so why should he leave? The answer is that Kardama was living an exemplary life just in accordance with the Vedic authority, which says that one who is a householder must leave home after his fiftieth year. Kardama had very rigidly practiced yoga before his marriage; then Lord Brahma had ordered him to marry and beget children as a householder. Kardama did that also. He begot nine good daughters and one son, Kapila, so his householder duty was performed, and now his duty was to leave. Even though he had the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his son, he had to respect the authority of the Vedas. He would travel all over the world as a mendicant and always remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart and thereby be freed from all anxieties of material existence.

Kardama Muni was anxious about his good wife Devahuti, and so his worthy son promised that not only would Kardama be freed but Devahuti would also be freed by receiving instruction from Him. “My incarnation in this form is especially meant for persons who aspire to get free from the entanglement of this material body, and I mean to explain the philosophy of Sankhya in order to disseminate the knowledge of self-realization to interested people. I shall also instruct this sublime knowledge to My mother so that she also can attain the stage of perfection and self-realization, ending all kinds of reactions of fruitive activities. Thus she also will become free from all fear.”

After the departure of Kardama Muni, Kapiladeva extensively explained the principles of Sankhya philosophy to His mother. The Bhagavatam states, “By following the principles instructed by Kapila, Devahuti soon became liberated from material bondage, and she achieved the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as Supersoul, without difficulty.” There is a Vaikuntha planet known as Kapila Vaikuntha where Devahuti was promoted to meet Kapila and reside eternally, enjoying the company of her transcendental son.

The Eternal Abode

1970-1973-01-39-16The sage Vidura concludes the story of Kardama, Devahuti and Kapila by describing the pastimes of the incarnation of Kapila. “Kapila, the great sage and Personality of Godhead, later went out from His father’s hermitage with the permission of His mother and went toward the northern side. Even now Kapila is residing there in trance, and all great teachers of Sankhya philosophy are worshiping Him. He is staying in that position for the deliverance of the conditioned souls of the three worlds.” It is stated that these descriptions are the purest of all things, and whoever hears or reads these narrations will become a devotee of the Lord and enter the supreme abode.

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