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

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.5.30

tatra tatra pura-grāmākara-kheṭa-vāṭa-kharvaṭa-śibira-vraja-ghoṣa-sārtha-giri-vanāśramādiṣv anupatham avanicarāpasadaiḥ paribhūyamāno makṣikābhir iva vana-gajas tarjana-tāḍanāvamehana-ṣṭhīvana-grāva-śakṛd-rajaḥ-prakṣepa-pūti-vāta-duruktais tad avigaṇayann evāsat-saḿsthāna etasmin dehopalakṣaṇe sad-apadeśa ubhayānubhava-svarūpeṇa sva-mahimāvasthānenāsamāropitāhaḿ-mamābhimānatvād avikhaṇḍita-manāḥ pṛthivīm eka-caraḥ paribabhrāma


tatra tatra — here and there; pura — cities; grāma — villages; ākara — mines; kheṭa — agricultural places; vāṭa — gardens; kharvaṭa — villages in valleys; śibira — military encampments; vraja — cow pens; ghoṣa — residential places of cowherd men; sārtha — resting places for pilgrims; giri — hills; vana — forests; āśramain the residential places of hermits; ādiṣu — and so on; anupathamas He passed through; avanicara-apasadaiḥ — by undesirable elements, wicked persons; paribhūyamānaḥ — being surrounded; makṣikābhiḥ — by flies; iva — like; vana-gajaḥan elephant coming from the forest; tarjana — by threats; tāḍana — beating; avamehana — passing urine on the body; ṣṭhīvana — spitting on the body; grāva-śakṛt — stones and stool; rajaḥ — dust; prakṣepa — throwing; pūti-vāta — passing air over the body; duruktaiḥ — and by bad words; tat — that; avigaṇayan — without caring about; eva — thus; asat-saḿsthāne — habitat not fit for a gentleman; etasminin this; deha-upalakṣaṇein the shape of the material body; sat-apadeśe — called real; ubhaya-anubhava-svarūpeṇa — by understanding the proper situation of the body and the soul; sva-mahimain His personal glory; avasthānena — by being situated; asamāropita-aham-mama-abhimānatvāt — from not accepting the misconception of "I and mine"; avikhaṇḍita-manāḥ — undisturbed in mind; pṛthivīm — all over the world; eka-caraḥ — alone; paribabhrāmaHe wandered.


Ṛṣabhadeva began to tour through cities, villages, mines, countrysides, valleys, gardens, military camps, cow pens, the homes of cowherd men, transient hotels, hills, forests and hermitages. Wherever He traveled, all bad elements surrounded Him, just as flies surround the body of an elephant coming from a forest. He was always being threatened, beaten, urinated upon and spat upon. Sometimes people threw stones, stool and dust at Him, and sometimes people passed foul air before Him. Thus people called Him many bad names and gave Him a great deal of trouble, but He did not care about this, for He understood that the body is simply meant for such an end. He was situated on the spiritual platform, and, being in His spiritual glory, He did not care for all these material insults. In other words, He completely understood that matter and spirit are separate, and He had no bodily conception. Thus, without being angry at anyone, He walked through the whole world alone.


Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says: deha-smṛti nāhi yāra, saḿsāra bandhana kāhāń tāra. When a person fully realizes that the material body and world are temporary, he is not concerned with pain and pleasures of the body. As Śrī Kṛṣṇa advises in Bhagavad-gītā (2.14):

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya


āgamāpāyino 'nityās

tāḿs titikṣasva bhārata

"O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed."

As far as Ṛṣabhadeva is concerned, it has already been explained: idaḿ śarīraḿ mama durvibhāvyam. He did not at all possess a material body; and therefore He was tolerant of all the trouble offered to Him by the bad elements in society. Consequently He could tolerate people's throwing stool and dust upon Him and beating Him. His body was transcendental and consequently did not at all suffer pain. He was always situated in His spiritual bliss. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.61):

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāḿ

hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati

bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni

yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna. and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy."

Since the Lord is situated in everyone's heart, He is in the heart of hogs and dogs also. If hogs and dogs in their material bodies live in filthy places, one should not think that the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramātmā feature also lives in a filthy place. Although Lord Ṛṣabhadeva was maltreated by the bad elements of the world. He was not at all affected. Therefore it is stated here. sva-mahima-avasthānena: "He was situated in His own glory." He was never saddened due to being insulted in the many ways described above.

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