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Ambarisa Maharaja (Books)

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 1 - 6

BG 2.60, Purport:

Kṛṣṇa consciousness is such a transcendentally nice thing that automatically material enjoyment becomes distasteful. It is as if a hungry man had satisfied his hunger by a sufficient quantity of nutritious eatables. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa also conquered a great yogī, Durvāsā Muni, simply because his mind was engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane).

BG 2.61, Translation and Purport:

One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence.

That the highest conception of yoga perfection is Kṛṣṇa consciousness is clearly explained in this verse. And unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious it is not at all possible to control the senses. As cited above, the great sage Durvāsā Muni picked a quarrel with Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, and Durvāsā Muni unnecessarily became angry out of pride and therefore could not check his senses. On the other hand, the king, although not as powerful a yogī as the sage, but a devotee of the Lord, silently tolerated all the sage's injustices and thereby emerged victorious. The king was able to control his senses because of the following qualifications, as mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.4.18-20):

sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor
vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane
karau harer mandira-mārjanādiṣu
śrutiṁ cakārācyuta-sat-kathodaye
mukunda-liṅgālaya-darśane dṛśau
tad-bhṛtya-gātra-sparśe 'ṅga-saṅgamam
ghrāṇaṁ ca tat-pāda-saroja-saurabhe
śrīmat-tulasyā rasanāṁ tad-arpite
pādau hareḥ kṣetra-padānusarpaṇe
śiro hṛṣīkeśa-padābhivandane
kāmaṁ ca dāsye na tu kāma-kāmyayā
yathottama-śloka-janāśrayā ratiḥ

"King Ambarīṣa fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, engaged his words in describing the abode of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing the pastimes of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the form of the Lord, his body in touching the body of the devotee, his nostrils in smelling the flavor of the flowers offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, his tongue in tasting the tulasī leaves offered to Him, his legs in traveling to the holy place where His temple is situated, his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord, and his desires in fulfilling the desires of the Lord... and all these qualifications made him fit to become a mat-para devotee of the Lord."

The word mat-para is most significant in this connection. How one can become mat-para is described in the life of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, a great scholar and ācārya in the line of the mat-para, remarks, mad-bhakti-prabhāvena sarvendriya-vijaya-pūrvikā svātma-dṛṣṭiḥ sulabheti bhāvaḥ. "The senses can be completely controlled only by the strength of devotional service to Kṛṣṇa." Also, the example of fire is sometimes given: "As a blazing fire burns everything within a room, Lord Viṣṇu, situated in the heart of the yogī, burns up all kinds of impurities." The Yoga-sūtra also prescribes meditation on Viṣṇu, and not meditation on the void. The so-called yogīs who meditate on something other than the Viṣṇu form simply waste their time in a vain search after some phantasmagoria.

We have to be Kṛṣṇa conscious—devoted to the Personality of Godhead. This is the aim of the real yoga.

BG 2.67, Translation and Purport:

As a strong wind sweeps away a boat on the water, even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man's intelligence.

Unless all of the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of them engaged in sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path of transcendental advancement. As mentioned in the life of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, all of the senses must be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for that is the correct technique for controlling the mind.

BG 6.18, Purport:

"King Ambarīṣa first of all engaged his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa; then, one after another, he engaged his words in describing the transcendental qualities of the Lord, his hands in mopping the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing of the activities of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the transcendental forms of the Lord, his body in touching the bodies of the devotees, his sense of smell in smelling the scents of the lotus flowers offered to the Lord, his tongue in tasting the tulasī leaf offered at the lotus feet of the Lord, his legs in going to places of pilgrimage and the temple of the Lord, his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord, and his desires in executing the mission of the Lord. All these transcendental activities are quite befitting a pure devotee."

This transcendental stage may be inexpressible subjectively by the followers of the impersonalist path, but it becomes very easy and practical for a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as is apparent in the above description of the engagements of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Unless the mind is fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord by constant remembrance, such transcendental engagements are not practical. In the devotional service of the Lord, therefore, these prescribed activities are called arcana, or engaging all the senses in the service of the Lord. The senses and the mind require engagements. Simple abnegation is not practical. Therefore, for people in general—especially those who are not in the renounced order of life—transcendental engagement of the senses and the mind as described above is the perfect process for transcendental achievement, which is called yukta in the Bhagavad-gītā.


SB Canto 1

SB 1.1.1, Purport:

Some Māyāvādī scholars argue that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was not compiled by Śrī Vyāsadeva. And some of them suggest that this book is a modern creation written by someone named Vopadeva. In order to refute such meaningless arguments, Śrī Śrīdhara Svāmī points out that there is reference to the Bhāgavatam in many of the oldest Purāṇas. This first śloka of the Bhāgavatam begins with the Gāyatrī mantra. There is reference to this in the Matsya Purāṇa, which is the oldest Purāṇa. In that Purāṇa, it is said with reference to the Gāyatrī mantra in the Bhāgavatam that there are many narrations of spiritual instructions beginning with the Gāyatrī mantra. And there is the history of Vṛtrāsura. Anyone who makes a gift of this great work on a full moon day attains to the highest perfection of life by returning to Godhead. There is reference to the Bhāgavatam in other Purāṇas also, where it is clearly stated that this work was finished in twelve cantos, which include eighteen thousand ślokas. In the Padma Purāṇa also there is reference to the Bhāgavatam in a conversation between Gautama and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. The king was advised therein to read regularly Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam if he desired liberation from material bondage. Under the circumstances, there is no doubt about the authority of the Bhāgavatam. Within the past five hundred years, many erudite scholars and ācāryas like Jīva Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Viśvanātha Cakravartī, Vallabhācārya, and many other distinguished scholars even after the time of Lord Caitanya made elaborate commentaries on the Bhāgavatam. And the serious student would do well to attempt to go through them to better relish the transcendental messages.

SB 1.15.11, Purport:

Durvāsā Muni: A powerful mystic brāhmaṇa determined to observe the principles of religion with great vows and under strict austerities. His name is associated with many historical events, and it appears that the great mystic could be both easily satisfied and easily annoyed, like Lord Śiva. When he was satisfied, he could do tremendous good to the servitor, but if he was dissatisfied he could bring about the greatest calamity. Kumārī Kuntī, at her father's house, used to minister all kinds of services to all great brāhmaṇas, and being satisfied with her good reception Durvāsā Muni blessed her with a power to call any demigod she desired. It is understood that he was a plenary incarnation of Lord Śiva, and thus he could be either easily satisfied or annoyed. He was a great devotee of Lord Śiva, and by Lord Śiva's order he accepted the priesthood of King Śvetaketu because of the King's performance of sacrifice for one hundred years. Sometimes he used to visit the parliamentary assembly of the heavenly kingdom of Indradeva. He could travel in space by his great mystic powers, and it is understood that he traveled a great distance through space, even up to the Vaikuṇṭha planets beyond material space. He traveled all these long distances within one year, during his quarrel with King Ambarīṣa, the great devotee and Emperor of the world.

SB Canto 2

SB 2.1.10, Purport:

In the Padma Purāṇa, it is mentioned that Gautama Muni advised Mahārāja Ambarīṣa to hear regularly Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as it was recited by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and herein it is confirmed that Mahārāja Ambarīṣa heard Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the very beginning to the end, as it was spoken by Śukadeva Gosvāmī. One who is actually interested in the Bhāgavatam, therefore, must not play with it by reading or hearing a portion from here and a portion from there; one must follow in the footsteps of great kings like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa or Mahārāja Parīkṣit and hear it from a bona fide representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī.

SB 2.4.10, Purport:

The Lord expressed Himself to be unable to save Durvāsā Muni, although the Muni was so powerful that he could reach the Lord directly under material conditions. But Durvāsā Muni was saved by Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, not only is a devotee of the Lord more powerful than the Lord, but also worship of the devotee is considered more effective than direct worship of the Lord (mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā (SB 11.19.21)).

SB 2.7.43-45, Translation:

O Nārada, although the potencies of the Lord are unknowable and immeasurable, still, because we are all surrendered souls, we know how He acts through yogamāyā potencies. And, similarly, the potencies of the Lord are also known to the all-powerful Śiva, the great king of the atheist family, namely Prahlāda Mahārāja, Svāyambhuva Manu, his wife Śatarūpā, his sons and daughters like Priyavrata, Uttānapāda, Ākūti, Devahūti and Prasūti, Prācīnabarhi, Ṛbhu, Aṅga the father of Vena, Mahārāja Dhruva, Ikṣvāku, Aila, Mucukunda, Mahārāja Janaka, Gādhi, Raghu, Ambarīṣa, Sagara, Gaya, Nāhuṣa, Māndhātā, Alarka, Śatadhanve, Anu, Rantideva, Bhīṣma, Bali, Amūrttaraya, Dilīpa, Saubhari, Utaṅka, Śibi, Devala, Pippalāda, Sārasvata, Uddhava, Parāśara, Bhūriṣeṇa, Vibhīṣaṇa, Hanumān, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Arjuna, Ārṣṭiṣeṇa, Vidura, Śrutadeva, etc.

SB 2.8.20, Purport:

The yogeśvara, or the master of mystic powers, can exhibit eight kinds of wonders of perfection by becoming smaller than the atom or lighter than a feather, getting anything and everything he desires, going anywhere and everywhere he likes, creating even a planet in the sky, etc. There are many yogeśvaras having different proficiencies in these wonderful powers, and the topmost of all of them is Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva is the greatest yogī, and he can perform such wonderful things, far beyond the ordinary living beings. The devotees of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, do not directly practice the process of mystic powers, but, by the grace of the Lord, His devotee can defeat even a great yogeśvara like Durvāsā Muni, who picked a quarrel with Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and wanted to show the wonderful achievements of his mystic powers. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was a pure devotee of the Lord, and thus without any effort on his part the Lord saved him from the wrath of Yogeśvara Durvāsā Muni, and the latter was obliged to beg pardon from the King.

SB 2.9.36, Purport:

"If even for a moment remembrance of Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is missed, that is the greatest loss, that is the greatest illusion, and that is the greatest anomaly." The Lord can be worshiped in all stages of life. For instance, even in the wombs of their mothers Mahārāja Prahlāda and Mahārāja Parīkṣit worshiped the Lord; even in his very childhood, at the age of only five years, Dhruva Mahārāja worshiped the Lord; even in full youth, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa worshiped the Lord; and even at the last stage of his frustration and old age Mahārāja Dhṛtarāṣṭra worshiped the Lord.

SB Canto 3

SB 3.2.15, Purport:

Durvāsā Muni, a great yogī, harassed Mahārāja Ambarīṣa because the latter was a great devotee of the Lord. And the great karmī and jñānī Hiraṇyakaśipu even harassed his own Vaiṣṇava son, Prahlāda Mahārāja. There are many instances of such harassment of the peaceful devotees of the Lord by the itaras. When such friction takes place, the Lord, out of His great compassion towards His pure devotees, appears in person, accompanied by His plenary portions controlling the mahat-tattva.

SB 3.12.11, Purport:

The great yogī Durvāsā, under the influence of this Rudra principle, picked a quarrel with Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, and a brāhmaṇa boy exhibited the Rudra principle by cursing the great King Parīkṣit.

SB 3.15.26, Purport:

Modern mechanical space vehicles are unsuccessful because they cannot go to the highest region of this material creation, and they certainly cannot enter the spiritual sky. But by perfection of the yoga system one not only can travel through material space, but can surpass material space and enter the spiritual sky. We learn this fact also from an incident concerning Durvāsā Muni and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. It is understood that in one year Durvāsā Muni traveled everywhere and went into the spiritual sky to meet the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa.

SB 3.19.22, Purport:

Even famous yogīs and demons can sometimes enact very magical feats by their mystic power, but in the presence of the Sudarśana cakra, when it is let loose by the Lord, all such magical jugglery is dispersed. The instance of the quarrel between Durvāsā Muni and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa is a practical example in this matter. Durvāsā Muni wanted to display many magical wonders, but when the Sudarśana cakra appeared, Durvāsā himself was afraid and fled to various planets for his personal protection.

SB 3.19.34, Purport:

Bhāgavatam literally means the pastimes of the Lord and the Lord's devotees. For example, there are pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa and narrations of devotees like Prahlāda, Dhruva and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa.

SB 3.24.42, Purport:

One is called a muni when he remains grave and does not talk nonsense. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa set a very good example; whenever he spoke, he spoke about the pastimes of the Lord. Mauna necessitates refraining from nonsensical talking, and engaging the talking facility in the pastimes of the Lord.

SB 3.25.23, Purport:

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa did not speak of anything but the pastimes of the Lord. Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18). He engaged his words only in glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

SB 3.25.44, Purport:

Here the words mano mayy arpitam, which mean "the mind being fixed on Me," are significant. One should fix his mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa or His incarnation. To be fixed steadily in that freedom is the way of liberation. Ambarīṣa Mahārāja is an example. He fixed his mind on the lotus feet of the Lord, he spoke only on the pastimes of the Lord, he smelled only the flowers and tulasī offered to the Lord, he walked only to the temple of the Lord, he engaged his hands in cleansing the temple, he engaged his tongue in tasting the foodstuff offered to the Lord, and he engaged his ears for hearing the great pastimes of the Lord. In that way all his senses were engaged.

SB 3.28.6, Purport:

The Vedic literatures contain many narrations of the Lord's pastimes, including the Battle of Kurukṣetra and historical facts relating to the life and precepts of devotees like Prahlāda Mahārāja, Dhruva Mahārāja and Ambarīṣa Mahārāja.

SB 3.28.9, Purport:

These breathing exercises are performed to control the mind and fix it on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ: (SB 9.4.18) the devotee Ambarīṣa Mahārāja fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours a day.

SB 3.32.33, Purport:

As the mind is the center of all the activities of the senses, Kṛṣṇa is called the master of the senses, Hṛṣīkeśa. The process is to fix the mind on Hṛṣīkeśa, or Kṛṣṇa, as Mahārāja Ambarīṣa did (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18)).

SB Canto 4

SB 4.20.18, Purport:

An offender at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava is never excused by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many instances illustrating this fact. Ambarīṣa Mahārāja was offended by Durvāsā Muni, a great sage and mystic yogī, and Durvāsā also had to fall down at the lotus feet of Ambarīṣa Mahārāja.

SB 4.24.71, Purport:

The word muni-vratāḥ is significant in this regard because those who are interested in advancing in spiritual life must be silent. Silence means talking only of kṛṣṇa-kathā. This is the silence of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa:

sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor
vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane

"King Ambarīṣa always fixed his mind on the lotus feet of the Lord and talked of Him only." (SB 9.4.19) We should also take this opportunity in life to become as good as a great saint simply by not talking unnecessarily with unwanted persons.

SB 4.25.57-61, Purport:

In the life of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, we find that the great Mahārāja first engaged his mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. In this way his intelligence became purified. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa also used his other senses in the service of the Lord. He engaged his eyes in seeing the Deity in the temple nicely decorated with flowers. He engaged his sense of smell by smelling the flowers, and he engaged his legs by walking to the temple. His hands were engaged in cleansing the temple, and his ears were engaged in hearing about Kṛṣṇa. His tongue was engaged in two ways: in speaking about Kṛṣṇa and in tasting prasāda offered to the Deity. Materialistic persons, who are under the full control of material intelligence, cannot perform all these activities. Thus, consciously or unconsciously, they become entangled by the dictations of material intelligence. This fact is summarized in the following verse.

SB 4.26.24, Purport:

One's pure intelligence, or pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, becomes polluted by material activities. Pure consciousness can be revived by the process of sacrifice, charity, pious activities, etc., but when one pollutes his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by offending a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava, it is very difficult to revive. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has described the vaiṣṇava-aparādha, or offense to a Vaiṣṇava, as "the mad elephant offense." One should be very careful not to offend a Vaiṣṇava or a brāhmaṇa. Even the great yogī Durvāsā was harassed by the Sudarśana cakra when he offended the Vaiṣṇava Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, who was neither a brāhmaṇa nor a sannyāsī but an ordinary householder. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was a Vaiṣṇava, and consequently Durvāsā Muni was chastised.

The conclusion is that if Kṛṣṇa consciousness is covered by material sins, one can eliminate the sins simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, but if one pollutes his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by offending a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava, one cannot revive it until one properly atones for the sin by pleasing the offended Vaiṣṇava or brāhmaṇa. This was the course that Durvāsā Muni had to follow, for he surrendered unto Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. A vaiṣṇava-aparādha cannot be atoned for by any means other than by begging the pardon of the offended Vaiṣṇava.

SB 4.29.7, Purport:

The mind is the center of all activities and is described here as bṛhad-bala, very powerful. To get out of the clutches of māyā, material existence, one has to control his mind. According to training, the mind is the friend and the enemy of the living entity. If one gets a good manager, his estate is very nicely managed, but if the manager is a thief, his estate is spoiled. Similarly, in his material, conditional existence, the living entity gives power of attorney to his mind. As such, he is liable to be misdirected by his mind into enjoying sense objects. Śrīla Ambarīṣa Mahārāja therefore first engaged his mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). When the mind is engaged in meditation on the lotus feet of the Lord, the senses are controlled. This system of control is called yama, and this means "subduing the senses." One who can subdue the senses is called a gosvāmī, but one who cannot control the mind is called go-dāsa. The mind directs the activities of the senses, which are expressed through different outlets, as described in the next verse.

SB 4.29.61, Purport:

Thus the change of the gross body is not very important, but the change of the subtle body is important. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is educating people to enlighten the subtle body. The perfect example in this regard is Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, who always engaged his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). Similarly, in this life we should always fix our mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, who is present in His arcā-vigraha, the incarnation of the Deity in the temple. We should also always engage in His worship. If we engage our speech in describing the activities of the Lord and our ears in hearing about His pastimes, and if we follow the regulative principles to keep the mind intact for advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we shall certainly be elevated to the spiritual platform. Then at the time of death the mind, intelligence and ego will no longer be materially contaminated.

SB 4.29.64, Purport:

In dreams we sometimes see things that we have never experienced in the present body. Sometimes in dreams we think that we are flying in the sky, although we have no experience of flying. This means that once in a previous life, either as a demigod or astronaut, we flew in the sky. The impression is there in the stockpile of the mind, and it suddenly expresses itself. It is like fermentation taking place in the depths of water, which sometimes manifests itself in bubbles on the water's surface. Sometimes we dream of coming to a place we have never known or experienced in this lifetime, but this is proof that in a past life we experienced this. The impression is kept within the mind and sometimes becomes manifest either in dream or in thought. The conclusion is that the mind is the storehouse of various thoughts and experiences undergone during our past lives. Thus there is a chain of continuation from one life to another, from previous lives to this life, and from this life to future lives. This is also sometimes proved by saying that a man is a born poet, a born scientist or a born devotee. If, like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, we think of Kṛṣṇa constantly in this life (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18)), we will certainly be transferred to the kingdom of God at the time of death. Even if our attempt to be Kṛṣṇa conscious is not complete, our Kṛṣṇa consciousness will continue in the next life.

SB 4.31.21, Purport:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead understands the position of His devotee. If a person derides a pure devotee, he is never recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the Supreme Lord never excuses one who offends a pure devotee. There are many examples of this in history. A great mystic yogi, Durvāsā Muni, offended the great devotee Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. The great sage Durvāsā was to be chastised by the Sudarśana cakra of the Lord. Even though the great mystic directly approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was never excused. Those on the path of liberation should be very careful not to offend a pure devotee.

SB Canto 5

SB 5.1.38, Purport:

As enunciated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam: (CC Antya 20.12) as soon as one's heart is cleansed, the blazing fire of material existence is immediately extinguished. Our hearts are meant for the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This means that one should be fully Kṛṣṇa conscious, thinking of Kṛṣṇa, as He Himself advises (man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65)). This should be our only business. One whose heart is not clean cannot think of the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Lord, but if one can once again place the Supreme Personality of Godhead in his heart, he very easily becomes qualified to renounce material attachment. Māyāvādī philosophers, yogīs and jñānīs try to give up this material world simply by saying, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā: "This world is false. There is no use of it. Let us take to Brahman." Such theoretical knowledge will not help us. If we believe that Brahman is the real truth, we have to place within our hearts the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, as Mahārāja Ambarīṣa did (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18)). One has to fix the lotus feet of the Lord within his heart. Then he gets the strength to be freed from material entanglement.

SB 5.7.6, Purport:

Kings like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and many other rājarṣis who were pure devotees of the Lord simply passed their time in the service of the Supreme Lord. When a pure devotee executes some service through the agency of another person, he should not be criticized, for his activities are meant for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. A devotee may have a priest perform some karma-kāṇḍa, and the priest may not be a pure Vaiṣṇava, but because the devotee wants to please the Supreme Lord, he should not be criticized. The word apūrva is very significant. The resultant actions of karma are called apūrva. When we act piously or impiously, immediate results do not ensue. We therefore wait for the results, which are called apūrva. The results are manifest in the future.

SB 5.11.7, Purport:

At the present moment, in our conditioned state, our mind is fully absorbed in material sense gratification, but it can be purified and brought to its original Kṛṣṇa consciousness by the process of devotional service. We have often given the example of Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane. The mind must be controlled in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The tongue can be utilized to spread the message of Kṛṣṇa and glorify the Lord or take prasāda, the remnants of food offered to Kṛṣṇa. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau: (Brs. 1.2.234) when one utilizes the tongue in the service of the Lord, the other senses can become purified. As stated in the Nārada-pañcarātra, sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam: (CC Madhya 19.170) when the mind and senses are purified, one's total existence is purified, and one's designations are also purified. One no longer considers himself a human being, a demigod, cat, dog, Hindu, Muslim and so forth. When the senses and mind are purified and one is fully engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service, one can be liberated and return home, back to Godhead.

SB 5.13.23, Purport:

King Rahūgaṇa was very repentant because he had forced Jaḍa Bharata to carry his palanquin. He therefore began offering prayers to all kinds of brāhmaṇas and self-realized persons, even though they might be playing like children or hiding in some guises. The four Kumāras walked everywhere in the guise of five-year-old boys, and similarly there are many brāhmaṇas, knowers of Brahman, who traverse the globe either as young men, children or avadhūtas. Being puffed up due to their position, the royal dynasties generally offend these great personalities. Therefore King Rahūgaṇa began to offer his respectful obeisances unto them so that the offensive royal dynasties might not glide down into a hellish condition. If one offends a great personality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not excuse one, although the great personalities themselves might not take offense. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was offended by Durvāsā, who even approached Lord Viṣṇu for pardon. Lord Viṣṇu would not grant him pardon; therefore he had to fall down at the lotus feet of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, even though Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was a kṣatriya-gṛhastha. One should be very careful not to offend the lotus feet of Vaiṣṇavas and brāhmaṇas.

SB Canto 6

SB 6.2.3, Purport:

The king, or in modern times the government, should act as the guardian of the citizens by teaching them the proper goal of life. The human form of life is especially meant for realization of one's self and one's relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead because this cannot be realized in animal life. The duty of the government, therefore, is to take charge of training all the citizens in such a way that by a gradual process they will be elevated to the spiritual platform and will realize the self and his relationship with God. This principle was followed by kings like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Lord Rāmacandra, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and Prahlāda Mahārāja. The leaders of the government must be very honest and religious because otherwise all the affairs of the state will suffer.

SB Canto 7

SB 7.5.23-24, Purport:

(9) Ātma-nivedanam. The word Ātma-nivedanam refers to the stage at which one who has no motive other than to serve the Lord surrenders everything to the Lord and performs his activities only to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a devotee is like a cow that is cared for by its master. When cared for by its master, a cow is not in anxiety over its maintenance. Such a cow is always devoted to its master, and it never acts independently, but only for the master's benefit. Some devotees, therefore, consider dedication of the body to the Lord to be ātma-nivedanam, and as stated in the book known as Bhakti-viveka, sometimes dedication of the soul to the Lord is called ātma-nivedanam. The best examples of ātma-nivedanam are found in Bali Mahārāja and Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. Ātma-nivedanam is also sometimes found in the behavior of Rukmiṇīdevī at Dvārakā.

SB 7.10.1, Purport:

Material achievements are not the ultimate goal of devotional service. The ultimate goal of devotional service is love of Godhead. Therefore although Prahlāda Mahārāja, Dhruva Mahārāja, Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja and many devotee kings were materially very opulent, they accepted their material opulence in the service of the Lord, not for their personal sense gratification. Of course, possessing material opulence is always fearful because under the influence of material opulence one may be misdirected from devotional service. Nonetheless, a pure devotee (anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11)) is never misdirected by material opulence. On the contrary, whatever he possesses he engages one hundred percent in the service of the Lord. When one is allured by material possessions, they are considered to be given by māyā, but when one uses material possessions fully for service, they are considered God's gifts, or facilities offered by Kṛṣṇa for enhancing one's devotional service.

SB Canto 9

SB 9.4 Summary:

This chapter describes the history of Mahārāja Nabhaga, of his son Nābhāga, and of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa.

The son of Manu was Nabhaga, and his son Nābhāga lived for many years in the gurukula. In Nābhāga's absence, his brothers did not consider his share of the kingdom, but instead divided the property among themselves. When Nābhāga returned home, his brothers bestowed upon him their father as his share, but when Nābhāga went to his father and told him about the dealings of the brothers, his father informed him that this was cheating and advised him that for his livelihood he should go to the sacrificial arena and describe two mantras to be chanted there. Nābhāga executed the order of his father, and thus Aṅgirā and other great saintly persons gave him all the money collected in that sacrifice. To test Nābhāga, Lord Śiva challenged his claim to the wealth, but when Lord Śiva was satisfied by Nābhāga's behavior, Lord Śiva offered him all the riches.

SB 9.4 Summary:

From Nābhāga was born Ambarīṣa, the most powerful and celebrated devotee. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was the emperor of the entire world, but he considered his opulence temporary. Indeed, knowing that such material opulence is the cause of downfall into conditional life, he was unattached to this opulence. He engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. This process is called yukta-vairāgya, or feasible renunciation, which is quite suitable for worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, as the emperor, was immensely opulent, he performed devotional service with great opulence, and therefore, despite his wealth, he had no attachment to his wife, children or kingdom. He constantly engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. Therefore, to say nothing of enjoying material opulence, he never desired even liberation.

SB 9.4 Summary:

Once Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Vṛndāvana, observing the vow of Dvādaśī. On Dvādaśī, the day after Ekādaśī, when he was about to break his Ekādaśī fast, the great mystic yogī Durvāsā appeared in his house and became his guest. King Ambarīṣa respectfully received Durvāsā Muni, and Durvāsā Muni, after accepting his invitation to eat there, went to bathe in the Yamunā River at noontime. Because he was absorbed in samādhi, he did not come back very soon. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, however, upon seeing that the time to break the fast was passing, drank a little water, in accordance with the advice of learned brāhmaṇas, just to observe the formality of breaking the fast. By mystic power, Durvāsā Muni could understand that this had happened, and he was very angry. When he returned he began to chastise Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, but he was not satisfied, and finally he created from his hair a demon appearing like the fire of death. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, is always the protector of His devotee, and to protect Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, He sent His disc, the Sudarśana cakra, which immediately vanquished the fiery demon and then pursued Durvāsā, who was so envious of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Durvāsā fled to Brahmaloka, Śivaloka and all the other higher planets, but he could not protect himself from the wrath of the Sudarśana cakra. Finally he went to the spiritual world and surrendered to Lord Nārāyaṇa, but Lord Nārāyaṇa could not excuse a person who had offended a Vaiṣṇava. To be excused from such an offense, one must submit to the Vaiṣṇava whom he has offended. There is no other way to be excused. Thus Lord Nārāyaṇa advised Durvāsā to return to Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and beg his pardon.

SB 9.4.13, Translation:

From Nābhāga, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa took birth. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was an exalted devotee, celebrated for his great merits. Although he was cursed by an infallible brāhmaṇa, the curse could not touch him.

SB 9.4.14, Translation:

King Parīkṣit inquired: O great personality, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was certainly most exalted and meritorious in character. I wish to hear about him. How surprising it is that the curse of a brāhmaṇa, which is insurmountable, could not act upon him.

SB 9.4.15-16, Translation:

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, the most fortunate personality, achieved the rule of the entire world, consisting of seven islands, and achieved inexhaustible, unlimited opulence and prosperity on earth. Although such a position is rarely obtained, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa did not care for it at all, for he knew very well that all such opulence is material. Like that which is imagined in a dream, such opulence will ultimately be destroyed. The King knew that any nondevotee who attains such opulence merges increasingly into material nature's mode of darkness.

SB 9.4.17, Translation:

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, and of the saintly persons who are the Lord's devotees. Because of this devotion, he thought of the entire universe as being as insignificant as a piece of stone.

SB 9.4.18-20, Translation:

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa always engaged his mind in meditating upon the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, his words in describing the glories of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the Lord's temple, and his ears in hearing the words spoken by Kṛṣṇa or about Kṛṣṇa. He engaged his eyes in seeing the Deity of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's temples and Kṛṣṇa's places like Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, he engaged his sense of touch in touching the bodies of the Lord's devotees, he engaged his sense of smell in smelling the fragrance of tulasī offered to the Lord, and he engaged his tongue in tasting the Lord's prasāda. He engaged his legs in walking to the holy places and temples of the Lord, his head in bowing down before the Lord, and all his desires in serving the Lord, twenty-four hours a day. Indeed, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa never desired anything for his own sense gratification. He engaged all his senses in devotional service, in various engagements related to the Lord. This is the way to increase attachment for the Lord and be completely free from all material desires.

SB 9.4.18-20, Purport:

In Bhagavad-gītā (7.1) the Lord recommends, mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. This indicates that one must execute devotional service under the guidance of a devotee or directly under the guidance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is not possible, however, to train oneself without guidance from the spiritual master. Therefore, according to the instructions of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the first business of a devotee is to accept a bona fide spiritual master who can train him to engage his various senses in rendering transcendental service to the Lord. The Lord also says in Bhagavad-gītā (7.1), asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu. In other words, if one wants to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in completeness, one must follow the prescriptions given by Kṛṣṇa by following in the footsteps of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa.

SB 9.4.21, Translation and Purport:

In performing his prescribed duties as king, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa always offered the results of his royal activities to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, who is the enjoyer of everything and is beyond the perception of material senses. He certainly took advice from brāhmaṇas who were faithful devotees of the Lord, and thus he ruled the planet earth without difficulty.

As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (5.29):

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

People are very much anxious to live in peace and prosperity in this material world, and here in Bhagavad-gītā the peace formula is given personally by the Supreme Personality of Godhead: everyone should understand that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the ultimate proprietor of all the planets and is therefore the enjoyer of all activities, political, social, cultural, religious, economic and so on. The Lord has given perfect advice in Bhagavad-gītā, and Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, as the ideal executive head, ruled the entire world as a Vaiṣṇava, taking advice from Vaiṣṇava brāhmaṇas. The śāstras enjoin that even though a brāhmaṇa may be well versed in the occupational brahminical duties and may be very learned in Vedic knowledge, he cannot give advice as a guru until he is a Vaiṣṇava.

ṣaṭ-karma-nipuṇo vipro
avaiṣṇavo gurur na syād
vaiṣṇavaḥ śva-paco guruḥ

Therefore, as indicated here by the words tan-niṣṭha-viprābhihitaḥ, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa took advice from brāhmaṇas who were pure devotees of the Lord, for ordinary brāhmaṇas who are merely learned scholars or experts in performing ritualistic ceremonies are not competent to give advice.

SB 9.4.21, Purport:

In modern times, there are legislative assemblies whose members are authorized to make laws for the welfare of the state, but according to this description of the kingdom of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, the country or the world should be ruled by a chief executive whose advisors are all devotee brāhmaṇas. Such advisors or members of the legislative assembly should not be professional politicians, nor should they be selected by the ignorant public. Rather, they should be appointed by the king. When the king, the executive head of the state, is a devotee and he follows the instructions of devotee brāhmaṇas in ruling the country, everyone will be peaceful and prosperous. When the king and his advisors are perfect devotees, nothing can be wrong in the state. All the citizens should become devotees of the Lord, and then their good character will automatically follow.

yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ

"One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has only material qualifications that are of little value. This is because he is hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring material energy." (SB 5.18.12) Citizens under the guidance of a Kṛṣṇa conscious king will become devotees, and then there will be no need to enact new laws every day to reform the way of life in the state. If the citizens are trained to become devotees, they will automatically become peaceful and honest, and if they are guided by a devoted king advised by devotees, the state will not be in the material world but in the spiritual world. All the states of the world should therefore follow the ideal of the rule or administration of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, as described here.

SB 9.4.22, Translation and Purport:

In desert countries where there flowed the River Sarasvatī, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa performed great sacrifices like the aśvamedha-yajña and thus satisfied the master of all yajñas, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such sacrifices were performed with great opulence and suitable paraphernalia and with contributions of dakṣiṇā to the brāhmaṇas, who were supervised by great personalities like Vasiṣṭha, Asita and Gautama, representing the king, the performer of the sacrifices.

When one performs ritualistic sacrifices as prescribed in the Vedas, one needs expert brāhmaṇas known as yājñika-brāhmaṇas. In Kali-yuga, however, there is a scarcity of such brāhmaṇas. Therefore in Kali-yuga the sacrifice recommended in śāstra is saṅkīrtana-yajña (yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ (SB 11.5.32)). Instead of spending money unnecessarily on performing yajñas impossible to perform in this age of Kali because of the scarcity of yājñika-brāhmaṇas, one who is intelligent performs saṅkīrtana-yajña. Without properly performed yajñas to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there will be scarcity of rain (yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ (BG 3.14)). Therefore the performance of yajña is essential. Without yajña there will be a scarcity of rain, and because of this scarcity, no food grains will be produced, and there will be famines. It is the duty of the king, therefore, to perform different types of yajñas, such as the aśvamedha-yajña, to maintain the production of food grains. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Without food grains, both men and animals will starve. Therefore yajña is necessary for the state to perform because by yajña the people in general will be fed sumptuously. The brāhmaṇas and yājñika priests should be sufficiently paid for their expert service. This payment is called dakṣiṇā. Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, as the head of the state, performed all these yajñas through great personalities like Vasiṣṭha, Gautama and Asita. Personally, however, he was engaged in devotional service, as mentioned before (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18)). The king or head of state must see that things go on well under proper guidance, and he must be an ideal devotee, as exemplified by Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. It is the duty of the king to see that food grains are produced even in desert countries, what to speak of elsewhere.

SB 9.4.23, Translation:

In the sacrifice arranged by Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, the members of the assembly and the priests (especially hotā, udgātā, brahmā and adhvaryu) were gorgeously dressed, and they all looked exactly like demigods. They eagerly saw to the proper performance of the yajña.

SB 9.4.24, Translation and Purport:

The citizens of the state of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa were accustomed to chanting and hearing about the glorious activities of the Personality of Godhead. Thus they never aspired to be elevated to the heavenly planets, which are extremely dear even to the demigods.

A pure devotee who has been trained in the practice of chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord and His fame, qualities, form, paraphernalia and so on is never interested in elevation to the heavenly planets, even though such places are extremely dear even to the demigods.

nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve
na kutaścana bibhyati
api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ

"Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, never fear any condition of life. The heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same to a devotee." (SB 6.17.28) A devotee is always situated in the spiritual world. Therefore he does not desire anything. He is known as akāma, or desireless, because he has nothing to desire except to render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was a most exalted devotee of the Lord, he trained his subjects in such a way that the citizens in his state were not interested in anything material, including even the happiness of the heavenly planets.

SB 9.4.26, Translation:

The king of this planet, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, thus performed devotional service to the Lord and in this endeavor practiced severe austerity. Always satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead by his constitutional activities, he gradually gave up all material desires.

SB 9.4.27, Translation and Purport:

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa gave up all attachment to household affairs, wives, children, friends and relatives, to the best of powerful elephants, to beautiful chariots, carts, horses and inexhaustible jewels, and to ornaments, garments and an inexhaustible treasury. He gave up attachment to all of them, regarding them as temporary and material.

Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. Material possessions can be accepted as far as they can be used in devotional service. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). Ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyasya varjanam. In preaching, many things considered material are needed. A devotee should not have any attachment for such material involvements as house, wife, children, friends and cars. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, for example, had all such things, but he was not attached to them. This is the effect of bhakti-yoga. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (SB 11.2.42). One who is advanced in devotional service has no attachment for material things for sense enjoyment, but for preaching, to spread the glories of the Lord, he accepts such things without attachment. Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. Everything can be used to the extent that it can be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service.

SB 9.4.28, Translation and Purport:

Being very pleased by the unalloyed devotion of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gave the King His disc, which is fearful to enemies and which always protects the devotee from enemies and adversities.

A devotee, being always engaged in the service of the Lord, may not be expert in self-defense, but because a devotee fully depends on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is always sure of protection by the Lord. Prahlāda Mahārāja said:

naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaraṇyās
(SB 7.9.43)

A devotee is always merged in the ocean of the transcendental bliss of rendering service to the Lord. Therefore he is not at all afraid of any adverse situation in the material world. The Lord also promises, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati: "O Arjuna, you may declare to the world that the devotees of the Lord are never vanquished." (BG 9.31) For the protection of the devotees, Kṛṣṇa's disc, the Sudarśana cakra, is always ready. This disc is extremely fearful to the nondevotees (pratyanīka-bhayāvaham). Therefore although Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was fully engaged in devotional service, his kingdom was free of all fear of adversity.

SB 9.4.29, Translation and Purport:

To worship Lord Kṛṣṇa, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, along with his queen, who was equally qualified, observed the vow of Ekādaśī and Dvādaśī for one year.

To observe Ekādaśī-vrata and Dvādaśī-vrata means to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those interested in advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness must observe Ekādaśī-vrata regularly. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa's queen was equally as qualified as the King. Therefore it was possible for Mahārāja Ambarīṣa to engage his life in household affairs. In this regard, the word tulya-śīlayā is very significant. Unless a wife is equally as qualified as her husband, household affairs are very difficult to continue.

SB 9.4.30, Translation:

In the month of Kārtika, after observing that vow for one year, after observing a fast for three nights and after bathing in the Yamunā, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, in Madhuvana.

SB 9.4.31-32, Translation:

Following the regulative principles of mahābhiṣeka, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa performed the bathing ceremony for the Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa with all paraphernalia, and then he dressed the Deity with fine clothing, ornaments, fragrant flower garlands and other paraphernalia for worship of the Lord. With attention and devotion, he worshiped Kṛṣṇa and all the greatly fortunate brāhmaṇas who were free from material desires.

SB 9.4.33-35, Translation:

Thereafter, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa satisfied all the guests who arrived at his house, especially the brāhmaṇas. He gave in charity sixty crores of cows whose horns were covered with gold plate and whose hooves were covered with silver plate. All the cows were well decorated with garments and had full milk bags. They were mild-natured, young and beautiful and were accompanied by their calves. After giving these cows, the King first sumptuously fed all the brāhmaṇas, and when they were fully satisfied, he was about to observe the end of Ekādaśī, with their permission, by breaking the fast. Exactly at that time, however, Durvāsā Muni, the great and powerful mystic, appeared on the scene as an uninvited guest.

SB 9.4.36, Translation:

After standing up to receive Durvāsā Muni, King Ambarīṣa offered him a seat and paraphernalia of worship. Then, sitting at his feet, the King requested the great sage to eat.

SB 9.4.37, Translation:

Durvāsā Muni gladly accepted the request of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, but to perform the regulative ritualistic ceremonies he went to the River Yamunā. There he dipped into the water of the auspicious Yamunā and meditated upon the impersonal Brahman.

SB 9.4.39-40, Translation and Purport:

The King said: "To transgress the laws of respectful behavior toward the brāhmaṇas is certainly a great offense. On the other hand, if one does not observe the breaking of the fast within the time of Dvādaśī, there is a flaw in one's observance of the vow. Therefore, O brāhmaṇas, if you think that it will be auspicious and not irreligious, I shall break the fast by drinking water." In this way, after consulting with the brāhmaṇas, the King reached this decision, for according to brahminical opinion, drinking water may be accepted as eating and also as not eating.

When Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, in his dilemma, consulted the brāhmaṇas about whether he should break the fast or wait for Durvāsā Muni, apparently they could not give a definite answer about what to do. A Vaiṣṇava, however, is the most intelligent personality. Therefore Mahārāja Ambarīṣa himself decided, in the presence of the brāhmaṇas, that he would drink a little water, for this would confirm that the fast was broken but would not transgress the laws for receiving a brāhmaṇa. In the Vedas it is said, apo 'śnāti tan naivāśitaṁ naivānaśitam. This Vedic injunction declares that the drinking of water may be accepted as eating or as not eating. Sometimes in our practical experience we see that some political leader adhering to satyāgraha will not eat but will drink water. Considering that drinking water would not be eating, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa decided to act in this way.

SB 9.4.41, Translation:

O best of the Kuru dynasty, after he drank some water, King Ambarīṣa, meditating upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, waited for the return of the great mystic Durvāsā Muni.

SB 9.4.42, Translation:

After executing the ritualistic ceremonies to be performed at noon, Durvāsā returned from the bank of the Yamunā. The King received him well, offering all respects, but Durvāsā Muni, by his mystic power, could understand that King Ambarīṣa had drunk water without his permission.

SB 9.4.42, Translation:

After executing the ritualistic ceremonies to be performed at noon, Durvāsā returned from the bank of the Yamunā. The King received him well, offering all respects, but Durvāsā Muni, by his mystic power, could understand that King Ambarīṣa had drunk water without his permission.

SB 9.4.43, Translation:

Still hungry, Durvāsā Muni, his body trembling, his face curved and his eyebrows crooked in a frown, angrily spoke as follows to King Ambarīṣa, who stood before him with folded hands.

SB 9.4.44, Translation and Purport:

Alas, just see the behavior of this cruel man! He is not a devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. Being proud of his material opulence and his position, he considers himself God. Just see how he has transgressed the laws of religion.

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has diverted the entire meaning of this verse as spoken by Durvāsā Muni. Durvāsā Muni used the word nṛ-śaṁsasya to indicate that the King was cruel, but Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura interprets it to mean that the King's character was glorified by all the local people. He says that the word nṛ means "by all the local people" and that śaṁsasya means "of he (Ambarīṣa) whose character was glorified." Similarly, one who is very rich becomes mad because of his wealth and is therefore called śriyā-unmattasya, but Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura interprets these words to mean that although Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was such an opulent king, he was not mad after money, for he had already surpassed the madness of material opulence. Similarly, the word īśa-māninaḥ is interpreted to mean that he was so respectful to the Supreme Personality of Godhead that he did not transgress the laws for observing Ekādaśī-pāraṇa, despite the thinking of Durvāsā Muni, for he only took water. In this way, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has supported Ambarīṣa Mahārāja and all his activities.

SB 9.4.45, Translation and Purport:

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, you have invited me to eat as a guest, but instead of feeding me, you yourself have eaten first. Because of your misbehavior, I shall show you something to punish you.

A devotee cannot be defeated by a so-called mystic yogī. This will be proved by the failure of Durvāsā Muni's endeavor to chastise Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ (SB 5.18.12). One who is not a pure devotee of the Supreme Lord has no good qualifications, however great a mystic, philosopher or fruitive worker he may be. Only a devotee emerges victorious in all circumstances, as will be shown in this incident involving the rivalry between Durvāsā and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa.

SB 9.4.46, Translation:

As Durvāsā Muni said this, his face became red with anger. Uprooting a bunch of hair from his head, he created a demon resembling the blazing fire of devastation to punish Mahārāja Ambarīṣa.

SB 9.4.47, Translation and Purport:

Taking a trident in his hand and making the surface of the earth tremble with his footsteps, that blazing creature came before Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. But the King, upon seeing him, was not at all disturbed and did not move even slightly from his position.

Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28). A pure devotee of Nārāyaṇa is never afraid of any material danger. There are many examples of devotees such as Prahlāda Mahārāja, who was tortured by his father but was not at all afraid, although he was only a five-year-old boy. Therefore, following the examples of Ambarīṣa Mahārāja and Prahlāda Mahārāja, a devotee should learn how to tolerate all such awkward positions in this world. Devotees are often tortured by nondevotees, yet the pure devotee, depending fully on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is never disturbed by such inimical activities.

SB 9.4.48, Translation and Purport:

As fire in the forest immediately burns to ashes an angry snake, so, by the previous order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His disc, the Sudarśana cakra, immediately burnt to ashes the created demon to protect the Lord's devotee.

As a pure devotee, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, although in such danger, did not move an inch from his position, nor did he request the Supreme Personality of Godhead to give him protection. He was fixed in understanding, and it was certain that he was simply thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the core of his heart. A devotee is never fearful of his death, for he meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead always, not for any material profit, but as his duty. The Lord, however, knows how to protect His devotee. As indicated by the words prāg diṣṭam, the Lord knew everything. Therefore, before anything happened, He had already arranged for His cakra to protect Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. This protection is offered to a devotee even from the very beginning of his devotional service.

SB 9.4.65, Purport:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshiped by the words brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. Thus He is the well-wisher of the brāhmaṇas. Durvāsā Muni was certainly a very great brāhmaṇa, but because he was a nondevotee, he could not sacrifice everything in devotional service. Great mystic yogīs are actually self-interested. The proof is that when Durvāsā Muni created a demon to kill Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, the King stayed fixed in his place, praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and depending solely and wholly on Him, whereas when Durvāsā Muni was chased by the Sudarśana cakra by the supreme will of the Lord, he was so perturbed that he fled all over the world and tried to take shelter in every nook and corner of the universe. At last, in fear of his life, he approached Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and ultimately the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was so interested in his own body that he wanted to kill the body of a Vaiṣṇava. Therefore, he did not have very good intelligence, and how can an unintelligent person be delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead? The Lord certainly tries to give all protection to His devotees who have given up everything for the sake of serving Him.

SB 9.4.68, Purport:

Since Durvāsā Muni wanted to chastise Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, it is to be understood that he wanted to give pain to the heart of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for the Lord says, sādhavo hṛdayaṁ mahyam: "The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart." The Lord's feelings are like those of a father, who feels pain when his child is in pain. Therefore, offenses at the lotus feet of a devotee are serious. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has very strongly recommended that one not commit any offense at the lotus feet of a devotee. Such offenses are compared to a mad elephant because when a mad elephant enters a garden it causes devastation. Therefore one should be extremely careful not to commit offenses at the lotus feet of a pure devotee. Actually Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was not at all at fault; Durvāsā Muni unnecessarily wanted to chastise him on flimsy grounds. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa wanted to complete the Ekādaśī-pāraṇa as part of devotional service to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore he drank a little water. But although Durvāsā Muni was a great mystic brāhmaṇa, he did not know what is what. That is the difference between a pure devotee and a so-called learned scholar of Vedic knowledge.

SB 9.4.69, Translation and Purport:

O brāhmaṇa, let Me now advise you for your own protection. Please hear from Me. By offending Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, you have acted with self-envy. Therefore you should go to him immediately, without a moment's delay. One's so-called prowess, when employed against the devotee, certainly harms he who employs it. Thus it is the subject, not the object, who is harmed.

A Vaiṣṇava is always an object of envy for nondevotees, even when the nondevotee happens to be his father. To give a practical example, Hiraṇyakaśipu was envious of Prahlāda Mahārāja, but this envy of the devotee was harmful to Hiraṇyakaśipu, not to Prahlāda. Every action taken by Hiraṇyakaśipu against his son Prahlāda Mahārāja was taken very seriously by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus when Hiraṇyakaśipu was on the verge of killing Prahlāda, the Lord personally appeared and killed Hiraṇyakaśipu. Service to a Vaiṣṇava gradually accumulates and becomes an asset for the devotee. Similarly, harmful activities directed against the devotee gradually become the ultimate cause of the performer's falldown. Even such a great brāhmaṇa and mystic yogī as Durvāsā was in a most dangerous situation because of his offense at the lotus feet of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, a pure devotee.

SB 9.4.71, Translation:

O best of the brāhmaṇas, you should therefore go immediately to King Ambarīṣa, the son of Mahārāja Nābhāga. I wish you all good fortune. If you can satisfy Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, then there will be peace for you.

SB 9.4.71, Purport:

The lesson to be derived from this narration concerning Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and Durvāsā Muni is that all the demigods, including Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, are under the control of Lord Viṣṇu. Therefore, when a Vaiṣṇava is offended, the offender is punished by Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord. No one can protect such a person, even Lord Brahmā or Lord Śiva.

SB 9.5 Summary:

In this chapter we find Mahārāja Ambarīṣa offering prayers to the Sudarśana cakra and we find how the Sudarśana cakra became merciful to Durvāsā Muni.

By the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, Durvāsā Muni immediately went to Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and fell at his lotus feet. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, being naturally very humble and meek, felt shy and ashamed because Durvāsā Muni had fallen at his feet, and thus he began to offer prayers to the Sudarśana cakra just to save Durvāsā. What is this Sudarśana cakra? The Sudarśana cakra is the glance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by which He creates the entire material world. Sa aikṣata, sa asṛjata. This is the Vedic version. The Sudarśana cakra, which is the origin of creation and is most dear to the Lord, has thousands of spokes. This Sudarśana cakra is the killer of the prowess of all other weapons, the killer of darkness, and the manifester of the prowess of devotional service; it is the means of establishing religious principles, and it is the killer of all irreligious activities. Without his mercy, the universe cannot be maintained, and therefore the Sudarśana cakra is employed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Mahārāja Ambarīṣa thus prayed that the Sudarśana cakra be merciful, the Sudarśana cakra, being appeased, refrained from killing Durvāsā Muni, who thus achieved the Sudarśana cakra's mercy. Durvāsā Muni thus learned to give up the nasty idea of considering a Vaiṣṇava an ordinary person (vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhi). Mahārāja Ambarīṣa belonged to the kṣatriya group, and therefore Durvāsā Muni considered him lower than the brāhmaṇas and wanted to exercise brahminical power against him. By this incident, everyone should learn how to stop mischievous ideas of neglecting Vaiṣṇavas. After this incident, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa gave Durvāsā Muni sumptuous food to eat, and then the King, who had been standing in the same place for one year without eating anything, also took prasāda. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa later divided his property among his sons and went to the bank of the Mānasa-sarovara to execute devotional meditation.

SB 9.5.1, Translation:

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When thus advised by Lord Viṣṇu, Durvāsā Muni, who was very much harassed by the Sudarśana cakra, immediately approached Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Being very much aggrieved, the muni fell down and clasped the King's lotus feet.

SB 9.5.2, Translation:

When Durvāsā touched his lotus feet, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was very much ashamed, and when he saw Durvāsā attempting to offer prayers, because of mercy he was aggrieved even more. Thus he immediately began offering prayers to the great weapon of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

SB 9.5.3, Translation:

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa said: O Sudarśana cakra, you are fire, you are the most powerful sun, and you are the moon, the master of all luminaries. You are water, earth and sky, you are the air, you are the five sense objects (sound, touch, form, taste and smell), and you are the senses also.

SB 9.5.6, Purport:

The disc of the Lord is called Sudarśana because he does not discriminate between high and low criminals or demons. Durvāsā Muni was certainly a powerful brāhmaṇa, but his acts against the pure devotee Mahārāja Ambarīṣa were no better than the activities of asuras. As stated in the śāstras, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam: (SB 6.3.19) the word dharma refers to the orders or laws given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: (BG 18.66) real dharma is surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore real dharma means bhakti, or devotional service to the Lord. The Sudarśana cakra is here addressed as dharma-setave, the protector of dharma. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was a truly religious person, and consequently for his protection the Sudarśana cakra was ready to punish even such a strict brāhmaṇa as Durvāsā Muni because he had acted like a demon.

SB 9.5.13, Translation:

Durvāsā Muni, the greatly powerful mystic, was indeed satisfied when freed from the fire of the Sudarśana cakra. Thus he praised the qualities of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and offered him the highest benedictions.

SB 9.5.20, Purport:

It is said, vaiṣṇavera kriyā mudrā vijñeha nā bujhaya: (CC Madhya 23.39) even a very intelligent man cannot understand the activities of a pure Vaiṣṇava. Therefore, because Durvāsā Muni was a great mystic yogī, he first mistook Mahārāja Ambarīṣa for an ordinary human being and wanted to punish him. Such is the mistaken observation of a Vaiṣṇava. When Durvāsā Muni was persecuted by the Sudarśana cakra, however, his intelligence developed. Therefore the word ātma-medhasā is used to indicate that by his personal experience he would understand how great a Vaiṣṇava the King was. When Durvāsā Muni was chased by the Sudarśana cakra, he wanted to take shelter of Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and he was even able to go to the spiritual world, meet the Personality of Godhead and talk with Him face to face, yet he was unable to be rescued from the attack of the Sudarśana cakra. Thus he could understand the influence of a Vaiṣṇava by personal experience. Durvāsā Muni was certainly a great yogī and a very learned brāhmaṇa, but despite his being a real yogī he was unable to understand the influence of a Vaiṣṇava. Therefore it is said, vaiṣṇavera kriyā mudrā vijñeha nā bujhaya: even the most learned person cannot understand the value of a Vaiṣṇava. There is always a possibility for so-called jñānīs and yogīs to be mistaken when studying the character of a Vaiṣṇava. A Vaiṣṇava can be understood by how much he is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in terms of his inconceivable activities.

SB 9.5.23, Translation:

Durvāsā Muni had left the place of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, and as long as he had not returned—for one complete year—the King had fasted, maintaining himself simply by drinking water.

SB 9.5.24, Translation and Purport:

After one year, when Durvāsā Muni had returned, King Ambarīṣa sumptuously fed him all varieties of pure food, and then he himself also ate. When the King saw that the brāhmaṇa Durvāsā had been released from the great danger of being burned, he could understand that by the grace of the Lord he himself was also powerful, but he did not take any credit, for everything had been done by the Lord.

A devotee like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa is certainly always busy in many activities. Of course, this material world is full of dangers that one has to meet, but a devotee, because of his full dependence on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is never disturbed. The vivid example is Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. He was the emperor of the entire world and had many duties to perform, and in the course of these duties there were many disturbances created by persons like Durvāsā Muni, but the King tolerated everything, patiently depending fully on the mercy of the Lord. The Lord, however, is situated in everyone's heart (sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ (BG 15.15)), and He manages things as He desires. Thus although Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was faced with many disturbances, the Lord, being merciful to him, managed things so nicely that in the end Durvāsā Muni and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa became great friends and parted cordially on the basis of bhakti-yoga. After all, Durvāsā Muni was convinced of the power of bhakti-yoga, although he himself was a great mystic yogī. Therefore, as stated by Lord Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (6.47):

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

"Of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all." Thus it is a fact that a devotee is the topmost yogī, as proved in the dealings of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa with Durvāsā Muni.

SB 9.5.25, Translation and Purport:

In this way, because of devotional service, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, who was endowed with varieties of transcendental qualities, was completely aware of Brahman, Paramātmā and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus he executed devotional service perfectly. Because of his devotion, he thought even the topmost planet of this material world no better than the hellish planets.

An exalted and pure devotee like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa is in full awareness of Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān; in other words, a devotee of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is in full knowledge of the other features of the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth is realized in three features—Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān (brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11)). A devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, knows everything (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19)) because Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, includes both Paramātmā and Brahman. One does not have to realize Paramātmā by the yoga system, for the devotee always thinking of Vāsudeva is the topmost yogī (yoginām api sarveṣām (BG 6.47)). And as far as jñāna is concerned, if one is a perfect devotee of Vāsudeva, he is the greatest mahātmā (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ). A mahātmā is one who has full knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Thus Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, being a devotee of the Personality of Godhead, was in full awareness of Paramātmā, Brahman, māyā, the material world, the spiritual world, and how things are going on everywhere. Everything was known to him. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). Because the devotee knows Vāsudeva, he knows everything within the creation of Vāsudeva (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ). Such a devotee does not give much value to the highest standard of happiness within this material world.

SB 9.5.26, Translation and Purport:

Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Thereafter, because of his advanced position in devotional life, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, who no longer desired to live with material things, retired from active family life. He divided his property among his sons, who were equally as qualified, and he himself took the order of vānaprastha and went to the forest to concentrate his mind fully upon Lord Vāsudeva.

As a pure devotee, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was liberated in any condition of life because, as enunciated by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, a devotee is always liberated.

īhā yasya harer dāsye
karmaṇā manasā girā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu
jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī thus instructs that if one's only desire is service to the Lord, he is liberated in any condition of life. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was undoubtedly liberated in any condition, but as an ideal king he accepted the vānaprastha order of retirement from family life. It is essential for one to renounce family responsibilities and fully concentrate on the lotus feet of Vāsudeva. Therefore Mahārāja Ambarīṣa divided the kingdom among his sons and retired from family life.

SB 9.5.27, Translation and Purport:

Anyone who chants this narration or even thinks of this narration about the activities of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa certainly becomes a pure devotee of the Lord.

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura herein gives a very good example. When one is very eager for more and more money, he is not satisfied even when he is a millionaire or a multimillionaire, but wants to earn more and more money by any means. The same mentality is present in a devotee. The devotee is never satisfied, thinking, "This is the limit of my devotional service." The more he engages in the service of the Lord, the more service he wants to give. This is the position of a devotee. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, in his family life, was certainly a pure devotee, complete in every respect, because his mind and all his senses were engaged in devotional service (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18)). Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was self-satisfied because all of his senses were engaged in devotional service (sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam/ hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170)). Nonetheless, although Mahārāja Ambarīṣa had engaged all his senses in devotional service, he left his home and went to the forest to concentrate his mind fully at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, exactly as a mercantile man, even though complete in wealth, tries to earn more and more. This mentality of getting more and more engaged in devotional service puts one in the most exalted position. Whereas on the karma platform the mercantile man who wants more and more money becomes increasingly bound and entangled, the devotee becomes increasingly liberated.

SB 9.5.28, Translation:

By the grace of the Lord, those who hear about the activities of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, the great devotee, certainly become liberated or become devotees without delay.

SB 9.6 Summary:

After describing the descendants of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī described all the kings from Śaśāda to Māndhātā, and in this connection he also described how the great sage Saubhari married the daughters of Māndhātā.

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa had three sons, named Virūpa, Ketumān and Śambhu. The son of Virūpa was Pṛṣadaśva, and his son was Rathītara. Rathītara had no sons, but when he requested the favor of the great sage Aṅgirā, the sage begot several sons in the womb of Rathītara's wife. When the sons were born, they became the dynasty of Aṅgirā Ṛṣi and of Rathītara.

SB 9.6 Summary:

Thereafter, Māndhātā became the emperor and ruled the earth, which consists of seven islands. Thieves and rogues were very much afraid of this powerful king, and therefore the king was known as Trasaddasyu, meaning "one who is very fearful to rogues and thieves." Māndhātā begot sons in the womb of his wife, Bindumatī. These sons were Purukutsa, Ambarīṣa and Mucukunda. These three sons had fifty sisters, all of whom became wives of the great sage known as Saubhari.

SB 9.6.1, Translation:

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Ambarīṣa had three sons, named Virūpa, Ketumān and Śambhu. From Virūpa came a son named Pṛṣadaśva, and from Pṛṣadaśva came a son named Rathītara.

SB 9.6.38, Translation:

Māndhātā begot three sons in the womb of Bindumatī, the daughter of Śaśabindu. These sons were Purukutsa, Ambarīṣa, and Mucukunda, a great mystic yogī. These three brothers had fifty sisters, who all accepted the great sage Saubhari as their husband.

SB 9.7 Summary:

The most prominent son of Māndhātā was Ambarīṣa, his son was Yauvanāśva, and Yauvanāśva's son was Hārīta. These three personalities were the best in the dynasty of Māndhātā.

SB 9.7.1, Translation:

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The most prominent among the sons of Māndhātā was he who is celebrated as Ambarīṣa. Ambarīṣa was accepted as son by his grandfather Yuvanāśva. Ambarīṣa's son was Yauvanāśva, and Yauvanāśva's son was Hārīta. In Māndhātā's dynasty, Ambarīṣa, Hārīta and Yauvanāśva were very prominent.

SB 9.13.12, Purport:

The Vedic civilization prefers monarchy. People liked the government of Lord Rāmacandra, the government of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and the governments of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and Mahārāja Prahlāda.

SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13

SB 10.1.41, Purport:

"Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail." (BG 8.6) Therefore one must train the mind in the system of bhakti-yoga, as did Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, who kept himself always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). One must fix the mind at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours a day.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

CC Adi 1.62, Translation and Purport:

"Saints are My heart, and only I am their hearts. They do not know anyone but Me, and therefore I do not recognize anyone besides them as Mine."

This verse appears in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.4.68) in connection with a misunderstanding between Durvāsā Muni and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. As a result of this misunderstanding, Durvāsā Muni tried to kill the king, when the Sudarśana cakra, the celebrated weapon of Godhead, appeared on the scene for the devoted king's protection. When the Sudarśana cakra attacked Durvāsā Muni, he fled in fear of the weapon and sought shelter from all the great demigods in heaven. Not one of them was able to protect him, and therefore Durvāsā Muni prayed to Lord Viṣṇu for forgiveness. Lord Viṣṇu advised him, however, that if he wanted forgiveness he had to get it from Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, not from Him. In this context Lord Viṣṇu spoke this verse.

CC Adi 4.208, Translation and Purport:

"My devotees, having fulfilled their desires by serving Me, do not accept the four kinds of salvation that are easily earned by such service. Why then should they accept any pleasures that are lost in the course of time?"

This verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.4.67) was spoken by the Lord in connection with the characteristics of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Merging into the existence of the Absolute is as temporary as living in the celestial kingdom. Both of them are controlled by time; neither position is permanent.

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 8.72, Translation and Purport:

"'A man becomes purified simply by hearing the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose lotus feet create the holy places of pilgrimage. Therefore what remains to be attained by those who have become His servants?'"

This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.5.16) and is an admission by the great sage Durvāsā Muni. Durvāsā Muni, a caste brāhmaṇa and great yogī, used to hate Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. When he decided to chastise Mahārāja Ambarīṣa through his yogic powers, he was chased by the Sudarśana cakra of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When things were settled, he said, "When the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is heard by any person, that person is immediately sanctified. The Supreme Lord is master of the devotees, and the devotees, under His shelter, naturally come to own His opulences."

CC Madhya 22.135, Translation:

"There are many devotees who execute only one of the nine processes of devotional service. Nonetheless, they get ultimate success. Devotees like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa execute all nine items, and they also get ultimate success."

CC Madhya 22.137-139, Translation:

"'Mahārāja Ambarīṣa always engaged his mind at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, his words in describing the spiritual world and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his hands in cleansing and washing the Lord"s temple, his ears in hearing topics about the Supreme Lord, his eyes in seeing the Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the temple, his body in embracing Vaiṣṇavas or touching their lotus feet, his nostrils in smelling the aroma of the tulasī leaves offered to Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, his tongue in tasting food offered to Kṛṣṇa, his legs in going to places of pilgrimage like Vṛndāvana and Mathurā or to the Lord's temple, his head in touching the lotus feet of the Lord and offering Him obeisances, and his desires in serving the Lord faithfully. In this way Mahārāja Ambarīṣa engaged his senses in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As a result, he awakened his dormant loving propensity for the Lord's service.'"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 12:

The last five items—mentioned after the first thirty-nine—are very important and essential. If one can simply discharge these five items, he can be elevated to the highest perfectional stage, even if he does not execute them perfectly. One may be able to perform one item or many items, according to one's capacity, but it is the principal factor of complete attachment to devotional service that makes one advance on the path. There are many devotees in history who have attained perfection in devotional service simply by discharging the duties of one item, and there are many other devotees, like Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, who executed all the items. Some individual devotees who attained perfection in devotional service by executing only one item are: Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who was liberated and fully perfected simply by hearing; Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who became liberated and attained perfection in devotional service simply by chanting; Prahlāda Mahārāja, who attained perfection by remembering; Lakṣmī, who attained perfection by serving the lotus feet of the Lord; King Pṛthu, who attained perfection simply by worshiping; Akrūra, who attained perfection simply by praying; Hanumān, who attained perfection simply by becoming the servant of Lord Rāma; Arjuna, who attained perfection simply by being a friend of Kṛṣṇa's; and Bali Mahārāja who attained perfection simply by offering whatever he had in his possession. As far as Mahārāja Ambarīṣa is concerned, he actually performed all the items of devotional service. He first of all engaged his mind upon the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. He engaged his words, his power of speaking, in describing the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He engaged his hands in washing the temple of the Deity, his ears in hearing the words of Kṛṣṇa and his eyes in beholding the Deity. He engaged his sense of touch by rendering service to the devotees, and he engaged his sense of smell by relishing the fragrance of the flowers offered to Kṛṣṇa. He engaged his tongue in tasting the tulasī leaves offered to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, his legs in going to the temple of Kṛṣṇa, and his head in offering obeisances to the Deity of Kṛṣṇa. Because all his desires and ambitions were thus engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa is considered the leader in discharging devotional service in all kinds of ways.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 23:

In Padma Purāṇa also there is reference about the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam during a conversation between Gautama and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was advised to read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam regularly if he at all desired liberation from material bondage. Under these circumstances, there is no doubt regarding the authority of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. For the past five hundred years many scholars have made elaborate commentaries upon Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and have displayed unique scholarship. The serious student will do well to attempt to go through them in order to more happily relish the transcendental messages of the Bhāgavatam.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 28:

If love of Godhead is elevated to the personal platform, it is called prema-bhakti. In the beginning of prema-bhakti, a particular relationship between the Supreme Lord and the devotee is not established, but when prema-bhakti develops, a relationship with the Supreme Lord is manifested in different transcendental flavors. The first stage is that of servitude, wherein the Supreme Lord is accepted as the master and the devotee as the eternal servitor. When Lord Caitanya accepted this process, Rāmānanda Rāya described the relationship between the servitor and the master. As described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.5.16), Durvāsā Muni, a great mystic yogī who considered himself very elevated, envied Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, who was known as the greatest devotee of the time. In an attempt to harass Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, Durvāsā Muni met with a great catastrophe and was defeated by the sudarśana-cakra of the Lord. Durvāsā Muni admitted his fault and said, "For pure devotees who are always engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, nothing is considered impossible, for they are engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord, whose very name is sufficient for liberation."

Nectar of Devotion

Nectar of Devotion 2:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given us an authorized program for this purpose, centered around the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This chanting has so much power that it immediately attaches one to Kṛṣṇa. That is the beginning of sādhana-bhakti. Somehow or other, one has to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa. The great saint Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, although a responsible king, fixed his mind on Kṛṣṇa, and similarly anyone who tries to fix his mind in this way will very rapidly make progress in successfully reviving his original Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Nectar of Devotion 14:

There are also examples of devotees who discharged all the different items together. In the Ninth Canto, Fourth Chapter, verses 18, 19 and 20, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, there is a statement about Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, who followed every one of the devotional processes. In these verses, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, "King Ambarīṣa first of all concentrated his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa and then engaged his speech in describing the pastimes and activities of the Lord. He engaged his hands in washing the temple of the Lord. He engaged his ears in hearing of the transcendental glories of the Lord. He engaged his eyes in seeing the beautiful Deity in the temple. He engaged his body in associating with the pure devotees of the Lord. (When you associate with someone you have to sit down together, eat together, etc.—and in this way the touch of your body with his body is inevitable. Ambarīṣa Mahārāja made his association only with pure devotees and did not allow his body to be touched by anyone else.) He engaged his nostrils in smelling the flowers and tulasī offered to Kṛṣṇa, and he engaged his tongue in tasting Kṛṣṇa prasāda (food prepared specifically for offering to the Lord, the remnants of which are taken by the devotees). Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was able to offer very nice prasāda to Kṛṣṇa because he was a king and had no scarcity of finances. He used to offer Kṛṣṇa the most royal dishes and would then taste the remnants as kṛṣṇa-prasāda. There was no scarcity in his royal style, because he had a very beautiful temple wherein the Deity of the Lord was decorated with costly paraphernalia and offered high-grade food. So everything was available, and his engagement was always completely in Kṛṣṇa consciousness." The idea is that we should follow in the footsteps of great devotees. If we are unable to execute all the different items of devotional service, we must try to execute at least one of them, as exemplified by previous ācāryas. If we are engaged in the execution of all the items of devotional service, as was Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, then the perfection of devotional service is guaranteed from each one of these items. With the first complete engagement, one becomes automatically detached from material contamination, and liberation becomes the maidservant of the devotee. This idea is confirmed by Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura. If one develops unalloyed devotion to the Lord, liberation will follow the devotee as his maidservant.

Nectar of Devotion 17:

When King Ambarīṣa was put into difficulty by Durvāsā, he began to think of the lotus feet of the Lord, and thus there were some changes in his body, and tears were falling from his eyes. These symptoms are activities of ecstasy. They are visible in the shivering of the body and the shedding of tears. After the outward appearance of these ecstatic symptoms, they stay within the mind, and continuation of the ecstasy is called samādhi. This stage of appreciation becomes the cause of future exchanges of loving affairs with Kṛṣṇa.

Easy Journey to Other Planets

Easy Journey to Other Planets 1:

These are nine standard modes of devotional service to the Lord, and a candidate can choose to adopt any one, two, three, four or all, however he likes. All the services rendered to the Absolute are in themselves absolute, with none of the quantitative or qualitative differences found on the material platform. On the spiritual platform everything is identical with everything else, although there is transcendental variegatedness. Emperor Ambarīṣa adopted all the above nine items, and he attained perfect success. It was he who engaged his mind on the lotus feet of the Lord, his voice in describing the spiritual world, his hands in cleansing the temple of the Lord, his ears in submissively hearing the words of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, his eyes in viewing the Deities of the Lord, his body in touching the bodies of the devotees, his nostrils in smelling the flowers offered to the Lord, his tongue in tasting the food offered to the Lord, his legs in visiting the temple of the Lord, and all the energy of his life in executing the services of the Lord without in the least desiring his own sense gratification. All these activities helped him attain the perfect stage of life which defeats all dexterities of material science.

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Krsna Book 89:

The highest perfectional knowledge is knowledge of the Supreme Lord. He cannot be understood by any process of religion other than devotional service; therefore, the immediate result of perfect knowledge is achieved by executing devotional service. After attainment of knowledge, one becomes uninterested in the material world. This is not because of dry philosophical speculation. The devotees become uninterested in the material world not simply because of theoretical understanding but because of practical experience. When a devotee realizes the effect of association with the Supreme Lord, he naturally hates the association of so-called society, friendship and love. This detachment is not dry but is due to achieving a higher status of life by relishing transcendental mellows. It is further stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that after attainment of such knowledge and such detachment from material sense gratification, one's advancement in the eight opulences attained through mystic yoga practice, such as the aṇimā, laghimā and prāpti siddhis, is also achieved without separate effort. The perfect example is Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. He was not a mystic yogī but a great devotee, yet in a disagreement with Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, the great mystic Durvāsā was defeated in the presence of the King's devotional attitude. In other words, a devotee does not need to practice the mystic yoga system to achieve power. The power is behind him by the grace of the Lord, just as when a small child is surrendered to a powerful father, all the powers of the father are behind him.

Renunciation Through Wisdom

Renunciation Through Wisdom 2.9:

Factually, whatever problems crop up in the world are caused by the mind. Paṇḍitas have researched the scriptures thoroughly and held many discussions on this topic. If we can follow the example set by the subjects of King Ambarīṣa, who under his guidance concentrated their minds on the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, then the mind can be cured of all ills. Any other process will bring upon us the fate described by Prahlāda Mahārāja in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.18.12): harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ.

Mukunda-mala-stotra (mantras 1 to 6 only)

Mukunda-mala-stotra mantra 1, Purport:

The Lord has emphatically declared that no one can vanquish His devotee under any circumstances. A good example is Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. When the great mystic yogī Durvāsā deliberately attempted to take the life of Ambarīṣa, the Lord suitably punished Durvāsā, even though he was a powerful yogī who could approach all the demigods and even the Lord Himself.

Page Title:Ambarisa Maharaja (Books)
Compiler:MadhuGopaldas, Labangalatika, Visnu Murti
Created:21 of Oct, 2010
Totals by Section:BG=4, SB=92, CC=5, OB=10, Lec=0, Con=0, Let=0
No. of Quotes:111