Srimad Bhagavatam - day 258
Maharishi Narada continues, “The Sun which causes rainfall absorbs back this same water during summer. All mobile and immobile entities which emerge from earth eventually merge back into it. Likewise this universe, which is nothing but the flow of Nature composed of the trigunas, is born out of Srihari and once again merges back into Him.
The real essence of this universe is Srihari! The description of Srihari given in the Shastras is beyond Nature (Prakriti). It is Self-effulgent. It is different from the gross body made up of the 5 basic elements been created by Nature.
Human beings have the misconception that they are different from ***. Only when the human being realizes that he is the Self and not the body, he will be able to destroy this illusion.
Sun’s rays do not have an existence different from the Sun. Senses which manifest during the waking state and which merge back into the Self during deep sleep appear to be different from the Self, although they do not. In the similar manner, this world which has emerged from Srihari does not have an existence separate from Him.
O Pracetās! In the sky darkness, clouds and lightning appear and disappear. Likewise in Srihari, the illusory power composed of the trigunas, appears at the time of creation and disappears during dissolution.
This creation is a flow of these energies. Srihari is the Self for all living beings. He is the personification of time. He is the cause for this entire creation. He is beyond Nature. He is an embodiment of completeness and knowledge. He is untouched by the qualities of these trigunas, which emerge out of illusion.
Therefore, accept that you have a non-dual existence with Him. Understand Him to be your true Self and thus offer services to Him.
Dayayā sarva-bhūteṣu santuṣṭyā yena kena vā
Sarvendriyopaśāntyā ca tuṣyaty āśu janārdanaḥ
Srihari will be extremely pleased when a person is compassionate towards all forms of life, is contented, withdraws the senses from objects of sensory pleasures and is peaceful. As the hearts of pure devotees are totally freed from material desires, they are totally pure. In such pure heart they consecrate the Lord. He allows such devotees to keep Him under their sway and He never disappears from their heart-space.
Narrow minded persons are conceited due to their vast education, immense wealth, famous ancestry, their large contributions to society or the extensive worship performed by them. They indulge in atrocities towards the saintly persons. Srihari never accepts worship performed by such persons.
The poor whose only wealth is Self-knowledge are true Mahatmas. The Lord is aware of the devotion that drips from their heart. He does not care for Goddess Lakshmi who endlessly serves Him. Nor does He care for the Kings and Devatas, who seeking prosperity chase Goddess Lakshmi. Will a person, who never forgets favours received from others, ever forget Lord Srihari?”
In this way, Maharishi Narada through innumerable examples and stories explained to them the greatness of Lord Srihari and then returned to his abode.
Those who listen to the divine stories of Lord Srihari are totally absolved of their sins. Pracetās were fortunate to listen to such divine glory directly from Maharishi Narada. They meditated exclusively upon Lord Srihari’s lotus feet and eventually reached His abode.
O Vidura, this is the conversation between Maharishi Narada and Pracetās during which Lord Srihari was greatly extolled. I have narrated to you the entire conversation as requested by you” said Maharishi Maitreya.
Maharishi Śuka said to Emperor Parikshit, “O emperor, until now I have explained about the descendants of Uttānapada, one of the sons of Swāyambhuva Manu. Now I will narrate the lineage of his other son Priyavrata. Please listen attentively.
Priyavrata obtained Self-knowledge from Maharishi Narada. He ruled his kingdom wisely enjoying all luxuries. Thereafter he divided his kingdom among his sons and merged into the Supreme Lord.
When Maharishi Maitreya was thus narrating the divine glories of that indisputable Lord, devotion surged in Vidura who was listening attentively. Tears flowed profusely from his eyes. With his head he touched the feet of Maharishi Maitreya. Fixing his mind totally upon Lord Srihari’s lotus feet, he addressed Maharishi Maitreya and said,
“O great saint, you are an epitome of compassion. For this reason you have shown to me the path of liberation which lies on the other shore of the ocean of ignorance. You have showered me with knowledge. Those who are immersed in this knowledge will definitely obtain the grace of Lord Srihari”.
He once again offered obeisance to Maharishi Maitreya. Then taking his permission he left for Hastinapura in order to meet his relatives.
Etad yaḥ śṛṇuyād rājan rājñāṁ hary-arpitātmanām
Āyur dhanaṁ yaśaḥ svasti gatim aiśvaryam āpnuyāt
O Emperor Parikshit, those who listen to these stories of kings who have totally surrendered to the Supreme Lord will be blessed with longevity, wealth, good reputation, all forms of auspiciousness and merger into the Supreme Lord” said Maharishi Śuka.
With this the fourth canto comes to an end.