Srimad Bhagavatam - day 261
Among these 10 sons, Kavi, Mahāvīra and Savana were complete celibates. Right from childhood they trained in Self-knowledge. They accepted the life of renunciation (sanyasa) and were saints of the highest Parama-hamsa cadre. Giving up actions in totality, they mastered the highest levels of devotion.
Bhagavato vāsudevasya bhītānāṁ śaraṇa-bhūtasya
bhagavati sarveṣāṁ bhūtānām ātma-bhūte tādātmyam aviśeṣeṇa samīyuḥ.
Srikrishna is the residence for all living entities. He dispels fear in those who have sought refuge in Him. These 3 brothers meditated exclusively upon the lotus feet of this Lord. With this their mind turned pure. As a result, the Supreme Lord, who resides as the Self within all beings, manifested in their hearts. Giving up egoism completely they merged into the Lord.
Emperor Priyavrata had another wife. Through her he begot sons named Uttama, Tāmasa and Raivata. They became the leaders of the Manvantara.
Thereafter Emperor Priyavrata ruled the earth for 11 crore years. Through the strength of his powerful arms, he achieved absolute success. When he held the bow in his powerful hands and pulled the string, the sound generated would cause unrighteous persons to shudder and they would flee.
Together with his wife he enjoyed all palatial luxuries. His wife Barhiśmati was very dear to him.
The Sun circumambulates around the Mount Meru and thus illumines the earth. Yet, he illumines only half of earth while retaining the other half in darkness. Emperor Priyavrata did not appreciate this. He worshipped Lord Srihari and obtained supernatural mystical powers.
He then mounted his brightly illuminating chariot which was at par with the Sun in speed. He pledged to convert night into day with his mystical powers. He was shining like the Sun himself. He followed the Sun’s orbit and circumambulated around Mount Meru seven times.
As he was circumambulating, the rims of his chariot wheels created seven dents. With this, seven oceans were created. The seven oceans cause the larger earth to be divided into seven islands with each ocean encircling one island. Each island is twice the size of its preceding island.
The seven divisions are Jambhu dweepa, Plakśa dweepa, Śālmali dweepa, Kuśa dweepa, Krounca dweepa, Śāka dweepa and Pushkara dweepa. There seven oceans are made up of seven different substances: salt, sugarcane, wine, ghee, milk, curd and water. Each island is equal in size to its corresponding ocean.
Among the 10 sons of Priyavrata, 3 had taken up sanyāsa. Now Priyavrata crowned his remaining 7 sons i.e. Āgnīdhra, Idhmajihva, Yajñabāhu, Hiraṇyaretā,Ghṛtapṛṣṭha, Medhātithi and Vītihotra ,as the kings of the seven islands.
He gave his daughter Urjasvati in marriage to Śukrācharya. This couple had a daughter by name Devayāni.
Naivaṁ-vidhaḥ puruṣa-kāra urukramasya
Puṁsāṁ tad-aṅghri-rajasā jita-ṣaḍ-guṇānām
Citraṁ vidūra-vigataḥ sakṛd ādadīta
Yan-nāmadheyam adhunā sa jahāti bandham
To that Lord, who during His incarnation as Vāmana measured the three worlds with His three feet, creating 7 islands and 7 oceans cannot be a mammoth task, isn’t it? It is not at all surprising therefore that his ardent devotees get the ability to undertake such creation. Those who devotedly worship the Lord conquer their senses and mind completely. In addition they also conquer hunger, thirst, attachments, grief and infatuation. They are over and above the six *** transformations such as old age and death. Even if an untouchable chants the Lord’s name once with devotion, he will obtain freedom from worldly bondages.
Priyavrata’s possessed unsurpassed valour. While serving Maharishi Narada, he was also living amidst all kingly luxuries. Therefore it appeared as if some bliss was being enjoyed by him. One day, this saintly king who was truly dispassionate, began to ponder as follows,
“How ridiculous is my *** deed. It is known fact that ignorance is the root for all suffering. This ignorance attracts all sensory pleasures towards it. These senses have caused in me an attachment towards these material pleasures. They have thrown me into the deep pit called samsāra.
Enough of these luxuries! For so long like a monkey I was dancing to the tunes of a woman. I became a puppet in her hands. My behavior is truly despicable”.
At that moment, due to the Lord’s grace, realization dawned in him. Feelings of dispassion further strengthened in him. He then divided this earth among his sons, based on their eligibility. All these years he had led a righteous life together with his wife. He effortlessly left behind all his material possessions including his kingdom. In his mind he exclusively recollected all the glories and pastimes of Lord Srikrishna. He now walked on the path shown by Maharishi Narada.
Priyavrata-kṛtaṁ karma ko nu kuryād vineśvaram – None other than the Supreme Lord can perform the great deeds which Priyavrata had accomplished. Seated in his radiant chariot he dispelled darkness. He created the seven oceans.
In order to ensure the well-being of people on earth, he divided it into 7 islands. Within each island he created many mountains, rivers and forests as their boundaries.
Priyavrata had great love for devotees of the Lord. Based on the sins and merits a living entity is rewarded with life in ***, earth or heaven. In Priyavrata’s opinion all these were hellish conditions.
With this the first chapter of the fifth canto namely Priyavratopkhyana comes to an end.