Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.17.22

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ŚB 1.17.22

धर्मं ब्रवीषि धर्मज्ञ धर्मोऽसि वृषरूपधृक् ।
यदधर्मकृत: स्थानं सूचकस्यापि तद्भवेत् ॥ २२ ॥
dharmaṁ bravīṣi dharma-jña
dharmo ’si vṛṣa-rūpa-dhṛk
yad adharma-kṛtaḥ sthānaṁ
sūcakasyāpi tad bhavet


rājā uvāca — the King said; dharmam — religion; bravīṣi — as you speak; dharmajña — O one who knows the codes of religion; dharmaḥ — the personality of religion; asi — you are; vṛṣarūpadhṛk — in the disguise of a bull; yat — whatever; adharmakṛtaḥ — one who acts irreligiously; sthānam — place; sūcakasya — of the identifier; api — also; tat — that; bhavet— becomes.


The King said: O you, who are in the form of a bull! You know the truth of religion, and you are speaking according to the principle that the destination intended for the perpetrator of irreligious acts is also intended for one who identifies the perpetrator. You are no other than the personality of religion.


A devotee’s conclusion is that no one is directly responsible for being a benefactor or mischief-monger without the sanction of the Lord; therefore he does not consider anyone to be directly responsible for such action. But in both the cases he takes it for granted that either benefit or loss is God-sent, and thus it is His grace. In case of benefit, no one will deny that it is God-sent, but in case of loss or reverses one becomes doubtful about how the Lord could be so unkind to His devotee as to put him in great difficulty. Jesus Christ was seemingly put into such great difficulty, being crucified by the ignorant, but he was never angry at the mischief-mongers. That is the way of accepting a thing, either favorable or unfavorable. Thus for a devotee the identifier is equally a sinner, like the mischief-monger. By God’s grace, the devotee tolerates all reverses. Mahārāja Parīkṣit observed this, and therefore he could understand that the bull was no other than the personality of religion himself. In other words, a devotee has no suffering at all because so-called suffering is also God’s grace for a devotee who sees God in everything. The cow and bull never placed any complaint before the King for being tortured by the personality of Kali, although everyone lodges such complaints before the state authorities. The extraordinary behavior of the bull made the King conclude that the bull was certainly the personality of religion, for no one else could understand the finer intricacies of the codes of religion.

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