This story is also unique in the sense that it establishes that God also resides in his holy legends. It gives stories what I have thought all along to be a life-like quality, an element of reality. The following story, in the chapter 25, 26, 27 of Canto 4 B of Shrimadbhagvata Mahapurana consists of great sage Narada’s commentary on morale of the story.
The first part strictly suggests why sacrifices are waste and Bhakti is most important is suggested later on.
Chapter 25: About the Character of King Purañjana
(1) Maitreya said: ‘After thus having given instruction, the Destroyer worshiped by the sons of Barhishat vanished from there right before the eyes of the princes. (2) While they at that water for an endless number of years executed austerities, all the Pracetâs recited the prayer as sung by Lord S’iva. (3) Oh Vidura, meanwhile a compassionate Nârada as a knower of the spiritual truth instructed King Prâcînabarhi who had a mind full of attachment to fruitive activities: (4) ‘Oh King, [he said] what spiritual welfare do you expect from fruitive activities? That way engaged you will not see the misery disappear nor will the ultimate good of happiness be attained.’
(5) The king replied: ‘I don’t know oh great transcendental soul, my intelligence is occupied by my desire for the fruits. Please enlighten me on the pure, spiritual knowledge that will relieve me of my workload. (6) In the superficial duties of one’s family life with sons, a wife and wealth, transcendence is not considered to be the goal of life, and thus one discovers that one is a fool wandering around on all paths of material existence.’
(7) Nârada said: ‘Oh my dearest ruler of the citizens, oh King, may I remind you of all the thousands of animals that you without pity have killed in the sacrifices? (8) Remembering the harm you did to them, they are all waiting for you boiling with anger to pierce you with horns of iron after you’ve died. (9) In this connection I will relate to you the very old story about the character of Purañjana [‘he who is after the city that is the body’]. Understand what I’m going to tell you now. (10) Once there was a king of great renown named Purañjana oh Ruler. He had a friend called Avijñâta [‘the unknown one’] of whom nobody knew what he did. (11) He restlessly traveled the planet all over to hold his ground [with a residence], but when he couldn’t find [that place for] himself that way, he got morose. (12) Wishing a residence that answered to all his desires he thought that none of all the places that he saw was good enough. (13) One day at the southern side of the Himalayas he spotted on its ridges a city with nine gates that offered him all facilities [compare B.G. 5: 13]. (14) Packed with houses and surrounded by walls it had towers, gates, parks, canals, windows and domes made of gold, silver and iron. (15) The floors of the palaces were bedecked with sapphires, crystal, diamonds, pearls, emeralds and rubies which gave the city a luster as radiating as the celestial town called Bhogavatî. (16) There were assembly houses, squares and streets with gambling houses, shops and places to repose which were decorated with flags, festoons and hanging gardens. (17) In the outskirts of that town one saw the nicest trees and creepers and there was a lake vibrating with the sounds of chirping birds and colonies of humming bees. (18) From the waterfall of a mountain stream the treasury of trees on the bank of the lotus-filled lake received a springtime mist of water droplets on its branches. (19) The different groups of forest animals were as tame as the wisest sages and all the cooing of its cuckoos made any passenger feel welcome. (20) There he happened to see a very beautiful woman coming towards him surrounded by ten servants who each led a hundred others. (21) Young as she was with a desirable, well-shaped figure she was looking for a husband and on all sides guarded by a five-hooded snake. (22) With an attractive nose and beautiful teeth the young woman had a nice forehead and beautiful harmoniously to her face arranged ears with dazzling earrings. (23) She wore a yellow garment and had a beautiful waist with a dark skin, a golden belt and at her feet ankle bells tinkling as she walked. She looked like a denizen of heaven. (24) Pacing as graceful as an elephant she with the end of her sârî, timidly tried to cover the equally round and full breasts speaking for her youth. (25) Moved by her sexual attraction, the arrows of her looks, the exciting love of her eyebrows and the great beauty of her coy smiles, the hero addressed her very gently.
(26) ‘Who are you with those beautiful lotus petal eyes? Who do you belong to, where do you come from and what are you doing here near this city oh chaste one? Please be so kind to tell me what your plans are oh timid girl. (27) Who are all these followers, your eleven guards and all these women? Oh you with your beautiful eyes, what kind of snake is that preparing your way? (28) In your shyness you are as the wife of S’iva [Umâ] or rather Sarasvatî [of Brahmâ] or even better… the Goddess of Fortune [Lakshmî belonging to Vishnu]! Where is the lotus flower that must have fallen from the palm of your hand in your search for your husband, you as alone as a sage in the forest walking on feet from which one may expect anything one might wish for? (29) And when you are none of these [goddesses] oh fortunate one – for your feet are touching the ground – then you as someone who is so much alike the transcendental goddess of the Enjoyer of the Sacrifices, deserve it to walk to the greater beauty of this city alongside this great hero, I who am of the greatest glory in this world! (30) By your shy looks, sympathetic smiles and bewildering eyebrows you have upset me. Because of you I am pained by the almighty Cupid. Therefore have mercy with me, my dearest beauty. (31) Your face with such nice eyebrows and warm eyes, surrounded by the locks of your bluish hair hanging loose, you in your shyness haven’t even lifted to grant me the vision of your look and the sweet words of your speech oh woman with the lovely smile.’
(32) Nârada said: ‘Oh hero, the woman attracted by the impatient begging of Purañjana, smiled and addressed the staunch one: (33) ‘I’m not sure about who has put me on this planet oh best among the men, nor from whose lineage the others were born or what their names are. (34) What I know is that all of us souls are there today, that is all. I do not know oh hero, who created this city where all beings have their residence. (35) All these men and women at my side are my male and female friends oh respectable one, and when I am asleep the snake stays awake to protect this city. (36) Fortunately you have come to this place, may you find all happiness! I and my friends oh killer of the enemy, will provide for all the sense enjoyment you desire. (37) Just be so good to stay in this city with the nine gates oh mighty one, to enjoy for a hundred years the matters of life that I have arranged here for you. (38) Who else but you would I allow to enjoy? Without the certainty of your wisdom and knowledge in this, that would be as foolish as it is for animals not seeing what lies ahead, to aspire a life in the hereafter. (39) With religious rituals, economic development and regulated pleasures one can enjoy a life here beyond the ken of the transcendentalists in having offspring, the nectar of the sacrifices, a good repute and [access to higher] worlds without lamentation and disease. (40) The forefathers, the gods, man in general, all living beings and each person for himself, will all defend that a householder’s life like this constitutes the [safe and] blessed refuge [for people] in the material world. (41) Who indeed my great hero, would not accept such an easy to get magnanimous, beautiful and famous husband like you? (42) Which woman’s mind in this world would not be drawn to your able body with its strong arms oh mighty man who only travels around to dissipate with your utmost effort and alluring smiles the distress of a poor woman like me?’
(43) Nârada continued: ‘O King, thus at that place having agreed upon the terms of their engagement with each other, they as husband and wife entered the city to enjoy their life there for a hundred years. (44) When it was too hot he surrounded by women entered the river to sport with them there, and the singers at different places sang nice songs about it. (45) The city had seven gates above the ground and two below that were constructed for the ruler or anyone else to go to different places. (46) Five of the gates faced the east, one was at the south, one at the north and two gates where found at the western side. I will describe their names to you oh King. (47) At one place at the eastern side two gates were built named Khadyotâ [‘glowworm’] and Âvirmukhî [‘torchlight’]. The king used them to go to the city of Vibhrâjita [‘to see clearly’] with his friend Dyumân [‘of the sun’]. (48) At another location in the east there were built the gates called Nalinî and Nâlinî [‘mystical names for the nostrils’] and they were used when he with his friend named Avadhûta [‘the one who got rid’] went to a place called Saurabha [‘aroma’]. (49) The fifth gate on the eastern side called Mukhyâ [‘of the mouth’] was used by the king of the city, accompanied by Rasajña [‘the taster’] and Vipana [‘the organ of speech’], to go to two places called Bahûdana [‘many a gift’] and Âpana [‘the market’]. (50) Going through the southern city gate named Pitrihû [‘invoking the ancestors’] oh King, Purañjana together with his friend S’rutadhara [‘having a good memory’] visited the southern country side named Dakshina-pañcâla [‘the southern territories’]. (51) The city gate called Devahû [‘the one to God’] in the north was used by Purañjana to visit together with S’rutadhara the northern countryside Uttara-pañcâla [‘the northern fivefold’]. (52) The gate on the western side called Âsurî [‘the one void of light’] was used by Purañjana to go together with Durmada [‘the one mad about’] to the city of pleasure called Grâmaka [‘a small place’]. (53) The western gate called Nirriti [‘the bottom, dissolution’] was used by Purañjana to go to the place called Vais’asa [‘distress, slaughter’] accompanied by his friend Lubdhaka [‘the covetous one’]. (54) The king belonging to those endowed with sight went through [the subterranean gates named] Nirvâk [‘speechlessness’] and Pes’askrit [‘the hand’] to engage in activities together with two blind citizens. (55) When he went to his private quarters, he did so accompanied by Vishûcîna [‘going apart’] and then in a state of illusion to his satisfaction and happiness enjoyed the love of his wife and children. (56) Thus strongly attached to act in lust and foolishness for the sake of a certain result, he was cheated in being controlled by whatever his queen wanted him to do. (57-61) When she drank liquor, he drank and got drunk. When she ate he ate, chewing with her whatever she was chewing. When his wife sang he used to sing and when she at times had to cry, he cried too. When she had to laugh he laughed as well, when she talked chitchat, he prattled after her. Wherever she went for a walk, he followed in her footsteps, when she stood still, he stood still and when she laid herself down on her bed, he had the habit to lie down following her example. He also had the habit of sitting down when she sat and at times listened to what she was listening to. When she saw something he looked for the same and when she smelled something, he usually smelled it too. When she touched, he touched and when she was complaining he followed her in being equally wretched. He enjoyed it when she was enjoying and when she was satisfied, he was the same after her. (62) Thus captivated by the queen he was led astray, away from his own nature and as the foolish king who helplessly did what she did, as weak as a pet animal.’