Salutations to Brāhmaṇas and saints
suni samujhahiṃ jana mudita mana majjahiṃ ati anurāga.
lahahiṃ cāri phala achata tanu sādhu samāja prayāga..2.. [1-2]
Men who having heard the glory of this moving Prayāga in the form of the assemblage of holy men appreciate it with an enraptured mind and then take a plunge into it with extreme devotion obtain the four rewards* of human existence during their very lifetime.(2)
- * The four rewards of human existence are: (1) Dharma or religious merit (2) Artha or material riches (3) Kāma or sensuous enjoyment and (4) Mokṣa or release from the bondage of worldly existence.
majjana phala pēkhia tatakālā. kāka hōhiṃ pika bakau marālā..
suni ācaraja karai jani kōī. satasaṃgati mahimā nahiṃ gōī.. [1-2-1]
bālamīka nārada ghaṭajōnī. nija nija mukhani kahī nija hōnī..
jalacara thalacara nabhacara nānā. jē jaḍa cētana jīva jahānā.. [1-2-2]
mati kīrati gati bhūti bhalāī. jaba jēhiṃ jatana jahāom jēhiṃ pāī..
sō jānaba satasaṃga prabhāū. lōkahu bēda na āna upāū.. [1-2-3]
binu satasaṃga bibēka na hōī. rāma kṛpā binu sulabha na sōī..
satasaṃgata muda maṃgala mūlā. sōi phala sidhi saba sādhana phūlā.. [1-2-4]
saṭha sudharahiṃ satasaṃgati pāī. pārasa parasa kudhāta suhāī..
bidhi basa sujana kusaṃgata parahīṃ. phani mani sama nija guna anusarahīṃ.. [1-2-5]
bidhi hari hara kabi kōbida bānī. kahata sādhu mahimā sakucānī..
sō mō sana kahi jāta na kaisēṃ. sāka banika mani guna gana jaisēṃ.. [1-2-6]
The result of an immersion into the sacred waters of this king of holy places is instantly perceived: crows turn into cuckoos and herons into swans. Let no one marvel to hear this; the glory of contact with saints is no secret. Vālmīki †, Nārada ‡ and Agastya §, who was born of a pitcher, have related the story of their birth and transformation with their own lips. Of the various creatures, both animate and inanimate, living in this world, whether in water or on land or in the air, whoever has ever attained wisdom, glory, salvation, material prosperity or welfare anywhere and by any means whatsoever, know it to be the result of association with holy men; there is no other means either in the world or in the Vedas. Wisdom dawns not without association with saints and such association cannot be easily had without the grace of Śrī Rāma. Contact with noble souls is the root of joy and blessings; it constitutes the very fruit and fulfilment of all endeavours, whereas all other practices are blossoms as it were. Through contact with the virtuous even the wicked get reformed, just as a base metal is transmuted by the touch of the philosopher’s stone. On the other hand, if by mischance good men fall into evil company, they maintain their noble character like the gem on the hood of a serpent. Even the speech of deities like Brahma, Viṣṇu and Śiva, poets and men of wisdom falters in depicting the glory of pious souls. Much less can it be described by me, even as a dealer in vegetables finds himself incapable of expatiating on the qualities of gems.(1-6)
- † Vālmīki had been a hunter and a highway robber in his early life. He was reclaimed by the seven seers and eventually turned out a great seer and poet.
- ‡ We read in the bhāgavata that Nārada was the son of a maid-servant in his previous incarnation and even as a child came in touch with holy men, who imparted him the highest wisdom and made him a real devotee by their very contact. In his next birth he appeared as a mind-born son of Brahma.
- § Agastya was begotten of god Varuṇa through a pitcher. Another great sage, Vasiṣṭha, was also born of the same pitcher. The association thus obtained in his embryonic state with a great sage made him equally great.
baṃdau saṃta samāna cita hita anahita nahiṃ kōi.
aṃjali gata subha sumana jimi sama sugaṃdha kara dōi..3ka.. [1-3(A)]
saṃta sarala cita jagata hita jāni subhāu sanēhu.
bālabinaya suni kari kṛpā rāma carana rati dēhu..3kha.. [1-3(B)]
I bow to the saints, who are even-minded towards all and have no friend or foe, just as a flower of good quality placed in the palm of one’s hands communicates its fragrance alike to both the hands (the one which plucked it and that which held and preserved it). Realizing thus the noble disposition and loving nature of saints, who are innocent at heart and catholic in spirit, I make this humble submission to them. Listening to my childlike prayer and taking compassion on me, O noble souls, bless me with devotion to the feet of Śrī Rāma.(3 A-B)