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Rantideva

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Expressions researched:
"King Rantideva" |"King Rantideva's" |"Maharaja Rantideva's" |"rantideva" |"rantideva's" |"rantidevanuvartinah" |"rantidevas"

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

SB 1.12.24, Translation:

This child will be almost as good as Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa by following in His footsteps. In magnanimity he will become as great as King Rantideva. And in religion he will be like Mahārāja Yayāti.

SB 1.12.24, Purport:

Rantideva: An ancient king prior to the Mahābhārata period, referred to by Nārada Muni while instructing Sañjaya, as mentioned in Mahābhārata (Droṇa-parva 67). He was a great king, liberal for hospitality and distribution of foodstuff. Even Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa praised his acts of charity and hospitality. He was blessed by the great Vasiṣṭha Muni for supplying him cold water, and thus he achieved the heavenly planet. He used to supply fruits, roots and leaves to the ṛṣis, and thus he was blessed by them with fulfillment of his desires. Although a kṣatriya by birth, he never ate flesh in his life. He was especially hospitable to Vasiṣṭha Muni, and by his blessings only he attained the higher planetary residence. He is one of those pious kings whose names are remembered in the morning and evening.

SB Canto 9

SB 9.21 Summary:

This Twenty-first Chapter describes the dynasty born from Mahārāja Bharata, the son of Mahārāja Duṣmanta, and it also describes the glories of Rantideva, Ajamīḍha and others.

The son of Bharadvāja was Manyu, and Manyu's sons were Bṛhatkṣatra, Jaya, Mahāvīrya, Nara and Garga. Of these five, Nara had a son named Saṅkṛti, who had two sons, named Guru and Rantideva. As an exalted devotee, Rantideva saw every living entity in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore he completely engaged his mind, his words and his very self in the service of the Supreme Lord and His devotees. Rantideva was so exalted that he would sometimes give away his own food in charity, and he and his family would fast. Once, after Rantideva spent forty-eight days fasting, not even drinking water, excellent food made with ghee was brought to him, but when he was about to eat it a brāhmaṇa guest appeared. Rantideva, therefore, did not eat the food, but instead immediately offered a portion of it to the brāhmaṇa.

SB 9.21 Summary:

When the brāhmaṇa left and Rantideva was just about to eat the remnants of the food, a śūdra appeared. Rantideva therefore divided the remnants between the śūdra and himself. Again, when he was just about to eat the remnants of the food, another guest appeared. Rantideva therefore gave the rest of the food to the new guest and was about to content himself with drinking the water to quench his thirst, but this also was precluded, for a thirsty guest came and Rantideva gave him the water. This was all ordained by the Supreme Personality of Godhead just to glorify His devotee and show how tolerant a devotee is in rendering service to the Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being extremely pleased with Rantideva, entrusted him with very confidential service. The special power to render the most confidential service is entrusted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to a pure devotee, not to ordinary devotees.

SB 9.21.2, Translation:

O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, descendant of Pāṇḍu, Saṅkṛti had two sons, named Guru and Rantideva. Rantideva is famous in both this world and the next, for he is glorified not only in human society but also in the society of the demigods.

SB 9.21.3-5, Translation:

Rantideva never endeavored to earn anything. He would enjoy whatever he got by the arrangement of providence, but when guests came he would give them everything. Thus he underwent considerable suffering, along with the members of his family. Indeed, he and his family members shivered for want of food and water, yet Rantideva always remained sober. Once, after fasting for forty-eight days, in the morning Rantideva received some water and some foodstuffs made with milk and ghee, but when he and his family were about to eat, a brāhmaṇa guest arrived.

SB 9.21.6, Translation:

Because Rantideva perceived the presence of the Supreme Godhead everywhere, and in every living entity, he received the guest with faith and respect and gave him a share of the food. The brāhmaṇa guest ate his share and then went away.

SB 9.21.6, Purport:

Rantideva perceived the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every living being, but he never thought that because the Supreme Lord is present in every living being, every living being must be God. Nor did he distinguish between one living being and another. He perceived the presence of the Lord both in the brāhmaṇa and in the caṇḍāla.

SB 9.21.6, Purport:

A paṇḍita, or learned person, perceives the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every living being. Therefore, although it has now become fashionable to give preference to the so-called daridra-nārāyaṇa, or "poor Nārāyaṇa," Rantideva had no reason to give preference to any one person. The idea that because Nārāyaṇa is present in the heart of one who is daridra, or poor, the poor man should be called daridra-nārāyaṇa is a wrong conception. By such logic, because the Lord is present within the hearts of the dogs and hogs, the dogs and hogs would also be Nārāyaṇa. One should not mistakenly think that Rantideva subscribed to this view. Rather, he saw everyone as part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ). It is not that everyone is the Supreme Godhead. Such a theory, which is propounded by the Māyāvāda philosophy, is always misleading, and Rantideva would never have accepted it.

SB 9.21.7, Translation:

Thereafter, having divided the remaining food with his relatives, Rantideva was just about to eat his own share when a śūdra guest arrived. Seeing the śūdra in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, King Rantideva gave him also a share of the food.

SB 9.21.7, Purport:

Because King Rantideva saw everyone as part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he never distinguished between the brāhmaṇa and the śūdra, the poor and the rich. Such equal vision is called sama-darśinaḥ (paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18)). One who has actually realized that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in everyone's heart and that every living being is part of the Lord does not make any distinction between the brāhmaṇa and the śūdra, the poor (daridra) and the rich (dhanī). Such a person sees all living beings equally and treats them equally, without discrimination.

SB 9.21.9, Translation:

With great respect, King Rantideva offered the balance of the food to the dogs and the master of the dogs, who had come as guests. The King offered them all respects and obeisances.

SB 9.21.11, Translation:

Aggrieved at hearing the pitiable words of the poor fatigued caṇḍāla, Mahārāja Rantideva spoke the following nectarean words.

SB 9.21.11, Purport:

Mahārāja Rantideva's words were like amṛta, or nectar, and therefore, aside from rendering bodily service to an aggrieved person, by his words alone the King could save the life of anyone who might hear him.

SB 9.21.14, Translation:

Having spoken thus, King Rantideva, although on the verge of death because of thirst, gave his own portion of water to the caṇḍāla without hesitation, for the King was naturally very kind and sober.

SB 9.21.15, Translation:

Demigods like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, who can satisfy all materially ambitious men by giving them the rewards they desire, then manifested their own identities before King Rantideva, for it was they who had presented themselves as the brāhmaṇa, śūdra, caṇḍāla and so on.

SB 9.21.16, Translation:

King Rantideva had no ambition to enjoy material benefits from the demigods. He offered them obeisances, but because he was factually attached to Lord Viṣṇu, Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he fixed his mind at Lord Viṣṇu's lotus feet.

SB 9.21.16, Purport:

As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (7.20), kāmais tais tair hṛta jñānāḥ prapadyante 'nya-devatāḥ: those befooled by the illusion of the material energy worship gods other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, although Rantideva was personally able to see Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, he did not hanker to take material benefits from them. Rather, he fixed his mind upon Lord Vāsudeva and rendered devotional service unto Him. This is the sign of a pure devotee, whose heart is not adulterated by material desires.

SB 9.21.17, Translation:

O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, because King Rantideva was a pure devotee, always Kṛṣṇa conscious and free from all material desires, the Lord's illusory energy, māyā, could not exhibit herself before him. On the contrary, for him māyā entirely vanished, exactly like a dream.

SB 9.21.17, Purport:

Because Rantideva was Kṛṣṇa conscious, he was not under the influence of the illusory energy. The word svapnavat is significant in this connection. Because in the material world the mind is absorbed in materialistic activities, when one is asleep many contradictory activities appear in one's dreams.

SB 9.21.18, Translation:

All those who followed the principles of King Rantideva were totally favored by his mercy and became pure devotees, attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. Thus they all became the best of yogis.

SB 9.21.18, Purport:

Because Rantideva was the king, the chief executive in the state, all the residents of the state became devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, by the king's transcendental association. This is the influence of a pure devotee. If there is one pure devotee, his association can create hundreds and thousands of pure devotees. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has said that a Vaiṣṇava is meritorious in proportion to the number of devotees he has created. A Vaiṣṇava becomes superior not simply by jugglery of words but by the number of devotees he has created for the Lord. Here the word rantidevānuvartinaḥ indicates that Rantideva's officers, friends, relatives and subjects all became first-class Vaiṣṇavas by his association. In other words, Rantideva is confirmed herein to be a first-class devotee, or mahā-bhāgavata. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ: (SB 5.5.2) one should render service to such mahātmās, for then one will automatically achieve the goal of liberation. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has also said, chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: one cannot be liberated by his own effort, but if one becomes subordinate to a pure Vaiṣṇava, the door to liberation is open.

SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)

SB 10.72.21, Translation:

Hariścandra, Rantideva, Uñchavṛtti Mudgala, Śibi, Bali, the legendary hunter and pigeon, and many others have attained the permanent by means of the impermanent.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Krsna Book 72:

A person who is tolerant is always prepared to tolerate everything, even though distressful. Just as a criminal can perform the most abominable acts, a greatly charitable person like you can give anything and everything for which he is asked. For a great personality like you, there is no distinction between relatives and outsiders. A famous man lives forever, even after his death; therefore, any person who is completely fit and able to execute acts which will perpetuate his good name and fame and yet does not do so becomes abominable in the eyes of great persons. Such a person cannot be condemned enough, and his refusal to give charity is lamentable throughout his whole life. Your Majesty must have heard the glorious names of charitable personalities such as Hariścandra, Rantideva and Mudgala, who used to live only on grains picked up from the paddy field, and the great Mahārāja Śibi, who saved the life of a pigeon by supplying flesh from his own body. These great personalities have attained immortal fame simply by sacrificing the temporary and perishable body.” Lord Kṛṣṇa, in the garb of a brāhmaṇa, thus convinced Jarāsandha that fame is imperishable but the body is perishable. If one can attain imperishable name and fame by sacrificing his perishable body, he becomes a very respectable figure in the history of human civilization.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation With Artists and About BTG -- February 25, 1977, Mayapura:

Rāmeśvara: Now, this picture, this shows the story of King Rantideva's renunciation. He was fasting for so long, and these different personalities were coming.

Prabhupāda: And he was distributing.

Rāmeśvara: They had to give up his food. But actually, it said that these personalities were actually Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, testing him. So they've shown... How was it shown?

Muralīdhara: He's semi-transparent, so you get the idea that he's there and not there at the same time.

Prabhupāda: Backside.

Facts about RantidevaRDF feed
Compiled by Visnu Murti   +
Completed sections ALL   +
Date of first entry 12 October 2010   +
Date of last entry 12 October 2010   +
Total quotes 25   +
Total quotes by section BG: 0   +, SB: 23   +, CC: 0   +, OB: 1   +, Lec: 0   +, Conv: 1   +, and Let: 0   +
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