(Dandavats.com) – Renunciation In Royal Dress – From Back to Godhead
By Bhurijana Dasa
Duty calls a prince to leave his spiritual practices in the
mountains and set an example of real renunciation as a king.
Perhaps you’ve heard a tale of some wealthy person who renounced this world for the service of God. The Fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam relates another kind of story: that of an adept renunciant who becomes a king on the order of the Supreme Lord. Can he resist the pleasures of palace life? Can he spiritually survive? What can today’s man of the world learn from Priyavrata a royal renunciant at the dawn of civilization?
Because Priyavrata was interested in spiritual truth far beyond regality, treasures, and intrigues he had allowed his younger brother. Uttanapada, to become king. After Uttanapada’s death, Svayambhuva Manu, the father of Priyavrata and Uttanapada, ascended Gandhamadana Hill to persuade Priyavrata to renounce renunciation and rule the kingdom.
As father and son met, Priyavrata’s teacher, the sage Narada Muni, listened attentively. Around them were grassy slopes dotted with blossoms of red, purple, and blue. The clear water in a nearby lake rippled as waterfalls spilled from mountain peaks. Other peaks stretched back in the distance. Soft, pleasant breezes were blowing.
Manu spoke first: “Rule the kingdom. Take charge. The scriptures reveal this as your duty. You have a grave responsibility to uphold, and none but you can do it.”