Marriage, Daughters, Mothers & Krishna…
Śrīmad Bhāgavata 3.22.21:
Kardama said this much and not more, for he became overcome with the memory of the Lotus-Navel’d Hari. He smiled from that memory and that smile captivated Devahūti’s heart.
Devahūti is an incalculably elevated devotee, she is directly empowered by/ connected to Yaśodā Mā, for she is the mother of Krishna’s incarnation, Kapila. She had decided to marry Kardama, and when she saw Kardama’s bhakti for Hari she became so pleased and confident in her decision.
This is the guideline for marriage in bhakti-yoga. It is not important if the spouse is attractive or strong, etc. What forms the bond in bhakti-yoga is the spouse’s devotion to Hari. When one spouse sees devotion to hari in the other, they become dedicated to serve and they feel deep spiritual affection.
Manu asked his Queen and his daughter for their final confirmation and, receiving it clearly, granted his delighted daughter to the sage, whose endless hosts of fine qualities was equal to hers.
We do not find male chauvinism is Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, although unfortunately we regularly encounter it in the world, and often even within the world’s spiritual organizations. The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, here spoken by Maitreya Muni, openly and plainly glorifies great women on an equal level with great sages.
Emperor Manu was relieved to have given his daughter to a good husband, but his heart was still beleaguered with sadness, so he embraced her tightly in his arms. Unable to bear the thought of leaving her, he became drenched in tears. “O Mother… O my Child…” was all he could say, as she dried his tears with her hair.
Calling a woman “Mother” (Amba, Mā, Mātā, etc.) does not mean “You are my mother.” It simply means “you are a mother.” Manu addressed his daughter as Amba, “Mother” because now she was all grown up and would become a mother. He was saying “Amba! Vatsa!” and crying. Vatsa means “child.” He was saying “O mother… O my child….” because he was thinking, “Oh my child will now become a mother.”
It is difficult for a parent when the child exits childhood, because then Vatsalya-rasa can no longer be fully tasted. All the same, because a parent has some unconditional love for the child, mixed with their sadness is happiness that their child successfully grows up.
The next section of verses will describe the King’s return to his city…
The emperor asked for permission to leave and the great scholar Kardama granted it. He got on his chariot with his wife and they departed with their followers for their own city.
They traveled along the tranquil Sarasvatī river, whose two beautiful shores were wealthy with the āśramas of many families of sages.
His citizens heard of his return and joyfully came out to greet their protector with music and songs of praise.
His city, named Barhiṣmatī (Place of Light) was full of all wealth. It was built where the hairs of the Board had fallen when he shook his body. Those hairs became the evergreen kuśa and kāśa grasses, which the sages used to worship him after he defeated the disrupter of sacrifice, Hiraṇyākṣa.
It was named “Place of Light/Fire” because this is where the sages lit sacrificial fires and worshiped Varāha with Kuśa and Kāśa after he defeated Hiraṇyākṣa.
Blessed Manu made a fan of kuśa and kāśa grass and worshipped Varāha, who had delivered the world into his care.
Before entering his city, he stopped in the fields and worshipped Varāha.
Then he entered the great city, Barhismatī, and returned to his palace, which conquers the three miseries.
Manu’s palace was so delightful that inside it one forgets any pains caused by ones body and mind, by other people, or by nature. The next section of verses will describe how this is possible — because Manu created a transcendental atmosphere inside the palace, filling it with Viṣṇu śravana, kīrtana, smarana . The next section describes this and describes Manu’s exalted character. The 22nd chapter will end after that brief section, it is a fairly short chapter.