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XXXI. Doubts and Questions

When the sage Suka heard this answer, he said, "King! Since your heart is merged in Syamasundara, the Lord Krishna, I am pleased so much that you can ask me all the questions that trouble you; I shall give appropriate answers and explanations. I shall thrill you and heighten your yearning for Syamasundara, the charming Lord with the complexion of dark rain-laden clouds."

Parikshith was filled with delight at these words of the master. He said, "Illustrious preceptor, what qualifications have I which entitle me to put questions to you? Instruct me as you think best; tell me what I most need during these critical days; teach me what is most beneficial, most worthy of attention, most important. You know this more than I. Discourse to me, irrespective of my asking and desire. Of course, doubts pester me off and on, since I am bound by the temptations of delusion and ignorance. When these arise, I shall communicate my doubts and misgivings and receive from you curative explanations. I pray that you should not attribute other motives to me. Do not weigh my attainments. Treat me with affection as if I were a son; transform me into a quiet restful person."

"Let me present before you, however, one doubt that has been with me since a long time. Are the experiences of the individual in this body directed by his own nature or are they directed by the sum of the consequences of deeds in the past? Then, there is another: You said that from the navel of the primal person (the Purana Purusha), a lotus arose and bloomed, and that all creation originated from that Lotus. Now, did God appear with limbs and organs like the individual Jivi? Is there any distinction between the Jivi and Brahma (the individual and the personified absolute)?"

"Let me ask also another question: On what basis are the past, the present and the future differentiated? And, the fourth: Which deeds of the Jivis lead to which results and consequences, with statuses, in the future? The fifth: What are the characteristics of the great (the Mahapurushas)? What are their activities? By what signs can we know them? The sixth: What are the stories of the amazing and charming incarnations of God? The seventh: How are we to distinguish between the Kritha, Thretha, and Dwapara Yugas or ages? How can we name a Yuga as such? The ninth: What are the disciplines that one must practise in order to merge in the inner soul, which is the over-soul, the universal soul? And, finally, the tenth: What are the Vedas and the Upavedas? Which Upavedas are attached to which Vedas?"

"Please tell me the answer to these as well as other subjects deserving attention. Master, I surrender to you. There is no one else who can enlighten me on these and other points. Therefore, save me from the perdition of ignorance." The king fell at the master's feet and prayed for grace.