In the story of king Prithu related in the Bhagavata Purana,
Lord Vishnu appears on the scene of the great yagna
performed by the king and imparts to him the essence and
meaning of life. Prithu is already an enlightened king and the Lord’s instruction only enhances his jnana, pointed out
Swami Paramasukananda in a discourse.
It is a comprehensive analysis of the traits of those who are
advanced in intelligence and those who are yet to gain this
insight in this regard. People like Prithu are rare and are
concerned with the welfare of the human race. Merciful and patient by nature, he is known for his righteous and impartial rule.
The wise person knows the body to be a product of
delusion, desire and karma and hence has no attachment to
it. He does not consider material possessions such as house,
wealth or progeny as belonging to himself. To him the
changes of this material world are due to the interaction of
the three gunas and the five elements, the senses, as well as the mind.
Since the spirit soul is completely diferent from this
combination of gross and subtle material elements, the
enlightened devotee is always immersed in the Supreme
Truth and is unafected by the changes such as happiness or
distress that are faced by all beings. This truth is exemplified in Rama’s life especially when He is subject to a situation that would normally have a traumatic efect on any human being. Rama maintains equanimity because He is aware of the Truth. He easily renounces all material possessions and the comforts of the palace and welcomes forest life since this will give Him a chance to spend life with the rishis. The Lord instructs Prithu to protect the world and his subjects as this is a king’s most sacred duty.