Canto One, Chapter One : Questions By the Sages
Srila Vyasadeva offers his obeisances to Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and immediately glorifies the Srimad Bhagavatam as completely pure, free from materially motivated activities, and especially nectarean having emamated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Goswami. (1-3) The narration of the ”Bhagavatam• begins in the holy place of Naimisaranya, where great sages first glorify Srila Suta Goswami, the speaker of the Bhagavatam, and then begin inquiring from him (4-8) The sages begin posing their questions. (9-13) They then glorify hearing about the Lord and request Suta to speak to them about the Lord and His incarnations. (14-20) After Suta describes that the Age of Kali has just begun, the sages then ask a final question: “Now that Sri Krsna, the Absolute Truth, the master of all mystic powers has departed for His abode, please tell us by whom religious principles are presently protected.” (21-23)
1. One should hear the pastimes, names, and glories of the Lord from the Srimad Bhagavatam, in which all material forms of region have been are rejected, from a bona fide spiritual master, become fixed in devotional service, and not allow his mind to be deflected to anything else. Patiently and submissively hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam immediately re-establishes a soul in his eternal relationship with Krsna. All other goals are rejected in the Bhagavatam. (1-3)
2. One must hear the Bhagavatam from a bonafide representative of Vyasadeva. (4-8)
3. If both the speaker and the hearer are qualified, the hearer will easily understand the Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (9-13)
4. Hearing of the everfresh pastimes, names, and glories of Krsna will attract one from the horrible Kali yuga trap of the material world to the eternal blissful spiritual realm. (14-20)
5. Because of the shortness of life that Kali Yuga brings, one should fear the dangers of Kali, accept the shelter of a bonafide spiritual master, and adopt the process recommended by Lord Caitanya for self realization in Kali Yuga: hearing and chanting Krsna’s glories as told in the BG and the SB. (21-23)
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Regarding the six questions of the sages, in his commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.1, Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura has summarized the six questions that the sages of Namasaranya asked Suta Gosvami as follows:
1. What is the ultimate benefit for mankind?
2. What is the essence of all scriptures?
3. For what reason did the Lord take His birth from Devaki?
4. Describe the wonderful deeds of the Lord when He assumed the forms of Brahma, Rudra, etc, for the purpose of creating, maintaining, and destroying the universe.
5. Fully describe the activities of Lord Hari’s incarnations within this universe.
6. Where has religion taken shelter after Krsna has retired to His own abode?
Srila Jiva Gosvami has commented that of these six questions, four are answered in Chapter Two and two are answered in Chapter Three.
Here are the questions and the place in which they are answered according to two commentators on the Bhagavatam:
Question One (1.1.9): What is the absolute and ultimate good (sreyah) for people in general?
After describing that devotional service to Sri Krsna was the essence of the scriptures, Suta explains that the ultimate benefit for people in general is to become free from material bondage and develop love of God through devotional service offered only to Krsna or His plenary parts (Especially SB 1.2.6- 7, but also until verse 27)
Question Two: (1.1.11): What is the essence of all scriptures?
Throughout the Second Chapter of the Bhagavatam and especially in SB 1.2.6-7, and continuing on to text 28, Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is confirmed as the only object of worship, and establishing one’s lost relationship with Him in love and service through devotional service is proclaimed as sum and substance of the Vedic literatures.
Question Three (1.1.12): (1.1.12): Tell why Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared.
This question is answered in 1.2.34, “to reclaim those in the mode of pure goodness.” In addition, this question is answered in 1.8.35, 9.4.61, 10.8.48-50, and 10.33.37.
Question Four (1.1.17) Tell us of the acts of Lord performs in relationship to creating the material world.
This question is answered in 1.2.30-33, wherein the Bhagavatam explains how Vasudeva creates the materialsubstance and enters into it as the Purusa incarnations. In addition, Cantos Three and Four explain the creation of the universe.
Question Five (1.1.18): Describe the activities of the incarnations of the Lord.
The Lord’s incarnations are described within the Chapter Three of the First Canto. Descriptions of the incarnations are expanded throughout the remainder of the Bhagavatam.
Question Six (1.1.23): Where have religious principles gone after Krsna’s disappearance from this planet?
Suta Goswami answers this question in SB 1.3.43 by declaring, “This Bhagavat Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krsna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purana.”
Chapter Two, Divinity and Divine Service
Before replying, Suta Goswami first offers his obeisances to his guru, Srila Sukadeva Goswami, and then begins answering the sage’s questions. (1-4) Suta begins describing the relevance of the sages’ inquiries, for they are about Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He then stresses the importance of the process of self-realization, and its goal–devotional service to Krsna. (5-10) Suta further explains that since Krsna is the Absolute Truth, one must satisfy Him by devotional service. (11-15) The gradual progression of consciousness as one overcomes the effects of the modes of nature and attains pure devotional service through the proper hearing of Srimad Bhagavatam and serving pure devotees is then described by Suta Goswami. (16-22)
Suta explains Lord Krsna’s position as beyond the modes of nature and therefore instructs that those serious about liberation worship only Him, for the Lord is the Supreme goal of life. (23-29) The chapter ends with Suta’s description of how the Lord, although transcendental to the material world, first creates the material world and then maintains His creation. (30-34)
1. Since by hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam from a pure devotee spiritual master, the modes of passion and ignorance gradually slacken, and one develops his eternal rasa with Krsna, why should one divert his mind to anything independent of Krsna’s service? (1-4)
2. To achieve perfection, one should hear Srimad Bhagavatam from a pure devotee and become a pure devotee, and since becoming a pure lover of Krsna is the only source of true satisfaction, one should reject as useless every activity not directed towards awakening our attraction to Krsna and realization of our personal relationship with Him. (5-10)
3. Every man should therefore take instruction from the scriptures and constantly glorify, remember, and worship Krsna. (11-15)
4. By performing devotional service and hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam from great devotees, the hold of the modes of passion and ignorance are loosened and one gradually transcends the modes of material nature and progressively comes to live in his eternal rasa with Krsna. (16-22)
5. Since everything auspicious can be achieved through pure devotional service, why divert our mind to sense gratification or anything independent of Krsna’s service. (23-29)
6. To reclaim the misguided conditioned souls aimlessly seeking happiness in the material world, Krsna enters the world as Supersoul and prompt them to reawaken their relationship with Him. He also incarnates and empowers suitable living beings to act on His behalf. (30-34)
Krsna comes to the material world in many incarnations in order to save the fallen souls, and when the Lord comes, He has no connection with the material world, although He appears to be within it. One should hear of these incarnations from the Bhagavatam, from a pure devotee, and thus learn one’s eternal relationship with Krsna and his ultimate destination after leaving his body.
Chapter Three, Krsna is the Source of All Incarnations
Suta Goswami describes the three roles of the Purusa avataras in the creation of both the total cosmos and the individual universes. (1-4) Suta then briefly describes twenty-two incarnations of God that appear within this universe, but explains that the Lord actually has unlimited incarnations. (5-27) Although innumerable incarnations exist, Krsna is Their fountainhead and is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (28) Suta Goswami explains that the material forms (gross and subtle) of both the Lord (Virata Rupa) and the living beings are actually imaginary. Therefore, learned men describe the glories and pastimes of the Lord’s incarnations so that the conditioned souls can be freed from ignorance and achieve ecstatic love for the Supreme Lord. (29-39) Suta Goswami then glorifies the Srimad Bhagavatam as the incarnation of Lord Krsna meant for delivering the conditioned souls of Kali Yuga. He also describes how the Bhagavatam was transferred from Srila Vyasadeva to Sukadeva to Himself (40-44)
1. The Lord, through His Purusa incarnations– Karanadaksayi Visnu, Garbodaksayi Visnu, and Ksiradaksayi Visnu– creates the material world to facilitate the misguided ambitions of the Jiva souls. One can perceive the spiritual nature of these incarnations, as well as all the Lord’s other incarnations, if one is qualified through his devotional service. (1-4)
2. Through Garbodaksayi Visnu comes innumerable incarnations which are manifested on different planets and in different universes constantly, without cessation, as water flows continuously from a waterfall. (5-27)
3. But Sri Krsna is not an incarnation. Rather He is the original, complete, Supreme Personality of Godhead. (28)
4. One should hear how the Lord descends into the material world, while having no connection with the material world, from bonafide sources like the Srimad Bhagavatam and thus become enriched with knowledge. One should then take shelter of the Lord, become self realized, and see the Lord face to face. (29-39)
5. To reach this stage of perfection, one should hear this Srimad Bhagavatam, the cream of Vedic literatures, with rapt attention from a bonafide spiritual master, and thus learn who is God, what one’s relationship is with Him, and what one’s ultimate destination is after leaving his body. Such a qualified reader of the Bhagavatam will see Sri Krsna, in person, within the Bhagavatam’s pages. (40-44)
Chapters Four, The Appearance of Sri Narada
Saunaka Rsi inquires from Suta Goswami about the history of Sukadeva Goswami’s speaking the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit.(1-13) Suta begins retelling how Veda Vyasa compiled and edited the Vedic literatures for the benefit of the unfortunate souls of Kali Yuga. (14-25) Even after his great work was complete, Veda Vyasa still felt dissatisfied. Just as he was contemplating the cause of his despondency, his spiritual master, Narada Muni, appeared.(26-33)
1. This Bhagavatam, which contains the direct pastimes of the Lord and which leads the conditioned souls of Kali to engage in pure devotional service, the only activity that will truly satisfy them, is effective only when heard from a pure devotee who is representing Sukadeva Goswami. (1-13)
2. This Bhagavatam only describes devotional service and the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krsna, and is Srila Vyasadeva’s special arrangements so the unfortunate souls trapped by Kali can approach the ultimate achievement, devotional service, which alone can bring complete satisfaction to the self.(14-25)
3. One cannot feel true satisfaction until one engages in direct devotional service as the Bhagavatam describes, even though one may understand and become purified by assimilating all the knowledge of the Vedas and the Mahabharat.(26-33)
Chapter Five, Narada’s Instructions on Srimad Bhagavatam for Vyasadeva
Narada Muni, fully understanding the situation, inquires from Vyasa about the root cause of Vyasa’s unhappiness, and hints about the solution.(1-4) Srila Vyasadeva requests his spiritual master, Narada, to reveal to him the cause of his despondency. (5-7)
Narada then reveals to Vyasa the importance of directly describing the glorious pastimes of Krsna, and he also tells him the dangers that could arise due to Vyasa’s previous writings, which only indirectly hint at the glories of the Lord. (8-16) Narada then tells Vyasa about the secure position of a devotee serving Krsna. (17-19) After describing the Lord as both impersonal as well personal, Narada asks Vyasa to vividly and directly describe the pastimes of Krsna. (20-22) Narada then explains to Vyasa how he, through the association of great Bhaktivedantas, became fixed in the confidential devotional service of the Lord. (23-31) Narada glorifies working in Krsna’s service while remembering His glories.(32-36) After glorifying transcendental sound, Narada then requests Vyasa to directly glorify the Lord’s activities for the benefit of suffering humanity.(37-40)
1. True satisfaction cannot come by any means other than by pure devotional service. (1-4)
2. Even if one is complete in material knowledge, one must become trained to render pure devotional service and thus remove one’s miseries; therefore, one must approach and surrender to training from a bonafide spiritual who is one hundred percent a pure devotee engaged in Krsna’s service. (5-7)
3. Because the Srimad Bhagavatam directly presents the pastimes and glories of the Lord, hearing the Bhagavatam from such a pure devotee is the best method of removing our impurities and again reviving our devotional service to Krsna. Although we may be attracted to other literatures due to our impure, conditioned desires, attentively studying the Bhagavatam will remove those desires. The Bhagavatam is therefore the most superior literature, superior to even the Vedic literatures which promote gradual purification and thereby confuse readers about life’s ultimate goal. (8-16)
4. On one hand, any gains outside of devotional service is doomed, and on the other hand, devotional gains are eternal. Advancing through devotional service is so perfect that even if a devotee falls the Lord personally takes charge of rectifying him. (17-19)
5. For the living entity to regain his constitution position of serving Krsna through devotional service, he must seek shelter of the Lord’s representative, the bonafide spiritual master, and then, under the spiritual master’s direction, the disciple can purify his material attachments by using them to glorify the Lord. (20-22)
6. Therefore one who is determined to go back to Godhead must surrender to, take training from, and hear the Bhagavatam from a pure spiritual master who represents Krsna. One must serve such a spiritual master, and rejecting all desires for material happiness, use his material abilities and opulences in Krsna’s service while cultivating a strong desire to serve Krsna in the spiritual world. (23-31)
7. No plan to remove our miseries other than taking shelter of the Lord in devotional service will succeed, and we should become determined to purify our inclination to lord it over the material world by dovetailing our material tendencies in Krsna’s service. Thus, under the direction of a pure devotee, we can always remember Krsna and go back to Godhead. (32-36)
8. Rejecting as useless everything that doesn’t bring us closer to Krsna, one should uncover his relationship with Krsna through offenselessly chanting transcendental sound vibrations, like the Bhagavatam. Because all classes of men can become purified through the potency of transcendental sound vibrations, these vibrations should be widely broadcast. (37-40)
Chapter Six, Conversation Between Narada and Vyasa
Vyasa inquires from Narada about how he passed his life after the departure of the sages. (1-4) Narada describes that after his mother was bitten by a poisonous snake and died, he began traveling. Once, as he sat beneath a banyan tree, he began meditating on the Lord in the heart. (5-15) As Narada Muni meditated, the Supersoul first appeared to him and then departed. Narada Muni was grief stricken. (16-20)
The Lord then spoke to Narada, and His words dispelled Narada’s grief. (21-25) After recounting his meeting with the Supersoul, Narada tells Vyasa how he spent the remainder of his life. Narada then describes his next birth as the great sage, Narada Muni. (26-30) Vyasadeva then hears of the transcendental activities that Narada Muni now continuously performs. (31-33) Narada finishes his instructions to Vyasa, and Suta Goswami narrates the departure of Narada. Suta then describes Narada’s glories. (34-38)
1. Inquiring from great devotees helps one advance in Krsna consciousness, and that advancement is never annihilated, as spirit is never annihilated, even at the death of the body. (1-4)
2. After associating with these devotees and taking initiation from them, one should become serious about Krsna consciousness, and if Krsna kindly removes one’s material entanglements, one should devote one’s time solely to spiritual development either by fearlessly traveling or by sitting in a holy place and repeatedly hearing and chanting the holy scriptures. (5-15)
3. Thus by taking initiation from and serving one’s bonafide spiritual masters, and by following the regulative principles and practices of devotional service, one’s love of God will gradually progress in its development until it is beyond the probationary, regulative stages of devotional service, and then, by the Lord’s causeless mercy, one will be able to ecstatically directly see and hear Krsna by His mercy. (16-20)
4. To reach the stage of ecstatic love for Krsna, one should receive training in a temple, perform arcana, and there serve Krsna. These practices will naturally increase one’s desire to serve more and more, and thus, through intensely hankering for Krsna’s service, one will directly experience Krsna’s transcendental presence. Even a short period of training in devotional service ultimately, but inevitably, leads to association with Krsna, and whatever devotional service one renders is never lost, but accumulates until it is completely mature. (21-25)
5. Thus a pure and sincere devotee experiences the association of the Lord through continuously and selflessly chanting and preaching, and in this way prepares for his liberation, going back to Godhead in his spiritual body in his next life. Even as he serves in this life, he is surcharging his present material body with spiritual energy. Although a great liberated devotee may even again take birth, neither his birth or death will be ordinary, for his appearance and disappearance will be like Krsna’s, who carries on His activities in an unlimited, transcendental body. (26-30)
6. By following in the footsteps of the great authorized devotees like Narada Muni, a pure devotee is awarded so much benediction from the Lord that he continuously, lovingly chants Krsna’s glories and thus penetrates the attention of the Lord and obliges the Lord to always be visible to him. (31-33)
7. Since one can cross the ocean of miseries only through devotional service, by changing all thinking and activities to Krsna conscious thinking and activities, and since we know know from Narada Muni how one achieves ecstatic love of God as the results of devotional service, we should thereby use our free will to execute devotional service, and make it our mission to to preach the glories of devotional service to the suffering, illusioned conditioned souls within this world. (34-38)
Chapter Seven, The Son of Drona Punished
Saunaka Rsi inquires from Suta Goswami about Vyasa’s activities after Narada’s departure. Suta first describes Vyasa’s meditation and how through his meditation Vyasa perfectly understood the Lord, the living entity, and the Lord’s material energy. (1-4) Vyasa, in order to save the conditioned souls from misery, then compiled the Srimad Bhagavatam and taught it to his son Sukadeva Goswami. (5-8)
Saunaka then asks Suta why Sukadeva, who was already on the path of self-realization, took the trouble to study the Bhagavatam. After Suta replies that even liberated souls are attracted to the Srimad Bhagavatam, Suta begins answering Saunaka’s earlier questions about Sri Krsna, Maharaja Pariksit, and the Pandavas. He begins by explaining that Asvattama, the son of Arjuna’s martial teacher Dronacarya, killed the five sleeping Pandava princes after the battle of Kuruksetra. (9-14)
Asvattama flees after his heinous crime, and Arjuna sets out to capture him. Asvattama tries to escape by using his brahmastra weapon on Arjuna. When Arjuna sees the glaring brahmastra threatening him, he prays to Sri Krsna, who is driving his chariot, and then follows Krsna’s instructions about counteracting the fearful weapon. (15-20)(21-34) Arjuna neutralizes the brahmastra and then captures and binds Asvattama. Krsna then tells Arjuna that Asvattama should be killed. Arjuna brings Asvattama back to the Pandava camp. There, Draupadi and the other Pandavas are appalled to see Asvattama, the son of their teacher, bound with ropes. They demand his release. Bhima, alone amongst the Pandavas, demands Asvattama be killed for his horrendous misdeed. Krsna hints at the solution, and Arjuna, understanding Krsna’s desire, both “kills” and “not kills” Asvattama by cutting off the jewel from Asvattama’s head. Then, after releasing Asvattama, Arjuna and the Pandavas perform the funeral rituals for their relatives who have been slain in the Battle of Kuruksetra. (35-41(42-58)
1. The Varnasrama system is a spiritual culture in which all members–brahmacaris, grhastha, vanaprasthas, and sannyasis–are making advancement in their realization of the Absolute Truth. But one can reach the perfection of realization of the Absolute Truth, wherein one knows Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only through the linking process of devotional service. (1-4)
2. The desire to perform devotional service to Krsna as well as an attachment to Krsna will arise within the heart of even an illusioned soul attached to sense gratification if he contacts Krsna through hearing, in the association of devotees, about devotional service from the Bhagavatam. This Srimad Bhagavatam is especially meant for the Paramhamsas, nevertheless, all material miseries of one who takes shelter of the Bhagavatam will completely stop. (5-8)
3. Since properly hearing the Bhagavatam will purify and attract everyone to Krsna, even one liberated in brahman. Lord Caitanya wanted everyone, especially those born in India, to study and become fully realized in the Bhagavatam, and preach its message all over the world. (9-14)
4. The Bhagavatam contains the pastimes of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and controller and source of everything, and it tells of His transcendental pastimes as He descends to reclaim the suffering, conditioned souls and remove their illusions, fears, and miseries. In these all-attractive pastimes, He sometimes even exhibits anger to show His special kindness and inclination towards His devotees who are always rapt in thoughts of Him. (15-20, 21-34)
5. Throughout His dealings with His devotees, Krsna tests His devotees and magnifies their sense of duty and thus helps them develop their intimate relationship with Him as either servant, friend, parent, or object of conjugal love. Krsna, in His dealings with His devotees, even personally solves their dilemmas. (35-41, 42-48)
Chapter Eight, The Prayers of Queen Kunti
Just after Lord Krsna and the Pandavas perform the funeral rituals for their relatives killed in the Battle of Kuruksetra, Krsna prepares to leave for Dvaraka. Suddenly Uttara approaches Krsna in great fear. Asvattama had hurled another ”brahmastra•, and targeted it to kill the unborn child within her womb. Krsna, as the Supersoul, covers the embryo from within and saves Uttara. (1-7, 8-16) After Krsna saves Uttara and her embryo, Kunti, the mother of the five Pandavas, approaches Krsna along with her sons and offers her obeisances. After glorifying the Lord, Kunti describes His descent and greatness, and wonders how she can possibly understand His unfathomable position. (17-22) Kunti retells how the Lord protected her and her family during their calamitous years of exile. She then explains that only one who has no material shelter can easily approach Krsna. (23-27) Kunti then explains the mysterious nature of Krsna’s birth and activities, as well as the reason for His advent. (28-36) Kunti begs Krsna to remain in Hastinapura, as the welfare and opulence of the Pandava kingdom depend upon His presence. (37-40) Kunti then expresses her desire to sever her affection to all others but Krsna, and then, while offering her obeisances to the Lord, declares her complete dependence upon Him. (41-42) After Kunti ends her prayers, Krsna again attempts to leave Hastinapur. Maharaja Yudhisthira, overwhelmed by the death of his kinsman, approaches Krsna in a dejected mood and is filled with lamentation. (43-52)
1. And the goal of taking shelter Krsna is the only worthwhile goal in life since nothing or no one other than Krsna, who uses His inconceivable potencies to protect those who are completely dependent upon Him, can protect us from death. (1-7, 8-16)
2. Krsna can do this because He is the Supreme Lord, and when He descends, it is to attract us to Him by displaying all-attractive human-like childhood pastimes in Vrindaban, in which He always reciprocates with and protects those pure devotees who are fully dependent upon Him. But those who are not yet pure and who do not intimately know the Lord, should go to the temples and see Him in His form as arca-vigraha. There, in the temples, those fallen souls should become purified by hearing about the Lord from proper authorities and thereby get Krsna’s mercy, which will be available to them if they are sincere in purpose. (17-22)
3. Since human life’s true goal should only to develop one’s loving relationship with Krsna, a devotee in material difficulty who has learned to take shelter of the Lord is in a more favorable position than one who possess wealth, beauty, family, and education–for these material opulences tend to make one forget the Lord. In fact, Krsna becomes the property of a devotee who, possessing nothing material, takes full shelter of Him. (23-27)
4. Krsna comes to this world and displays His merciful pastimes, which bewilder ordinary men but fully benefit the pure devotees. In these pastimes the unborn, Supreme Lord not only takes birth but also becomes a plaything of His pure devotees. Despite His coming to the material world, He is still the Supreme Lord and the Supersoul of the entire creation, therefore submissively hearing these pastimes from the correct sources mitigates the miseries of the conditioned soul. (28-36)
5. Since one’s material opulences are all doomed, and since even the earth’s prosperity is maintained when the Lord is pleased, one should become dependent upon the Lord by being obedient to His laws and thus achieve prosperity as well as the perfection of human life through devotional service. (37-40)
6. Because the knot of family affection can limit one’s service, one should even desire to renounce it if such renunciation increases his devotional service and focuses his affection on Krsna. (41-42)
7. One’s choice is to be either deluded by the Lord’s maya and enchanted by the material world or to be enchanted by affection for the Lord and thus practically conquer the Almighty Lord. If one chooses correctly, the Lord personally glorifies and protects such a devotee from all sinful reactions. (43-52)
Chapter Nine, The Passing Away of Bhismadeva in the Presence of Lord Krsna
Maharaja Yudhisthira, Krsna, and the Pandavas go to the battlefield where Bhisma is lying on a bed of arrows. Many great rsis also arrive, and Bhismadeva properly receives them all, especially Lord Krsna, for Bhisma is aware of His glorious position. (1-10) Seeing the Pandavas, Bhisma enumerates all the sufferings the Pandavas tolerated prior to the battle. Bhisma then explains that such things could only have happened due to the actions of eternal time and Krsna’s inconceivable plan. (11-17) Bhisma describes the glories and actual position of Krsna. (18-22) Bhisma appreciates that Krsna has personally come to be present before him at the time of his death. (23-25) Bhismadeva first answers Yudhisthira’s questions regarding the duties of a religious monarch and then notices that the auspicious time for his departure has arrived. He thus withdraws his consciousness from this world and focuses it on Krsna. (26-33) Bhisma especially fixes his mind on remembering Sri Krsna as he saw Him on the battlefield as the chariot driver of Arjuna. (34-38) Bhisma further glorifies Krsna’s wonderful reciprocations with His other devotees. (39-42) Bhismadeva breathes his last. After the great sages and the Pandavas depart, Yudhisthira begins ruling the kingdom according to the instructions he has received from Bhismadeva. (43-49)
1. Krsna arranges pastimes in the material world to glorify His devotees. (1-10)
2. Devotees ungrudgingly accept the adverse conditions and sufferings that they undergo in their devotional service, for they are committed to the Lord’s plan, the exact nature of which no one can ascertain. (11-17)
3. Krsna re-establishes the conditioned soul’s relationship with Him by demonstrating pastimes with His pure devotees. These pastimes, regardless of the Lord’s dealings, all produce ecstasy for His devotees, for the Lord, although internally guiding all living entities as Supersoul, even externally guides his devotee. (18-22)
4. Pure devotees always thinks of Krsna and are the greatest of yogis, and although such devotees are brought by Krsna to the spiritual sky after leaving their body, they only desire to always think about Krsna, and the Lord, in reciprocation, arranges their glorification. (23-25)
4. In the pastime the Lord arranged with Bhismadeva, we learn that that which attracts the mind of a dying man becomes the beginning of his next life, so one should always think of Krsna and then, when he leaves his body, go back to Godhead, having faith that the Lord who is also the Supreme Controller, will personally fulfill any spiritual desire one may have. Therefore one should rid himself of all material desires, focus His mind on Krsna, and following Krsna’s instructions obtain a relationship with Krsna in the spiritual world. (26-33)
5. So intimate is the loving reciprocation between the devotees and the Lord that although a devotee is sometimes placed to act as the Lord’s enemy within a particular pastime, nonetheless, the Lord accepts whatever His devotee offers because it is offered with love. The Lord becomes so obliged to His pure devotee that He desires to execute His devotee’s orders, as a father is pleased to execute the orders of his son. Sometimes the Lord puts His devotees in ignorance as He did to Arjuna, so the Bhagavad-gita could be spoken. Thus the devotee can carry on many relationships with the Lord, even by playing the part of an enemy, if that part is offered with transcendental love. (34-38)
6. Dieing while looking at or remembering Krsna carries one to the highest perfection of life, and one should therefore have the Lord before him when he dies or hear the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam and thus pass at death to Vaikuntha, to act as either the Lord’s servant, friend, parent, or fiancee. (39-42)
7. After a great devotee passes from this world and his spiritually surcharged body is offered special respect, the devotees feel separation for the great soul, not for his body, and then feel the Lord with them within their hearts as they glorify Him and do their duty of consoling his relatives. (43-49)
Chapter Ten, Departure of Lord Krsna For Dvaraka
Saunaka questions Suta about Yudhisthira’s rule of the kingdom after the Kuruksetra battle, and Suta Goswami answers by describing the wonderful world situation created by Yudhisthira’s reign. Sukadeva then narrates Krsna’s departure from Hastinapura to Dvaraka and describes the expressions of affection by the residents of Hastinapura, especially the ladies of Hastinapura, who offer their prayers as the Lord leaves. (1-6, 7-20) The ladies appreciate their fortune in seeing the Lord and creator of the universe, Krsna, who is usually only seen by great, pure devotees, and who mercifully descends to the material world in different ages. (21-25) The ladies then describe the glories of the land in which Krsna descends, as well as the great fortune of the wives of Krsna, who so intimately relate with Him. (26-30) The Lord accepts the prayers of the ladies and leaves Hastinapura for Dvaraka. (31-36)
1. Due to the Lord’s reciprocations with His pure devotees, the devotees cannot bare His separation. This intense affection for the Lord comes about by association with pure devotees, through which the conditioned soul becomes attracted to hear Krsna’s glories and thus forgetting the material world, wants to be always directly associate with Krsna through hearing, thinking, and talking about Him. Krsna appreciates glorifications from pure devotees more than the hymns of the Vedas. (1-6, 7-20)
2. Krsna, who is the shelter of the material energy as well as the shelter of the jiva souls trapped by birth and death, and who possesses a spiritual body, can free the souls from their suffering though His instructions in Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. By hearing the Bhagavatam, the suffering souls will learn to purify their senses through devotional service, hear of His greatness, which is also described in the Vedas and Upanisads, and hear as well of His intimate pastimes. (21-25)
3. To achieve Krsna’s association one should become purified by following the scriptures while living in a holy dham and thus renovate one’s rasa with Krsna, which can be obtained regardless of one’s current position. (26-30)
4. If one with purified desires wants to engage in a specific rasa with the Lord, the Lord will fulfill that desire through His pastimes show that out of affection for His devotee, He allows them to place Him under their protection and care. The Lord also shows, through His pastimes, the correct example by acting in such a way that others can follow Him. (31-36)
Chapter Eleven, Lord Krsna’s Entrance into Dvaraka
Krsna reaches Dvaraka and blows His conchshell, which heralds the citizens to gather before the Lord. (1-5) Various citizens offer prayers and the Lord accepts their offerings. (6-10) The fantastic beauty of Dvaraka, which is resplendent with natural opulences, is described. Prior to entering Dvaraka’s boundaries, the Lord accepts a reception and further reciprocates with the citizens of Dvaraka. (11-22) Krsna enters the city, greets more citizens, and exchanges affection with His mothers. (23-29) Finally the Lord enters into each of His 16,108 palaces and sees each of His Queens. (30-35) The transcendental character of the Lord and the spiritual nature of Krsna’s relationships with His queens are described. (36-39)
1. One who is not yet pure can achieve spiritual vision and see Krsna through chanting His name and taking shelter of Him as his only protector. (1-5, 6-10)
2. This is the purpose of human life. If we do not learn to see Krsna face to face, all else we see is illusion. (11-22)
3. Even today, the Lord can be seen by all in His arca form in temples. These forms will draw affection from every living being capable of giving affection, as the Lord drew affection from the residents of Dvaraka who saw him every day. (23-29)
4. We should understand that no soul can be satisfied unless he attains some position in the Lord’s service, and that the Lord appeared to attract the living entities into taking part in such relationships as the one’s He displayed in Dvaraka with His queens. (30-35)
5. When Krsna related to His queeens, He reciprocated with their pure affection, which was untinged by the moods of material nature. (36-39)
Chapter Twelve, Birth of Emperor Pariksit
The sages of Naimisaranya turn their questions back to topics about Maharaja Pariksit. Suta Goswami first explains the glories of Maharaja Yudhisthira and the glories of Maharaja Yudhisthira’s reign over the earth. (1-3, 4-6) Suta then explains the vision of the Lord that Pariksit saw while still in the womb. (7-11) Sukadeva narrates the birth of Pariksit and Yudhisthira’s observance of Pariksit’s birth ceremony, which was attended by learned brahmanas who described the Lord’s protection of Pariksit. (12-14, 15-17) In answer to Yudhisthira’s inquiry about how Pariksit will compare to his ancestors, the brahmanas glorify the future qualities of Pariksit. The brahmanas finally describe the future death of Pariksit, and then, after being sufficiently remunerated, return home. (18-26, 27-29) Pariksit grows and his qualities develop under Yudhisthira’s guardianship. Yudhisthira decides to perform a sacrifice to atone for his own sins. His brothers collect the needed money, and Yudhisthira performed the sacrifice in the presence of Lord Krsna. Following the sacrifice, Arjuna returns to Hastinapura with Krsna. (30-36)
1. One should, especially if he gets advance notice of his death, attempt to attain Krsna’s association in the spiritual world by ardently hearing from a bonafide spiritual master. (1-3, 4-6)
2. A child remains in a womb which he has taken due to his past karma and in his great suffering he prays to Krsna, the all-pervading Lord, who can appear anywhere He likes and protect His devotee. (7-11)
3. The Lord protects all living entities through his energies, but He personally protects and saves his unalloyed devotees who are engaged in His work as missionaries and as His representative, the spiritual master. (12-14, 15-17)
4. Therefore one should hear Srimad Bhagavatam from a self realized devotee, and then, when his attachment to Krsna is mature, he will get free from all material fear, anxiety, and attraction and go back to Godhead. (18-26, 27-29)
5. Since the success of all sacrifices is dependent on the priests, of which today, there are none qualified, the only sacrifice recommended in this age is the sankirtana yajna, therefore people should take to this recognized path as recommended by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to remove sins committed from doing unauthorized work and sins unintentionally committed. (30-36)
Chapter Thirteen, Dhrtarastra Quits Home
Vidura returns to Hastinapura after learning the science of the self from Maitreya Muni. (1-7) Maharaja Yudhisthira questions Vidura about his travels and Vidura, after replying, stays in Hastinapura for sometime. (18-16) While in Hastinapura, Vidura preaches to Dhrtarastra, his elder brother, to give up his material attachments. Vidura pushes Dhrtarastra to immediately leave home and pursue self- realization. (17-28) Dhrtarastra finally leaves along with his chaste wife (Gandhari) and Vidura. When their absence is detected by Yudhisthira, he inquires from Sanjaya, Dhrtarastra’s servant, about Dhrtarastra’s whereabouts. (29-37) Narada Muni appears, and Yudhisthira questions the sage. (38-40) Narada instructs Yudhisthira about the true situation of the living entity in this world. (41-47) Narada instructs Yudhisthira to take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, who has descended upon the earth. (48-50) Before Narada departs, he explains that Dhrtarastra, after going to the Ganges, will give up his body while performing mystic yoga. (51-60)
1. The conditioned soul longing for satisfaction can obtain it only when he serves Krsna, which is his constitutional position, and which he must learn the art of doing from a bonafide spiritual master. (1-7)
2. Great devotees travel to deliver those whom they visit, and they are recognized not by their external position, but by their always being rapt in favorable remembrance of Krsna, These saintly persons should be treated like denizens of heaven without considering their family of birth, for they are fully transcendental. Here are the words they speak. (8-16)
3. Eternal time defeats all those who do not notice her deadly approach, and sadhus should preach that one should face reality and give up the comfortable situation from which time will nonetheless steal everything by seeking protection under the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Many sadhus are needed to educate todays many Dhrtarastra that they’d better take to self-realization under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. (17-28)
4. By even a moments association with a sadhu, one free from faultfinding, one’s anarthas are removed and one becomes detached from material which is the prerequisite to becoming attached to the spiritual. One can only maintain his detachment by acquiring a determined conviction, which also comes from sadhus, that one is achieving something superior by is renunciation. One’s renunciation is successful only if Krsna is pleased. (29-37)
5. A pure devotee, who is qualified by his being faithful, learned, and renounced, who preaches the Lord’s message to reclaim fallen souls should be honored as the Lord is honored. (38-40)
6. One should use his intelligence to seek liberation, not for seeking happiness or avoiding distress, for the Lord only can free one from the distress that is coming from karma. Therefore, no one can be actually dependent on us, rather they are dependent on the Lord, and by depending on the Lord and following the regulations of Krsna consciousness, one’s sufferings can gradually be mitigated. (41-47)
7. One should look to the mission of the Lord, which is to remove the harassment of the devotees and mass of people by the demonic and to reclaim the fallen souls, and one should not be disturbed by the affairs of so called happiness and distress. (48-50)
8. Although the purpose of practicing the sitting postures in yoga is to become free from the modes, this freedom is most easily accomplished by engaging the senses in Krsna’s service, wherein one can get free from the modes. This will occur when one practices devotional service without offending vaisnavas, associates with potent sadhus, is pious, and follows the footsteps of Narada Muni. (51-60)
Chapter Fourteen, The Disappearance of Lord Krsna
Arjuna’s return to Hastinapura is past due, and Maharaja Yudhisthira, after noticing inauspicious signs, reveals to Bhimasena his fears that Lord Krsna, whom the Pandavas completely depend upon, has departed from this earth. (1-9) Yudhisthira tells Bhimasena the omens he has seen and concludes that Krsna’s footprints will no longer grace this earth. (10-21) Arjuna suddenly returns from Dvaraka and Yudhisthira, in anxiety, questions him about the welfare of the Yadus. Yudhisthira’s questions turn to Arjuna’s dejected countenence, and Yudhisthira concludes that the only possible cause could be that Lord Krsna has disappeared. (22-44)
1. When a civilization or person is separated from Krsna, the result is inauspicious and then sufferings are inflicted upon the separated souls by the Lord’s material energy. (1-9, 10-21)
2. But these suffering living entities aren’t the only living entities. There are also infallible entities in the spiritual world with whom the Lord wonderfully reciprocates. (22-44)
Chapter Fifteen, The Pandavas Retire Timely
Arjuna, who is grief-stricken and overwhelmed, remembers Krsna and begins explaining that Krsna, his dear friend, is now lost to him. (1-6) Arjuna retells incident after incident how Krsna empowered and protected him and the other Pandavas. (7-17) Arjuna then speaks about the intimacy of his relationship with Krsna, and how, in the absence of Krsna, he has lost his powers and has been defeated by some insignificant cowherdmen. (18-21) Arjuna then relates news of the destruction of the Yadu dynasty to Yudhisthira. (22-26) Feeling great grief, Arjuna remembers Krsna’s instructions and becomes situated in transcendence, beyond the modes of material nature. (27-31) After hearing from Arjuna, Yudhisthira and Kunti decide to go back to Godhead. Suta then philosophically explains about the disappearance of both the Yadus and the Supreme Lord. (32-35) Understanding that Kali has entered, Maharaja Yudhisthira enthrones Maharaja Pariksit as emperor, frees himself from the material conception of life, and leaves home to devote himself completely to thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (36-44) After describing how the Pandavas followed Yudhisthira and after describing the death Vidura, the chapter ends with a benediction. (45-51)
1. Arjuna is a typical friend of Krsna and see the wonderful reciprocation Krsna has with Arjuna in power and glory which is caused by Arjuna’s dependence on Krsna. (1-6)
2. Lists the wonderful loving reciprocations between with Arjuna and Krsna in their fraternal rasa. (7-17)
3. These relationships with Krsna are fully satisfying and Krsna makes arrangements for giving and taking in the dealings with His devotees according to His plans. (18-21, 22-26)
4. One can become free from illusory separation from Krsna, which is different from the loving ecstatic separation that Yudhisthira was feeling at the beginning of Chapter 14, through association by remembering His instructions, chanting, reading his scriptures, etc. Because Krsna is eternally present, one can even become liberated from illusion simply by understanding Krsna’s birth and activities. (27-31)
5. Krsna is always here, and doesn’t expire when He “leaves” this world. (32-35)
6. At least at the end of one’s life, one should detach himself from all material dependencies and designations and leave home to fix his mind in incessantly thinking of Krsna. (36-44)
7. But one must begin training and live purely in one’s life to attain success at the time of death by fixing one;s mind in Krsna and going back to Godhead. If one can master this art and attain the same result of going back to Godhead while still within this body. (45-51)
Chapter Sixteen, How Pariksit Received the Age of Kali
Suta Goswami explains that once, as Maharaja Pariksit was reigning under the guidance of the brahmanas, he punished the master of Kali Yuga, who was causing pain to a cow and a bull. (1-4) Saunaka Rsi inquires about the punishment of Kali and explains the glories of hearing about topics relating to Krsna. (5-9) Suta relates that after Maharaja Pariksit perceives the influence of the age of Kali within his kingdom, he initiates a tour to defeat Kali. While touring, Maharaja Pariksit hears the glories of his great relatives, the Pandavas. (10-16) Dharma, who is wandering in the form of a bull, questions the earth, in the form of a cow, about the cause of the earth’s current, miserable condition. (17-24) The earth replies that her misery is caused by her separation from Krsna’s presence and by an increase of Kali’s influence due to Krsna’s absence. Maharaja Pariksit then arrives. (25-36)
1. The king or the executive head of a government must protect brahminical culture and thus insure that Kali’s influence doesn’t enter. (1-4)
2. Hearing of such a king whose activities are connected with Krsna is purifying. (5-9)
3. And where does a king get his potency? Through always remembering Krsna. (10-16)
4. The horrible Kali yuga culture can be removed by the sankirtana yajna. (17-24)
5. Kali Yuga, which began the moment that Krsna disappeared from this planet, can be ended, and an opulent situation on earth can be reinstituted. This can occur when the pure chanter of the Lord’s name travels throughout the world and thus removes the influence of Kali. (25-36)
Chapter Seventeen, The Punishment and reward of Kali
Maharaja Pariksit challenges and threatens the low-class man, dressed as a king, who is beating the cow and the bull. (1-6) Maharaja Pariksit then questions and consoles the cow and the bull. (7-16) The bull answers Maharaja’s inquiries about the cause of his difficulties, and after hearing the bull’s reply, Maharaja Pariksit recognizes the bull as the personality of religion and begins to reply to him. (17-23) After Maharaja Pariksit completes his reply, and as he is preparing to kill Kali, Kali surrenders. Although Maharaja Pariksit spares Kali’s life, he banishes him. Kali then requests a place where he can fearlessly live. (24-37) Maharaja Pariksit gives Kali permission to dwell in five places– where gambling, drinking, prostitution, and animal slaughter take place, and where gold is hoarded–all places with which brahmanas and sannyasi’s should never come in contact. After Maharaja Pariksit drives Kali from his kingdom, he re-establishes religion and begins his reign. (38-45)
1. Kali continues because no ksatriya king is present to suppress its irreligious activities. (1-6)
2. Such a king rules according to the scriptures and never allows offenseless citizens to be disturbed by irreligious offenders. (7-16)
3. Sometimes, to prove a point, as the Lord did when He put Bhumi and Dharma in trouble to prove that Maharaja Pariksit was the ideal executive head, the Lord uses His devotees and even causes them distress. (17-23)
4. It is essential that we understand the importance of a qualified king in removing the influence of Kali, and in the absence of such a king, the systematic education offered to the citizens in the Bhagavatam and the performance of the sankirtana yajna, will do the same job. (24-37)
5. Cooperation between the brahmanas and the ksatriya will thus bring success to the state. (38-45)
Chapter Eighteen, Maharaja Pariksit Cursed by a Brahmana Boy
Suta Goswami begins by describing Maharaja Pariksit’s life which contains wonderful dealings with Krsna. (5-9) The sages glorify Suta and the importance of hearing about Krsna from great devotees. They then request Suta to describe the pastimes of the Lord, especially the topics upon which Maharaja Pariksit fixed his mind and thus attained Krsna’s lotus feet. (10-17) Suta first explains the process of purification through hearing about Krsna, and then begins explaining the exalted qualities of the Supreme Lord Krsna. (18-23) Suta begins narrating how Maharaja Pariksit insulted the sage Samika Rsi by placing a dead snake around the meditating sage’s neck. (24-31) After Samika Rsi was insulted, his son, Srngi, cursed Maharaja Pariksit to die in seven days. Samika Rsi lamented when he heard what his son had done. (32-37) Samika Rsi prays to the Supreme Lord to forgive his son for his foolishness. (38-46)
1. A pure devotee always remembers Krsna, is never afraid or bewildered, is free from material attachments, and can thus remember Krsna at the time of death. These qualifications arise in the heart of one who submissively hears and serves a great soul. (1-4)
2. Hearing is so powerful that the ill effects of Kali can be driven out of society if the state adopts a system of propagating the hearing of Krsna katha, which also includes hearing about the devotees of the Lord. (5-9)
3. Because hearing about Krsna brings eternal life, and because devotional service based on hearing and chanting guarantees results in Kali yuga, and because one can relish the topics of Krsna without satiation, the Srimad Bhagavatam is dear to the devotees, for it is enriched with devotional Krsna Katha. One should thus submissively hear the Bhagavatam from a speaker who is fixed on Krsna. (10-17)
4. By association and hearing from great souls, by preaching, and by offenseless chanting the devotee are freed all sins and disqualifications and are empowered with the Lords’ potency. That Lord, Sri Krsna, is completely self satisfied and independent and is not in need of service from anyone, for no one is equal or greater than Krsna and all the demigods are engaged in His service. Because Krsna is unfathomable, only He can describe Himself–but the learned devotees can describe Him as far as they are empowered by the Lord. (18-23)
5. To achieve his purposes and to bring His devotee closer to Him, the Lord sometimes creates a difficult situation for His devotees, and the devotees therefore accept their difficult conditions as the blessings of the Lord. This was the case when the Lord created a distressful condition for Maharaja Pariksit so the Srimad Bhagavatam could be spoken. (24-31)
6. Kali Yuga entered society through the pride of the brahmanas who were powerful but did not understand the importance of culture, Due to this fall of the brahmanas, Kali yuga brahmanas lost their their powers and gradually the rest of society thus became degraded. (32-37)
7. Because of brahminical impropriety, the proper monarchial government was lost, and because of an improper leadership, people misuse their lives for sense gratification and don’t attempt to go back to Godhead. The brahminical community must take responsibility for this. (38-46)
8. We should also learn from the life of Maharaja Pariksit that one should take advantage of difficult and awkward circumstances by taking shelter of the Supreme Lord and advancing in Krsna consciousness. (47-50)
Chapter Nineteen, The Appearance of Sukadeva Goswami
Maharaja Pariksit laments that he insulted the sage. When Maharaja Pariksit hears that he’s been cursed for his offense, he begins preparing for his death. Fasting, he sits down at the bank of the Ganges and gives himself up to the lotus feet of the Lord. (1-3, 4-7) After hearing of the great king’s plight, many rsis arrive. Maharaja Pariksit welcomes them and tells them of his decision to fast until death. (8-19) The sages glorify the king’s decision and Maharaja Pariksit responds by inquiring from the sages about the duty of one who is about to die. (20-24) After Maharaja Pariksit has made his inquiry, the exalted sage Sukadeva Goswami approaches the assembly. Maharaja Pariksit offers him respect, glorifies him, and then inquires about the duty of one about to die. (25-40)
1. When a pure devotees is dieing, he fixes his mind on Krsna with determination, and desires to only go to the spiritual world. In preparation, one should retire from family life and shift himself to the bank of a sacred river. Prior to this point, one should not have willingly committed any offenses and one should have constantly remembered the lotus feet of the Lord without any deviation.
Then at the end, one should ask everyone to accept his obeisances and then beg them to excuse all his offenses. One should then consult with authorities about how he should spend his final days. Although sages usually avoid the association of those who take part in the material world, they should nevertheless overlook the previous material position of a pure devotee who is about to die. They should give him their association. The devotee should consider his situation thusly, “The Lord, as a special favor to me, is personally removing me from this material situation for I am so strongly attached to it.” As soon as the devotee thus surrenders to the will of the Supreme Lord, he conquers his fear of death. Thus devotee has the most perfect life in the material world, and then at the time of death, he has the most favorable conditions for his going back to Godhead, with all obstacles removed from his path. The devotee’s position is so secure that even the demigods work to help the devotee at the time of the death of his body. (1-3, 4-7)
2. The devotees live in the material world unattached to its glare due to their to their having accepted that association with the Lord in His abode is life’s highest gain. Although the departure from this world of a great devotees is nothing to lament about, for he achieves the topmost spiritual planet, Goloka Vrindaban, their departure nonetheless leaves us with a lamentable fact this great souls, who is so rarely found, can no longer be within our sight. (8-19)
3. Sages have no other desire than reclaiming the fallen souls rotting in material existence and preaching to them that devotional service to Krsna is everyone’s duty in all circumstances, especially at the end of their lives. (20-24)
4. True sages will recognize and honor an exalted devotee as soon as they see him. They show the exalted devotee respect regardless of his material, bodily situation. One must accept a bonafide spiritual master if he is interested in solving the problems of life and understanding the science of transcendence. Especially one who is near death should appreciate the presence of a great saint for he can turn any place into a pilgrimage spot. It is essential to understand that getting the association and help of a saint and accepting him as spiritual master means that one has received the direct help of the Lord Himself. (25-40)
End of this part
Part Five: Translation of Verses One through Three
by Srila Prabhupada
om namah bhagavate vasudevaya
janmady’ asya yato ‘nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarat
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ‘mrsa
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyan param dhimahi
om–O my Lord; namah–offering my obeisances; bhagavate–unto the Personality of Godhead; vasudevaya–unto Vasudeva (the son of Vasudeva), or Lord Sri Krsna, the primeval Lord; janma-adi– creation, sustenance and destruction; asya–of the manifested universes; yatah–from whom; anvayat–directly; itaratah– indirectly; ca–and; arthesu–purposes; abhijnah–fully cognizant; sva-rat–fully independent; tene–imparted; brahma– the Vedic knowledge; hrda–consciousness of the heart; yah–one who; adi-kavaye–unto the original created being; muhyanti–are illusioned; yat–about whom; surayah–great sages and demigods; tejah–fire; vari–water; mrdam–earth; yatha–as much as; vinimayah–action and reaction; yatra–whereupon; tri-sargah– three modes of creation, creative faculties; amrsa–almost factual; dhamna–along with all transcendental paraphernalia; svena–self-sufficiently; sada–always; nirasta–negation by absence; kuhakam–illusion; satyam–truth; param–absolute; dhimahi–I do meditate upon.
1. om namah bhagavate vasudevaya — O my Lord,Sri Krsna, Son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
2. janmady’ asya yato — (I meditate of Lord Krsna because) He is the Absolute Truth, and the primal cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance, and destruction of the manifest universes.
3. ‘nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah ‘nvayad itaratas — (directly and indirectly) carthesv–(purposes), abhijnah–(all knowing)}
He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations
4. svarat–(independent) He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him.
5. tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye — It is He only, who imparted the Vedic knowledge into the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being
6. muhyanti yat surayah — (By Him) even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion,
7. tejo-vari-mrdam yatha — (as one is bewildered) by the illusory representation of water seen in fire or land seen on water.
8. vinimayo yatra tri-sargo — Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the three modes of material nature,
9. ‘mrsa — appear factual, (although they are unreal).
10. dhamna svena sada — (I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Sri Krsna,) who is eternally existant in the transcendental abode,
11. nirasta-kuhakam — which is forever free from the illusory representation of the material world
12. satyam param dhimahi — I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth
O my Lord, Sri Krsna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Sri Krsna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Sri Krsna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.
(A) dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
(B) vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
(C) srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
(D) sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ‘tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat
dharmah–religiosity; projjhita–completely rejected; kaitavah– covered by fruitive intention; atra–herein; paramah–the highest; nirmatsaranam–of the one-hundred-percent pure in heart; satam–devotees; vedyam–understandable; vastavam–factual; atra- -herein; vastu–substance; sivadam–well-being; tapa-traya– threefold miseries; unmulanam–causing uprooting of; srimat– beautiful; bhagavate–the Bhagavata Purana; maha-muni–the great sage (Vyasadeva); krte–having compiled; kim–what is; va–the need; paraih–others; isvarah–the Supreme Lord; sadyah–at once; hrdi–within the heart; avarudhyate–become compact; atra– herein; krtibhih–by the pious men; susrusubhih–by culture; tat- ksanat–without delay.
(A) Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavat Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. (B) The highest turth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. (C) This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva (in his maturity), is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need for any other scripture? (D) As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge, the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.
(A) nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
(B) suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam
(C) pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
(D) muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah
nigama–the Vedic literatures; kalpa-taroh–the desire tree; galitam–fully matured; phalam–fruit; suka–Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, the original speaker of Srimad-Bhagavatam; mukhat–from the lips of; amrta–nectar; drava–semisolid and soft and therefore easily swallowable; samyutam–perfect in all respects; pibata–do relish it; bhagavatam–the book dealing in the science of the eternal relation with the Lord; rasam–juice (that which is relishable); alayam–until liberation, or even in a liberated condition; muhuh–always; aho–O; rasikah–those who are full in the knowledge of mellows; bhuvi–on the earth; bhavukah–expert and thoughtful.
A. (This Bhagavatam is the) fully mature fruit of the tree of Vedic literatures
B. (and) this nectar, which has emanated from the mouth of Sukadeva Gosvami, is easily swallowable and perfect in all respects
C. This juice of the Bhagavatam is relishable for souls before they are liberated, as well as those who are liberated, and
D. O, always, for those who who are full in the knowledge of the mellows of devotional love.
O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emulated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.
Part Six: Verse One–Pointing to Krsna and Pointing to Radha- Krsna
Pointing to Krsna
janmady’ asya yato ‘nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarat
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ‘mrsa
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyan param dhimahi
janmady’ asya yato– (janma adi asya) of the original (adi) Personality of Godhead; anvayad — (going) after taking His birth in Mathura, He told His father to take him away from this place; itaratas — to another place; carthesu — expert in making arrangements; abhijna — very; svarat — one who lives with His devotees (He was born in prison and wanted to go to His devotees in Gokula);
(I offer my my respectful obeisances to) the original Personality, who, just after taking His birth in a prison house in Mathura, was so expert that He, wishing to go and live with His devotees in Gokula, told His father to take Him away to another place.
tene brahma — He expanded; hrda ya — by His own thinking; adi- kavaye — Lord Brahma; muhyanti — bewildered; yat surayah — great personalities
He expanded Himself by His own thinking power into many cows and boys and bewildered even great personalities, like Brahma. (Not only Brahma, a demigod, but even Lord Baladeva was bewildered for one year.)
tejo — effulgence; vari — water; mrdam — earth; yatha vinimayo — exhange, transformed; yatra tri-sargo — created pastimes in three places, namely, Vrindavana, Mathura, and Dvaraka; amrsa — these are not false, but are real
The Lord created His eternal pastimes in three places, Vrindavana, Mathura, and Dvaraka, and they are so wonderful that they change the characteristics of one thing into another, such as when the moon lost its effulgence when Krsna played His flute, the Yamuna became solid and solid rocks melted.
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam — All of Krsna’s pastime places are free from illusion; param satyam — Govinda, by name, is called Satya; dhimahi — I meditate
All of the places of Krsna’s pastimes are free from maya, illusion, because illusion cannot approach these dhams. I therefore meditate upon the Supreme Lord Krsna (Satyam is a name of Krsna mentioned many times in SB 10.2.26).
Pointing to Radha-Krsna and describing Their Sweetness
from Krsna Sandarbha
janmady’ asya yato ‘nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarat
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ‘mrsa
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyan param dhimahi
Anucheddha 2, Text 13
The first verse of Srimad Bhagavatam is intended to describe not only the opulences and glory of both Lord Krsna and Srimati Radharani. This verse describes Their transcendental sweetness. The verse is:
“O my Lord, Sri Krsna, son of Vasudeva, O all pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Sri Krsna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, modes of natures, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Sri Krsna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representation of the material world. I meditate upon Him.”
In this verse the words “yato ‘nvayad” mean “Lord Krsna, who is attached to Srimati Radharani, His transcendental pleasure potency”, and the word “itaratah” means “His eternal companion, Srimati Radharani”.
In this verse the word “yatah” means “from whom”, “adyasya” means “the mellow of madhurya-rasa”. and “janma” means “manifestation”. The meaning is that They are the transcendental abode of the science of madhurya-rasa. Next the great sweetness of Their wonderful pastimes is described in the words “arthesu”, which means “in many pastimes” and “abhijnah”, which means “expert”. The word “svarat” means “in Her company He shines (raj) with great splendor”.
Thinking “by Their mercy I shall completely describe the wonderful divine couple”, he (Vedavyasa) then spoke the next part of this verse. “Adi-kavaye” here means “to me, Vedavyasa, who am now beginning the descriptions of Their pastimes”. “Hrda” here means “by the gateway of the heart”, “brahma” means “the spiritual words that describe Their pastimes”, “yah tene” means “who in the beginning revealed this entire purana in my heart”. That is the meaning. The revelation of Srimad- Bhagavatam to Vyasadeva is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.7.4-6):
“Thus he (Vyasadeva) fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control.”
“Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries.”
“The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth.”
The word “yad” here means “about whom”, “surayah” means “even Ananta Sesa and those like Him”, and “muhyanti” means “are not able to even begin to understand or describe Their very wonderful virtues and the handsomeness of Their transcendental forms”. They think: “If She (Srimati Radharani) is not merciful to Me, then even if I have a form like Lord Madhava’s own form I shall not be able to understand pastimes such as the one that begins with this verse (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.30.26):
“The gopis began to follow the footprints, and shortly they saw another set of footprints beside them, and immediately they became very sorry.”
The phrase “tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayah” also describes the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. These words refer to Lord Krsna’s playing His flute for upon hearing the sound of His flute, all the living entities in Vrndavana become overwhelmed with transcendental bliss, and change their nature. The shining moon and stars (tejah) become dimmed, and they appear like water or earth. The Yamuna river and other bodies of water become stunned and solid as earth or stone, and the earth and stones begin to melt and take part on the prosperties of water. These astonishing things occur as a result of the wonderful pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Lord Krsna’s melodious flute music.
The phrase “yatra tri-sargo mrsa” may be interpreted in the following way:
“Yatra” means “in Srimati Radharani”. “Tri-sargah” may be interpreted to mean the Lord three potencies of Sri, Bhu, and Lila-sakti, or it may also be interpreted to mean the Lord’s abodes of Dvaraka, Mathura, and Vrndavana, or it may be interpreted to mean the three classes of gopis in Vrndavana, those friendly to Srimati Radharani, those who are neutral parties, and those who are Srimati Radharani’s rivals. “mrsa” means “irrevelant”. All these, the Lord’s potencies, abodes, and the gopis of Vrndavana, are all insignificant in comparison to the transcendental opulence, qualities and beauty of Srimati Radharani. Krsna does not need any of these to satisfy His transcendental desires, for all His desires may be fulfilled by Srimati Radharani alone.
The word “dhimahi” means “I meditate on Sri Sri Radha-Krsna”.
We may note that the co-relative pronoun “tat” (in the singular), understood although not directly expressed in this sentence, refers to both Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, and in addition to that is in the neuter gender. Sri Sri Radha-Krsna are described in the singular because They are the supreme potency and the supreme master of all potencies. Because in one sense there is no difference in nature between the potency and master of potencies, They are both described with one pronoun in the singular. Another reason for using a singular word to describe Sri Sri Radha-Krsna is because there is such a great bond of transcendental love between Them, it is as if they are one. They are described by a nueter pronoun because a feminine pronoun would be inappropriate for Lord Krsna and a masculine pronoun would be unsuitable for Srimati Radharani. For this reason the nueter pronoun “tat” is used, for this can be understood to be the common-gender, both masculine and feminine.
The phrase “dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam” may be interpreted in the following way:
By Their power and opulence (dhamna svena), Sri Sri Radha and Krsna remain always (sada) free (nirasta) from the illusions (kuhakam) of the material nature (birth, death, old age, and disease), as well as from the illusory interference offered by Srimati Radharani’s gopi rivals. None ot these can offer any obstruction to the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.
The word “satyam” (eternal) in this verse should be understood to mean that Sri Sri Radha-Krsna are eternally situated in the highest perfection. They eternally relish transcendental bliss in Their pastimes, and this condition is never changed
The word “param” should be understood to mean that the unprecedented transcendental qualities, pastimes, and other features of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna are supreme, and nothing else is in any way equal to them. These superexcellent qualities and pastimes fill the entire universe with wonder.
When a description is used to apply simultaneously to two or more nouns of similar nature, such a literary ornament is called prativastu-upama, and when a series of descriptions are used in this way, it is called mala-prativastu-upama. This verse (Srimad- Bhagavatam 1.1.1) is an example of such a mala-prativastu-upama, for a series of descriptions intended equally for Radha and Krsna are given here. Sri Sri Radha and Krsna are described here as greater than the greatest, without any equal. They possess similar sublime transcendental qualities, and the flooding rivers of nectar of Their transcendental qualities is the very life of the devotees. Indeed, who would not become delighted by hearing the transcendental pastimes of Their lotus feet?
The charming sweetness of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava is enhanced by Their mutual exchange of pure and playful dancing glances upon each other. That sweetness has annointed Them with the greatest skill in delighting each other with the pastimes of madhurya- rasa, and that sweetness has made Them intoxicated with the sweet fragance of the nectarean love They bear for each other. May that sweetness of the black and gold forms of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna continually overtake my thoughts.
Part Seven: The Six Questions of the Sages and Where the Questions are Answered….104
In his commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.1, Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura has summarized the six questions that the sages of Namasaranya asked Suta Gosvami as follows:
1. What is the ultimate benefit for mankind?
2. What is the essence of all scriptures?
3. For what reason did the Lord take His birth from Devaki?
4. Describe the wonderful deeds of the Lord when He assumed the forms of Brahma, Rudra, etc, for the purpose of creating, maintaining, and destroying the universe.
5. Fully describe the activities of Lord Hari’s incarnations within this universe.
6. Where has religion taken shelter after Krsna has retired to His own abode?
Srila Jiva Gosvami has commented that of these six questions, four are answered in Chapter Two and two are answered in Chapter Three.
Here are the questions and the place in which they are answered according to two commentators on the Bhagavatam:
Question One (1.1.9): What is the absolute and ultimate good (sreyah) for people in general?
After describing that devotional service to Sri Krsna was the essence of the scriptures, Suta explains that the ultimate benefit for people in general is to become free from material bondage and develop love of God through devotional service offered only to Krsna or His plenary parts (Especially SB 1.2.6- 7, but also until verse 27)
Question Two: (1.1.11): What is the essence of all scriptures?
Throughout the Second Chapter of the Bhagavatam and especially in SB 1.2.6-7, and continuing on to text 28, Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is confirmed as the only object of worship, and establishing one’s lost relationship with Him in love and service through devotional service is proclaimed as sum and substance of the Vedic literatures.
Question Three (1.1.12): Tell why Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared.
This question is answered in 1.2.34, “to reclaim those in the mode of pure goodness.” In addition, this question is answered in 1.8.35, 9.4.61, 10.8.48-50, and 10.33.37.
Question Four (1.1.17) Tell us of the acts of Lord performs in relationship to creating the material world.
This question is answered in 1.2.30-33, wherein the Bhagavatam explains how Vasudeva creates the material substance and enters into it as the Purusa incarnations. In addition, Cantos Two and Three Four explain the creation of the universe.
Question Five (1.1.18): Describe the activities of the incarnations of the Lord.
The Lord’s incarnations are described within the Chapter Three of the First Canto. Descriptions of the incarnations are expanded throughout the remainder of the Bhagavatam.
Question Six (1.1.23): Where have religious principles gone after Krsna’s disappearance from this planet?
Suta Goswami answers this question in SB 1.3.43 by declaring, “This Bhagavat Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krsna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purana.”
The notes in this file are quite unrefined
The First Step In God Realization
Sukadeva Gosvami glorifies Maharaja Pariksit’s question, which he spoke at the end Canto One, “I am therefore begging you (Sukadeva Gosvami) to show the way of perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die. Please let me know what a man should hear, chant, remember and worship, and also what he should not do. Please explain all this to me.” (Bhag. 1.19.37-38)
Sukadeva, in answer to that question, glorifies hearing krsna-katha and explains that the highest perfection life, regardless of the process one uses, is to remember the Personality of Godhead at the end of life. (1-6) Therefore, he explains, the topmost transcendentalists take pleasure in always describing the glories of the Lord.
Sukadeva continues to describe how he studied the Srimad-Bhagavatam from his father, Çréla Vyäsadeva, at the end of the Dväpara-yuga. Although he was already situated on the transcendental platform, he still became attracted by the Bhagavatam’s description of the Lord’s pastimes. (7-9) Sukadeva tells Pariksit Maharaja that he will now recite the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. He then glorifies the Bhagavatam, saying one who gives full attention and respect to hearing Çrémad-Bhägavatam achieves unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord. And further, that constantly chanting the Lord’s holy names is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all. (10-11)
Maharaja Pariksit is to die in one week. After explaining that a short life with a moment of pure consciousness is superior to a long life wasted within matter, Sukadeva encourages Pariksit Maharaja by retelling how saintly King Khaöväìga, after being informed that the duration of his life would be only a moment more, at once freed himself from all material activities and in a moment took shelter of the Lord. (12-13) Sukadeva thus assures Mahäräja Parékñit that his remaining time is sufficient, and that at the last stage of life, one should fearlessly cut off all attachment to all connected to one’s body. (12-15)
He continues explaining that one should leave home and practice yoga for the purpose of remembering a-u-m. The mind should be withdrawn from sense activities and the mind fixed in the Lord’s service, meditating on His limbs without being deviated from the conception of the complete body. One should focus the mind upon Visnu, which cleanses the mind of its lower tendencies. Through focusing on the Lord, one can very soon attain devotional service under His direct shelter. (16-21)
Pariksit Maharaja then inquires about how to apply the mind so that it’s contaminations will be removed. Çukadeva Gosvämé answers with an explanation of the practices of astanga yoga and that one, though using his intelligence, should apply one’s mind to the gross potencies of the Lord, the viräö-rüpa. In that manifestation, time is also experienced. Sukadeva next describes details of this meditation, and that one who seriously desires liberation should concentrates his mind on this form of the Lord because nothing more than this exists within the material world. If one does not concentrate his mind upon the Virata-rupa, one will be misled and will cause his own degradation. (22-39)
1. Associating with devotees facilitates hearing krsna-katha: Achieving the association of devotees is Krsna’s direct mercy upon a soul, for it allows one to hear krsna-katha. (Intro -1)
2. The process and results of hearing krsna-katha: To actually become free from misery and fear, one must focus his consciousness upon the Lord. Through hearing krsna-katha, which is non-different from Krsna Himself, one becomes free from fear, and one’s consciousness—even as one works—can be focused on Krsna. This raises one to the topmost position of love for Krsna and detachment from matter, as both Sri Krsna and His katha are transcendental.
One should thus mold his life to always remember Krsna, and one should especially be prepared to fix his mind upon Krsna at the time of death. (5-6)
2. Devotional consciousness is a contrast to the consciousness of one in illusion: The consciousness of one desiring to hear krsna-katha is different from that those who live just for their family, working hard just to enjoy sex. Struggling with material nature, they take shelter of their family members as if these fallible soldiers were sufficient to save them from death. (2-4)
3. Everyone, regardless of his position, should hear krsna-katha: Especially the topmost transcendentalists, who are uninteresting in anything material, take pleasure in hearing and chanting about the Lord. (Sukadeva Gosvami offers himself as an example of an impersonalist who was attracted to krsna-katha.) To advance through hearing krsna-katha, which even an impersonalist can do (he can advance to bhagavan realization), one must hear krsna-katha from the correct person, a realized devotee, for the result of such hearing is that the hearer’s faith becomes established in Krsna.
Both the speaker and the hearer must be qualified, and the hearer understands everything, not exactly intellectually, but by Krsna’s mercy due to his submissive inquiries and serving mood. The hearer’s main qualifications for advancing to Krsna’s direct service through attachment to Him by hearing about Him is that he should be a devotee and possess faith is in the process of devotion. One should hear the Bhagavatam from beginning to end. (7-10) The conclusion is that the doubtless method of success for all, is that one, regardless of whether he is a devotee, a materialist, a yogi, or a jnani, should hear about Krsna from authorities and then offenselessly chant about Krsna. (11) (7-11)
4. The essence of preparing for death: A long life is not glorious, but even a moment of full consciousness is glorious. One should always chant (without offense) the potent names of Krsna and hear Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Since, at death, one’s next life will be determined by one’s desires, at least at the time of death, if not early within one’s life, one should cut-off his material attachments and focus the remaining days of his life on developing his spiritual desires by hearing Srimad Bhagavatam. (12-15)
5. Preparing for death: The essence of the preparatory process is to drag the mind from material engagements and fix it on the lotus feet of the Lord. To prepare for death, one should leave home, and, if one cannot directly hear and chant about Krsna, one should practice yoga. Through yoga’s breathing exercises, one will be able to control the mind and absorb it in the spiritual, meditiating upon all that one sees as part of Visnu, the Supreme Lord, without forgetting the complete Lord. However, it is both superior and easier to fix one’s mind on the Lord’s service and/or meditate upon the Lord’s Deity form and attain the same result of always remembering Visnu. (16-21)
6. Seeing matter in relationship to Krsna: A pantheistic view of the universe is offered so that materialists and atheists can view matter and see it in relationship to the Lord. Thus by practicing yoga and controlling the mind through pranayama, one can meditate upon the Lord’s gross, material potencies as part of the Lord’s vrata-rupa, His universal form. A materialistic person can thus remember the Lord while viewing matter—planets, days, nights, the objects of the senses, animals, varnasrama, death, etc.—and their passage through time. That, along with cultivating a service attitude towards Him, will remove all contamination from within the heart.
One should not be fooled into accepting the impersonal as the Supreme realization of the Lord, for the Lord, by exhibiting His inconceivable potency, can be both localized in Goloka Vrindaban and all pervading. Thus one should concenrate his mind upon the form of the Lord. (22-39)
Chapter Two, The Lord in the Heart
Citing previous authority for that which he has just prescribed, Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé describes how Lord Brahma regained his consciousness through meditation on the Virata Rupa and by appeasing the Lord. Brahma was thus able to rebuild the creation. One should not become bewildered when studying the Vedas and think their purpose is to assist our attaining various sense enjoyments available throughout the universe. One, through superficial study, will not be able to understand the actual goal of the Vedas—attaining the spiritual world.
Knowing this, an enlightened soul should only endeavor while in this world for the minimum necessities of life. How then should one live? One should live sleeping on the earth, using one’s arm as a pillow, one’s palms as a cup, the skins of trees as clothing, eating fruit from trees, etc..There is no need to flatter householders for survival.
One should also become fixed in rendering higher service than meditating on the Virata Rupa. One should serve the Supersoul, who is within one’s heart, and who is eternal, unlimited, and the ultimate goal of life. By worshiping Him one becomes from from conditioned existence. Only the materialist will neglect such thinking, especially after seeing that the mass of people have fallen into the river of fruitive work. (1-7)
Actually, one should meditate not on the virata-rupa, but on the Supersoul, who resides within the heart and measures only eight inches. He possesses four hands, and carries a lotus, a wheel of a chariot, a conchshell, and a club. He possesses beautiful lotus eyes, yellowish garments, jewel-set ornaments, and garlands of fresh flowers. His lotus feet are placed over the hearts of the mystics who are fixed upon Him in meditation. One thus should concentrate in mediation upon Him, beginning from His lotus feet and progressing, as the intelligence becomes purified, to His smiling face. The purpose of meditating upon the Virata Rupa, as it was described in the previous chapter, is to assist our developing a service attitude to the Supreme Lord. (8-14)
If a yogi wishes to voluntarily leave his body, he should sit comfortably and follow the following process. Through meditation, he should merge his mind, by his unalloyed intelligence, into himself—the living entity—and then merge the living entity into the Superself. And by doing this, the living entity becomes situated in the supreme stage of satisfaction. He thus ceases all other activities. This stage is transcendental, and called labdhopaçänti, the spiritual world, which is indirectly describes as that state uneffected by time, goodness, passion, ignorance, false ego, the material Causal Ocean, or material nature. Thus desiring to attain that state, the yogi avoids all Godlessness and places himself in absolute harmony with the Lord. He places the Lord’s lotus feet within his heart and worships them at every moment.
To leave this world a yogi should be fixed in absolute realization and thus extinguish all material desires. He should give up his body through yogic practice, while slowly pushing his life air upward from his navel to his heart. From there, the life air should be pushed to the chest, and from the chest to the root of the palate and finally to the cerebral hole. He should then give up all material connections and go to the Supreme. (15-21)
Those yogis who wish to experience improved material enjoyment, such as transference to Brahmaloka, the eightfold perfections, free travel in outer space, or a situation in one of the millions of planets, must take with them their subtle body when they leave the gross body behind. The pure devotees, on the other hand, concerned only with their spiritual body, have unrestricted movements throughout all of existence, including the spiritual world. Fruitive workers, gross materialists, can never move unrestrictedly.
Such a yogi gradually becomes purified and reaches the highest planet, Brahmaloka, through the Sushumara, etc. He can wait there, and transfer from Brahmaloka to Vaikuntha at the time of the devastation of the universe. In Brahmaloka, the only existing pain is compassion for those unaware of the process of devotional service and who are suffering miseries in the material world.
The yogi may also continue his purification and journey directly to the spiritual world. He can merge his ego in the mahat-tattva, etc and come to the point of pure self-realization. He thus attains perfection: association with the Personality of Godhead in complete bliss and satisfaction. This is his constitutional state. Those who attain such devotional perfection are never again attracted by this material world. Nor do they ever return. (22-31)
Sukadeva Gosvami continues to describe that this knowledge is exactly in accordance with the Vedic version, and that it was described personally by Lord Kåñëa unto Brahmä. After hearing of the difficult and intricate path to the spiritual world through the practice of yoga, Sukadeva describes a different, yet most auspicious means of deliverance: direct devotional service of Lord Kåñëa. That path was established by Lord Brahma as the actual Vedic goal: developing an attraction for Lord Krsna. One should thus adopt the direct method of hearing about Krsna, and after becoming purified, go back to Godhead to serve Him in devotional service.
The Lord is in everyone’s heart, and we are already fully dependent upon Him. One can percieve this through his intelligence. It is therefore essential that every human being hear about, glorify, and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere. Hearers of nectarean krsna-katha purify themselves of material desires and directly go back to Godhead. Sukadeva Gosvami, has now directly answered Pariksit Maharaja’s question about his duty at the time of death. (32-39)
1. Removing forgetfulness of Krsna and remaining focused on the spiritual path: Conditioned souls tend to forget their relationship with the Lord. They should remove their forgetfulness and reawaken their relationship with Krsna through following the instructions in Srimad Bhagavatam. One should not become distracted by anything—even the thoughts of heavenly enjoyment which are mentioned within the Vedas. One should accept only what is required to maintain one’s body. One should live simply, not aspire for material comforts, and use his intelligence in self-realization. Depending on the Lord’s protection, one should not flatter wealthy householders to achieve material gain. (2-5)
2. Taking shelter of the Lord in the heart: Thus materially detached, one who is renounced should practice yoga to worship the Lord in the heart. Or, as it is more practical, he should worship the Lord within a temple and end his conditioned state of material existence. Thinking of the Supersoul and taking shelter of His lotus feet is one step higher than thinking of impersonal Brahman, as suggested in Chapter One, which one does as he contemplates the Supreme Lord’s viräö-rüpa. Although the Lord is impartial, and although everyone suffers according to his own deeds, He nevertheless gives proper protection to one who takes shelter at His lotus feet. He Himself takes such a living entity back home, back to Himself.
Who, after viewing the suffering of the people of this world due to fruitive activities, will not take shelter of the Lord? (1-7)
3. Meditation upon the Supersoul: One should meditate on the Lord in the heart, or upon another all-powerful form of the Lord. The form of the Lord in the heart is eternal and beautiful, with His Kaustubha jewel, which is engraved with a beautiful calf, upon His chest. One should begin meditating upon Him from His feet.
Gradually, as one becomes purified, especially from sex desire, one’s meditation should move upwards. This remains true whether one is meditating upon the virata rupa, the Lord in the heart, or upon the Deity in the temple through the process of arcana. By concentrating one’s mind on the lotus feet of the Lord, one will gradually raise his consciousness higher and higher to the Lord’s smiling face.
A materialistic man, until he has developed a sense of service to the Lord, should meditate upon the virata-rupa at the end of His prescribed duties and thus develop Godly qualities. (8-14)
4. The yogic process of attaining the Supreme: Without worrying about either time or place, when a yogi is preparing to leave this world, he, through his practices of yoga, should engage his mind upon the Lord and attain the transcendental stage of full bliss, labdhopaçänti.
He should thus cease all material hankerings. That transcendental state contains no effect of time, modes of nature, false ego, or material energy. Impersonalist, or practitioners of forms of spiritual attainment other than bhakti, cannot attain the full manifestation of this stage; the devotees, who always worship the lotus feet of the Lord within there hearts, attain Vaikuntha. (15-18)
5. Attaining the Supreme through yoga: One can leave one’s body through focus of the mind by mechanical means and yogic manipulation of the life airs. In this age, focus of the mind is more practically accomplished by offenselessly chanting Krsna’s names than by mechanical manipulating the life airs.
A yogi who is a devotee, can focus his mind upon the goal of attaining the spiritual world and travel beyond his body to that realm. Other yogis, after becoming free from their gross material body, can travel anywhere within the universe according to their desires. Or they can attain mystic opulences. If an accomplished yogi so likes, he may travel upward to Satyaloka, and his existence will become purified and more subtle. Those who reach this stage by worship of Hiranyagarbha, or the virat, become liberated along with Lord Brahma at the time of the destruction of the universe. Those yogis who reach this stage by devotion can penetrate the universe and its coverings and enter Vaikuntha to render devotional service to Hari.
While attaining Vaikuntha is not possible in this day and age through the gradual progression of yoga, this same result can be achieved by devotees though bhakti-yoga, and, by Lord Caitanya”s mercy, through offenselessly chanting Krsna’s names and regularly reading and hearing the Bhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam in the association of devotees. Either through yoga or bhakti, only a fully purified soul can attain Vaikuntha, where the Lord enjoys Himself in the midst of unlimited numbers of His pure devotees who desire nothing but His pleasure. Such a soul never returns to the material world. Impersonalists and materials can never enter. (19-31)
6. The ultimate path of spiritual advancement: Sastra confirms that no means of deliverance is superior to the direct path of bhakti-yoga. Other paths—jnana and yoga—are steppingstones to bhakti. The conclusion of all sastra, as reached by Lord Brahma himself after careful study (and as elucidated by the acaryas), is that the Lord is in everyone’s heart, and one should “hear about, glorify and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere”, And, Lord Brahma ascertained, to become “a pure, unalloyed devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Çré Kåñëa is the topmost perfection of all religious principles.” Those who drink through their ears the nectarean messages of the Supreme Personality of Godhead find the polluted aim of their life diminish. They will thus live a life of peace, happiness, and knowledge. By constantly hearing about Krsna, they will go to Goloka Vrindaban. (32-39)
Chapter Three, Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart
Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé explained that he has now answered Parékñit Maharja’s questions as to the duty of one on the threshold of death: A thoughtful man should hear Krsna-katha.
But what if one has other desires? Should one worship and fix his mind only on Krsna for spiritual attainments? And, for achieving material benefits, should one worship demigods? As a prelude to answering this question, Sukadeva Gosvami begins describing the proper personages to worship for having one’s material desires fulfilled: one desiring to become absorbed in impersonal brahmajyoti should worship Lord Brahmä or Båhaspati, one desiring powerful sex should worship Indra, etc. (1-7) One desiring spiritual advancement in knowledge should worship Lord Viñëu or His devotees, (8) and one desiring no material enjoyment should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (9) But a person with broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.
All the different kinds of worshipers of the demigods can attain the highest perfectional benediction, which is spontaneous attraction unflinchingly fixed upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by the association of the pure devotee of the Lord. (11) Transcendental knowledge about Lord Hari suspends the whirlpools of the material modes. Such knowledge is self-satisfying, due to its being free from material attachment. Being transcendental, it is approved by authorities. Who could fail to be attracted? (1-12)
Çaunaka replies and inquires about the further question of Maharaja Pariksit after he had heard the conclusions spoken by Çukadeva Gosvämé. He then expressed his own eagerness to hear the Krsna-katha which must have been the result of a discussion between the two great devotees, Pariksit Maharaja, who was devoted to Krsna from his childhood, and Sukadeva Gosvami, the son of Vyasadeva, who was full of knowledge. The greatest philosophers are those who get pleasure from glorifying Krsna in the company of great devotees. (13-16)
Saunaka Rsi continued by pointing to the wastage of life by those who don’t hear Krsna-katha. He describes how their lives decrease by every rising and setting of the sun. They are alive, Saunaka Rsi continues—as is a tree, breathe—as do the bellows, eat and discharge semen—as do the beasts. These people glorify those not worthy of being glorified. They have earholes as do snakes and a tongue as do frogs. The wealth of such people is a burden only, and their hands, which are not engaged in Lord Hari’s service, are like those of the dead. Their eys are like those printed on the plumes of the peacock, and their legs are like tree trunks. Those who have not received the dust of a pure devotees feet upon his head or has not not smelled the fragrance of Tulasi is practically speaking a dead body. Those who chant the Lord’s holy name but not not experience ecstacy have committed offenses and thus have steel-framed hearts.
After glorifying the process of devotional service and condemning those who do not engage in devotional service, Saunaka Rsi request Suta Gosvami to relate what was spoken by Çukadeva Gosvämé in response to the questions of Mahäräja Parékñit. (17-25)
1. Regardless of the quality of one’s desires, one should hear and chant about Krsna: A thoughtful person should accept the shelter of a spritual master and, taking to the lotus feet of Lord Kåñëa, fully engage himself in devotional service—hearing and chanting about Krsna’s holy name and pastimes. This action is especially recommended when one is preparing for death. Although different demigods can be worshiped to fulfill one’s material desires, demigod worship is not recommended for one who is intelligent. Rather, regardless of one’s desires, one with broad intelligence should worship Krsna with great strength and determination in bhakti-yoga, for bhakti is both the means and the perfected end.
Without worship of the Lord, other worship is illusion, and by the association of a pure devotee, even the worshipers of demigods can attain unflinching and spontaneous attraction to the Lord. Thus, everyone—even the worshipers of demigods—will be attracted to transcendental knowledge in relationship to the Lord, wherein bliss is experienced even in the stage of sädhana (if that sadhana is properly undertaken under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master). (1-12)
2. Hearing krsna-katha: One should be eager to hear krsna-katha. The Lord is not impersonal, and He enacts transcendental activities about which one should hear. The propaganda that the Lord is impersonal has ruined society. Rather, hearing of the Lord’s activities, even if they are mixed with politics and intrigue, is purifying.
Çrémad-Bhägavatam,however, is the highest level of krsna-katha, and pure devotees deeply relish this book. Amongst great devotees, no other topics exists other than krsna-katha. When discussions between great devotees take place, both hearer and chanters are on the same level. (13-16)
3. Not wasting one’s human life, and becoming Krsna conscious through being always in contact with Krsna: Human life is wasted unless topics about Krsna are discussed. The name, form, pastimes, etc. of the Lord are all transcendental, and one properly coming in contact with any one of these energies of the Lord, moves toward perfection.
If one does not engage in devotional service, his activities parallel those of animals. Trees live long; beast discharge semen; and humans whose lives are spent in these way glorify similar men. In this way non-devotees are criticized for wasting their lives. All tendencies of the body—eyes, ears, legs, wealth, etc.—should be used with devotion to Krsna.
Everything should be used in Krsna’s service: How? A man can use all he possesses in relationship to Krsna. He can associate with and serve the Lord in his Deity form. He can serve the devotees and hear Srimad Bhagavatam from them. By thus worshiping the Lord in devotional service, one becomes ecstactic by offenselessly chanting Krsna’s names and detached from lording it over the world. (17-25)
Chapter Four, The Process of Creation
Süta Gosvämé described how Mahäräja Parékñit, the son of Uttarä, after hearing the words of Çukadeva Gosvämé, fixed his consciousness on Krsna and fully detached himself from the material world and all fruitive actions. After glorifying the purity of Sukadeva Gosvami, he continued his inquiries. (1-5)
Mahäräja Parékñit requested Sukadeva to answer three questions:
1. How does the Lord create the universes, which are inconceivable? (7),
2. How does the Lord engage His energies and expansions in maintaining and destroying the universes? (8)
3. Does the one Lord Himself direct the modes of nature or does he do this work through His expansions?(9) (5-10)
Süta Gosvämé begins describing the reply of Çukadeva Gosvämé. Çukadeva first remembered the Lord and then offered his respectful obeisances unto Him, who accepts the three modes of material nature for the purpose of creating the material world, and who is the complete whole and the inconceivable Lord residing within all. He offers his obeisances to the Lord again and again, and glorfies Him as the one awarding success to great philosophers, performers of charity, and chanters of Vedic hymns due to their dedicating their attempts to His service. The Lord is so powerful—the Supreme Pure—and thus even lower class persons, such as Kiräta, Hüëa, Ändhra, etc. can be purified by taking shelter of His devotees. Sukadeva then offers further obeisances and glorifications, and requests the Lord to be pleased with him. (11-19)
Further requesting the Lord’s mercy, Sukadeva acknowledges that it is the Personality of Godhead Çré Kåñëa who gives liberation. Simply by thinking of Him while following the path of authorities, a devotee can see the Absolute Truth. Again praying for the Lord’s pleasure upen him, Sukadeva Gosvami requests that same Lord, who had inspired Brahma with knowledge, to decorate his statements. He then offers obeisances to Srila Vyäsadeva, the incarnation of Väsudeva and compiler of Vedic scriptures.
Sukadeva begins his reply to Pariksit Maharaja by saying that the first-born, Lord Brahma, answered these same questions upon being asked by his son Narada. (20-25)
1. A devotees mind is fixed upon Krsna: A mind of a pure devotee is chastely fixed upon Krsna. Because of his attraction to Krsna, he is automatically renounced—liberated from all material attractions. This attachment and attraction occurs through hearing the instructions of great devotees. Fixed consciousness on Krsna is actually very rare, and such a pure devotee depends fully on Krsna. The result of a sincere hearing from an exalted devotee is the removal of ignorance and positive enlightenment. (1-5)
2. One should understand the processes by which Krsna deals with the material world: All in existence comes from Krsna. What then is His process of creation? One should not neglect knowledge of the greatness of God and His inconceivably potent creative energies and jump to his intimate pastimes, especially those in Vrindaban. One should first understand the greatness of God, and how He creates, maintains, and destroys the material unverses and yet is separate and independent from all His energies.
Although to fully understand the Lord’s energies, names, and expansions is not possible, He is to some degree easily knowable through the strength of pure devotional service. Despite one’s own learning and scholarship, one can actually only understand the Lord by hearing the sastra as well as the realizations of the Lord’s pure devotees. Thus to know the Lord, one must first approach a spiritual master who not only is well versed in the Vedic literatures but who is also a great devotee with factual realization of the Lord and His different energies. (6-10)
3. The Lord’s glories and the glories of His service are inconveivably woderful: Before reciting the glories of the Lord, one should prayerfully depend upon Him: Before glorifying the Lord, one should depend on Him, remember Him, and seek His permission to describe His glories, for they are inconceivable.
It is the Lord only who is awarding all worshipers, regardless of whom they are worshiping, their desired goals. But He awards His devotees the highest goal, which is His personal association. His glories are so powerful, that simply by glorifying Him, remembering Him, having His audience, hearing about Him, and worshiping Him, one is at once cleanse from one the effects of all sins, for these processes are His direct association and the most sublime of religious practices. His service is so powerful, that just by surrender and service to Him with spontaneous devotion one is freed from material life. Without some bhakti, no process can award its success.
Devotional service to the Lord is so powerful. Everyone, regardless of their birth, can become purified through taking shelter of the Lord—through the Lord’s devotee.
The Lord is Supreme, and the devotees, free from pretention, desire only to please Him. This is desirelessness; devotees are always ready to serve the desire of the Lord and thus, by His mercy, they can actually know Him.
A devotee constantly prays for His mercy and protection. By thinking of His lotus feet at every second, he aspires to become a speck of dust at His lotus feet. To keep free from contamination, he always thinks of the lotus feet of the Lord. Thus the Lord gives such a humble devotee the intelligence to come to Him. He reveals Himself to a devotee when He is fully satisfied by the devotee’s service attitude.
Thus before speaking, the devotee glorifies the Lord. He offer his obesiances to his spiritual master and prays to the Lord for mercy, inspiration, and the ability to repeat the Lord’s glories in parampara. Only in this way can one accurately transmit knowledge of the Lord and the creation. (11-25)
Chapter Five, The Cause of All Causes
Sukadeva Gosvami narrates how Çré Närada Muni approached Lord Brahma and offered his obeisances. Narada then inquires about knowledge that directs one to the truth of the individual soul and the Supersoul. He then asks many questions about the material world, its background, its creation and maintenance, the source of Brahma’s own knowledge and protection, and for whom does Brahma work. He inquires, “Do you create with your own energy? Do you have the help of others? Does someone exist more powerful than you, for I see that you perform austerities to please someone?” (1-8)
Lord Brahmä replies that unless one is able to perceive the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one will surely be illusioned by observing his own (Brahma’s) powerful activities. Brahma then continues to describe that he is only able to create after the Lord has created. Lord Brahma then, therefore, offers his obeisances and meditates upon Lord Kåñëa (Väsudeva), the Personality of Godhead, whose invincible potency influences the less intelligent to think of him as supreme. It is maya, Brahma explains, that bewilders all into being absorbed in thoughts of “It is I” and “It is mine.” (9-13)
Brahma explains that it is the Lord who creates the ingrediants of creation and sets them in motion. The Vedas are meant for his pleasure, as are the demigods, planets, and sacrifices. All variety of meditation, austerity, culture of knowledge are means for realizing Him, Näräyaëa, and for ultimately attaining salvation. Brahma says that he too is created by Him, and by His inspiration he discovers that which was already created by the Lord.
Brahma continues to answer that the Lord is purely spiritual, but yet He accepts the modes of nature for the creation, maintenance, and annihilation of the material world. From these modes, matter, knowledge, and activities manifest to put the eternal living entity under the law of cause and effect.
The Lord Himself, although indirectly dealing with the material world and its laws, is beyond the perception of the material senses of the living entities because of the above-mentioned three modes of nature. He is the controller of everyone, including me, says Brahma. (14-20)
Brahma continues describing how He, the Lord, is the controller of all energies. He thus creates, by His own potency, eternal time, the fate of all living entities, and their particular nature. He again merges them independently within His own body.
Brahma then explains the progression of the creation. First the Lord, the first puruña (Käraëärëavaçäyé Viñëu) appears. Then, appearing one after another, the mahat-tattva (the principles of material creation), time, and the three modes are generated. Due to the combination of these, activities are created. At first false ego is transformed into goodness, passion, and ignorance, and from those transformations material knowledge, material intelligence, and matter are generated. The creation progresses as each item already created further evolves. Mind is generated from goodness, along with the 10 demigods who control bodily movements. Passion is transformed into the knowledge acquiring and working senses, intelligence, and the living energy. (21-31)
After the Universal elements were created, they were assembled into the universe by the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The universes remained for thousands of ages within the Causal Ocean before the Lord entered into each of them as Garbodaksayi Visnu and gave them life. (32-33)
The Lord then assumed the virata-rupa, the Lord’s universal body, which is suitable to be meditated upon by great philosphers. In this form, the four varnas represent his mouth, arms, thighs, and legs. Lord Brahma then describes, all in material existence in relationship to the virata-rupa–the seven worlds (38-39), the material and spiritual worlds (40), the 14 planetary systems (40-41), the 3 planetary systems (42)—all can be seen in relation to that universal form. (34-43)
1. Questioning to understand the creation and the creator: Understanding the virata-rupa leads one to understand the Supersoul. To learn this, one must approach a qualified spiritual master and inquire from him with submissive inquiries and service. An intelligent person can understand that the universe must have a creator and that chance could not create this world. One can then, through genuine and appropriate inquiry, understand the actual creator of the phenomenal world, the living beings, and understand their controller, the Supersoul, who is self-sufficient in power and knowledge. One who has obtained his own power and knowledge from another cannot be the Supreme.
A devotee appreciates questions about Krsna, for they faciliate his glorification of the Lord. The questions are purifying both for the questioner and the answerer. Devotees are thus eager to broadcast the Lord’s glories. (1-9)
2. Answers to allow us to understand the creation and the creator: The Lord is the only creator in this world, and all others who create simply manipulate that which the Lord has already created and are thus dependent, secondary creators. Thus the Lord creates through His potencies. It is not possible for anyone to be equal to the Lord.
One thus shouldn’t accept praise for oneself, what to speak of allowing others to acclaim one as the Supreme. The Lord’s invincible maya induces people to consider someone other than Him as Supreme or as a creator. Bewildered by such illusion, living entities foolishly think and talk in terms of I and mine. (10-13)
3. The Lord is the basis of the entire creation: Material elements, their interaction by the force of time, as well as the natures of the living entities are all part of the Lord’s external energy and have no factual meaning apart from Him. The living entities are Krsna’s marginal energy and are spiritual, as He is spiritual. But, being infinitesimal in size, they need shelter and are capable of accepting that shelter in either matter or spirit.
Nothing is indepedent of the Lord. All exists, having been created by Him. All exists within His effulgence. All is meant for His pleasure. The Vedas, meditation, yoga, austerities, knowledge, and salvation are meant for realizing Him. Nothing can occur, even a battle or a killing, without the sanction of the Lord, and everyone’s creative abilities are awarded to them by the Lord. Thus even the greatest creators of this world are dependent upon the Lord for their creations.
As the Lord is so inconceivably powerful, His devoees, by His mercy, inspiration, and in His service, also are capable of doing wonderful things. (14-17)
4. First step—prime steps to creation: The Lord, although transcendental and aloof from His external energy, “accepts” the modes of material nature, to create, maintain, and destroy the material world. These three modes take three forms—matter (ignorance), activites (passion), and knowledge (goodness)—all of which combine to bewilder the living entities and to force responsibility upon them for the results of their self-centered activities. The Lord remains beyond the perception of the living entities, who are spiritual and unlimitied, who have yet become limited by their association of the modes.
Yet He neverless controls all, including the greatest controllers and creators. The covering of maya can only be removed by the Lord, and He does that only when one surrenders unto Him with devotion. With his vision of love in the attitude of pure devotional service, one can then see the all-blissful transcendental form of the Lord.
The Lord is the creator of the entire material situation and is the one who destroys it and later creates it again. The Lord, however, keeps Himself distinct from such creations. Despite His unlimited expansions of impersonal energies, He remains always in His personal feature. (18-21)
5. Second step–the process of creating the elements: After the incarnation of the Lord in His form as Käraëärëavaçäyé Viñëu, all else is generated: the mahat-tattva, time, the three modes of nature, the living entities, and false ego. Thus, through these interactions caused by the omnipotent Lord, karma—activities for the living entity—appears. The creation evolves further, from subtle to gross, through false-ego interacting with the modes of nature. False ego is self-centered, and is the cause of the living entity’s conditioned nature, and therefore devoid of knowledge of Krsna. False ego interacts with the three modes of nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance. From false ego in ignorance, the five gross elements come into being, starting with the subtlest—ether—which generates sound. The rest of the gross elements, as well as their sense objects and their senses, are generated in order, from subtle to gross.
From false ego in passion, intelligence, as well as the knowledge and working senses, are genaerated. From false ego in goodness, the mind and the demigods that control bodily movements are created. Since the entire material creation is based on false ego, all living entities should get free from all varieties of false ego and become engaged in Krsna’s service, as Krsna recommends in the Bhagavad-gita. (22-31)
6. Third step—creation of a universe: The formation of the bodies of living entities cannot take place until the already created elements and parts are assembled. This occurs by His energy and by His will, though primary and secondary causes.
As already explained, the primal cause is Karanadaksayi Visnu. Through His omnopotency, the cloud of mahat-tatva is created. Upon the maha-tattva, universes that have emanated from Karanadaksayi Visnu float. The Lord induces the creation further by begetting the living entities within that womb of material nature. He Himself next enters the universe as Garbodaksayi Visnu and as the universal form, which is more or less imaginary, to help speculative philosophers who are unable to adjust to either the four-handed transcendental form of Narayana or the transcendental two-handed form of Lord Çré Kåñëa.
All living entities are part of the unversal body of the Lord and are meant to serve the entirety of the body through varnasrama. Thus all planetary systems, regardless of how they are caluculated, as well as all within the universe, can be understood in relationship with the Lord. One should free oneself from all planets and every situation within the universe, for all are temporary. One should escape to the eternal spiritual world. (32-45)
Chapter Six, Puruña-sükta Confirmed
Lord Brahma now recites prayers in support of Vedic mantras glorifying the Universal Form of the Lord. These prayers describe how the different parts of the viräö-puruña (the universal form of the Lord), such as the mouth, skin, and tongue, are the generating areas that produce universal parts, such as voice, the Vedic hymns, and different foods required. (1-4) Aspects of the virata-rupa also produce shelter for all within the universe, such as His forward steps sheltering all three levels of planetary systems and His lotus feet freeing one from fear. (5-6)
From further parts of the virata-rupa, the generative ingredients, death, frustration, ignorance, immorality, great rivers, the great mountains, great oceans, the subtle bodies of the living beings, religious principles, truth and transcendental knowledge, animals, humans, birds, demigods, snakes, beasts, reptiles, lightning, thunder, and all other varieties of living entities are generated. All these living beings are covered by the Lord’s feature as time. (1-15) But, explains Brahma, the Lord is Himself beyond all aspect of the gigantic virata-rupa, and He exists in a transcendental, eternally existing form that does not exceed nine inches.
Brahma next glorfies the supremacy of the Lord and His realm by comparing Him to the sun, for the sun, as does the Lord, expands his energies throughout the universe. Thus the Lord maintains everything by His immeasurable glories. (16-17)
He controls immortality and fearlessness, and He is transcendental to death and the fruitive actions of the material world. Deathlessness, fearlessness, and freedom from the anxieties of old age and disease exist in the kingdom of God, which is beyond the three higher planetary systems and the material coverings. This spiritual world, which consists of three fourths of the Lord’s energy, is especially meant for those who will never be reborn. Others, who are attached to family life and who do not strictly follow celibacy vows, must live within the three material worlds.
By His energies, the Lord masters both nescience and true knowledge and controls both matter and devotional service. Although all comes from Him, He is aloof from matter, like the sun is separate from its rays and heat. (18-22)
Brahma then describes His own birth from the lotus flower which grew from the navel of Lord Mahä-Viñëu. He at that time wished to perform a sacrifice, but he had no ingredients other than the bodily limbs of the great Personality of Godhead (the virata-rupa). Brahma thus arranged the necessary ingredients and paraphernalia from the Lord’s bodily parts and gradually, by invoking the demigods’ names, he attainedViñëu, the ultimate goal.
Brahma describe to Narada the sacrifices to please the Lord that were performed by the great sages, Manus, the forefathers, the learned scholars, etc.. Brahma continued to describe how the Lord accepts the modes of nature on which the entire material manifestations rests. Yet, He remains without affinity for them. It is by the Lord’s will, said Brahma, that I create, Lord Çiva destroys, and He Himself, as Visnu, maintains all. (23-32)
Know it for certain, Brahma explains further to Narada, that all is dependent on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahma says, “Because I, Brahma, have caught hold of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Hari with great zeal, all I say has proved true. Nor is the progress of my mind ever deterred. Nor are my senses ever degraded by temporary attachment to matter. Yet, although I am the great Brahmä, perfect in many ways, still I cannot understand Him, the source of my birth. Therefore I surrender unto His feet, which alone can deliver one from the miseries of repeated birth and death. What can others do when the Lord Himself is unable to estimate His own limits? The greatest demigods cannot know Him, what to speak of lesser demigods.”
We, continued Brahma, being covered by maya, see even the manifest cosmos only according to our individual ability. (What to speak of knowing the Lord.) Let us therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although we chant His glories, He can hardly be fully known as He is. (33-38)
Brahma describes how that unborn, supreme, original Personality of Godhead, Lord Çré Kåñëa, first expands as His plenary portion Mahä-Viñëu, Karandaksayi-Visnu, who then creates this manifested cosmos. The creation takes place in Him, and the material substance and manifestations are thus also only Himself. He maintains them for some time and absorbs them again into Himself. The Lord has no material tinges, is All-pervading, and is unrivaled, and He can be known only when one is free from all material hankerings—free from sense desires.
Käraëärëavaçäyé Viñëu, the first incarnation, is the master of eternal time, space, cause and effects, mind, the elements, the material ego, the modes of nature, the senses, the universal form of the Lord, Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu, and the sum total of all living beings. All the demigods, as well as all other beings, both good and bad, may appear to be the form of the Lord or the form of Truth, but they are not. They are only a fragment of the transcendental potency of the Lord. (39-45)
Brahma then states, one after another, the incarnations of the Lord known as the lélä-avatäras. He end this chapter glorifying the process of hearing about these incarnations: “Hearing of their activities counteracts all foul matters accumulated in the ear. These pastimes are pleasing to hear and are to be relished. Therefore they are in my heart.” (46)
(This chapter seems to deal with who is the sustenance of the material manifestation and therefore the one whom sacrifices are meant to please. It is called the Purusa sukta confirmed and it seems to describe the acintya beda beda postion of the Lord. It seems to be directed at Mahavisnu. The exact relationship between this chapter and the Rig Veda Purusa Sukta prayers is not clear. How it confirms these prayers isn’t clear. )
1. The opulences of the Lord’s virata-rupa: The Lord’s Virata-rupa, universal form, has bodily parts, as does the Lord’s transcendental form. Thus, in the spiritual world, variety exists in both the Lord and His abode. It is due to the parts of the Lord’s universal form, such as His mouth, for example, that our mouths can generate voice. In addition, those parts of the virata-rupa are also the resting places of the demigods, the controllers of our own physical organs. An example of this is that the mouth of the virata-rupa is the place of the demigod agni, the controller of both fire and voice. Our senses, which exist on the universal body of the Lord, as well as our positions and opulences, should be purified by using them in His service. No one has gained his power and abilities independently; all stem from the Lord. Knowing that and using our God-given abilites in His service will bring us peace.
The feet of the virata-rupa form have special significance, as they award protection from all fear. Everyone should thus take full shelter of the Lord’s feet in absolute dependence—pure devotional service. One who has done so need not seek shelter of another. (1-16)
2. The virata-rupa expands from the Supreme Personality of Godhead: All opulence is non-different from the Lord and they exist in the Lord’s virata-rupa expansion. He, Himself, as the Supersoul, is the source of the virata-rupa. Thus it is the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who ultimately controls everything within existence, both the material and the spiritual spheres. Although the entire creation expands from Him and although he maintains and controls all, He remains a separate identity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, distinct and aloof from the entire material creation. (acintya-vedaveda) (16-17)
3. The Lord’s full existence is manifest in the spiritual world: The material world, for all it’s wonders and opulences, is full of fear. It, in fact, is only one fourth of the Lord’s creation. The remaining three fourths, the spiritual world, is eternal and inconceivably more wonderful. The Lord can award to all living entities eternal residence in that wonderful place. To leave this material world of death and attain the spiritual world and the most wonderful happiness is the purpose of varnasrama dharma, which exists upon the Lord’s virata-rupa. Necessarily, to attain the spiritual world, one must become detached from sex-life. One can attain the spiritual world only byHis Divine Grace.
The Lord is the proprietor of both fields that the living entity is capable of exisitng within: the material world and the spiritual world. The Lord Himself has no attraction to the material energy and is only attracted to His spiritual energy. Thus in the material world the Lord is manifest only impersonally through His energies but personally in the spiritual world. His prime existence is as a person in the spiritual world. (17-22)
4. The material world is sustained through sacrifice: To perform sacrifice one needs ingrediants. These ingrediants are non-different from the Lord, as they are both manifest from Him and are situated upon His universal body. The preformer of the sacrifice is also manifest from the Lord. The purpose of all sacrifice is to please the Lord, although the ingrediants used for that sacrifice are, in one sense, nothing but the Lord. Sacrifice, if done properly to please the Lord, must be sastric, in accordance with the Vedic formulas. Devotees, out of gratitude to the Lord, unhesitatingly use the Lord’s energy in the Lord’s service.
Fruitively motivated sacrifices, even if Vedic, are not recommended. In this age, the recommended sacrifice to please the Lord is samkirtan yajna. Performing sacrifice to please the Lord is the austerity that can bring peace to the world.
Thus, in answer to Narada’s questions as to the identity of the one who sustains the universe, Brahma clearly ascertains that the transcedental Lord is the ultimate truth in the creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe. The material energy is His potency which is displayed within time. He accepts the three qualities of goodness, passion, and ignorance in the forms of Viñëu, Brahmä, and Çiva. The material energy thus works under the supreme spell of His Lordship, although He is always transcendental to all such material activities. All rests upon His energy. One can only learn this accurately through hearing sastra. (23-32)
5. The all-powerful Lord has unlimited and inconceivably great potencies. He is everything yet aloof from all. He can be known, and that to some degree only, through devotional service, especially through hearing and chanting about His incarnations within this marterial world:
The Lord is the cause of all causes, is everything, yet is aloof from the material creation. One who takes shelter of the all-powerful Lord in earnest may also achieves undeterrable power to perform service for the Lord. Yet no one, even His devotees, can know Him completely, for His opulences are always increasing. Only by devotion can one know the Lord at all.
Everyone perceives the cosmos according to his capacity, which is limited by his being under the control of the material energy. The Lord however, who is the source of both the cosmos and the material energy, is still more unknowable.The great devotees do know Him, by His mercy, to a considerable extent and we should thus follow their instructions, for He reveals Himself to His devotee in proportion to their devotional advancement and service. He cannot be known, other than to the smallest degree, by any method other than the following: full surrender to the Lord’s devotees and the Lord, and hearing and chanting of His glories from Srimad-Bhagavatam. Although none can know Him fully, we should thus always chant His glories.
Giving up our fantasy that we can be independent of Him and enjoy, we should purify our hearts by hearing the power and pastimes of the Lord’s incarnations, such as Karanadaksayi visnu, within the material world. Since He is the source of all wonderful things within this world, we should transfer our attraction and attention from this world to Him. By hearing of the Lord from Srimad Bhagavatam, our hearts will become purified and we will become happy. (33-46)
Chapter Seven, Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions
Lord Brahmä fist began to describe 19 of the Lord’s lila-avataras: Varaha, Suyajïa, Kapila, Dattätreya [Datta, the son of Atri], the four sanas [Sanaka, Sanat-kumära, Sanandana and Sanätana],the twin forms of Näräyaëa and Nara, Prsnigarbha, Maharaja Påthu, Åñabhadeva, Hayagréva, the fish incarnation, the tortoise incarnation, Nåsiàhadeva, the saviour of Gajendra, Vamanadeva, Haàsävatära, Manu, Dhanvantari, and Paraçuräma. (1-22)
He next describes the incarnation of Rama (23-25) and then the advent of the original Personality of Godhead Krsna, who appears just to diminish the distress of the world. The Lord comes in His original form, with beautiful black hair, and acts extraordinarily. He killed Pütanä when He was just on the lap of His mother and performed many wonderful pastimes when still a boy. He chastized Kaliya, saved His cowherd boyfriends from a forest fire, and lifted Govardhana Hill, despite the anger of Indra. He danced with the gopis, and killed many demons, such Çaìkhacüòa, either directly or through His brother Baladeva or His friend Arjuna. (26-35) Brahma continues explaining the Lord’s incarnations as Srila Vyasadeva, Buddha, and Kalki. (36-38)
He then explains that he himself, Brahma, as well as Visnu, the Prajapatis, Lord Siva and the demigods etc. are all different representative manifestations of the energy of the supremely powerful Lord. All—the creation, maintenance, and destruction of the cosmos—occurs by His incarnations and His potencies. Thus no one, explains Lord Brahma, can describe completely the potency of Lord Visnu. Not the scientists, nor the sages, nor Brahma himself, nor anyone else—even Sesa, the first incarnation of the Lord—cannot fully describe the Lord’s transcendental qualities. Those specifically favoured by the Lord due to their pure surrender to him can cross all illusion.
Brahma continues to explain that although the potencies of the Lord are unknowable and unmeasurable, we nevertheless know that He acts through His Yogamaya potency. Lord Siva, Prahlada Maharaja, Svayambhuva Manu and others also know something of the Lord’s potencies, and anyone who surrenders to Him, even if he has previously been sinful, can also know the Lord to some degree and become liberated from illusion.
Through the process of surrender and following the footsteps of the great vaisnavas, one realizes the true characteristics of the Lord, such as the Lord has no material qualities or contaminations and that illusion cannot stand before Him. Having realized this, one needs not artificially control the mind or practice jnani-yoga, dhyana-yoga, or meditation. One should simply surrender with devotion and, through surrender, realize his eternal relationship with Krsna.
Beyond Sri Hari, the Supreme Lord, no cause exists in either the material or spiritual worlds. (39-50)
Brahma then tells Narada that the science of God was spoken in summary by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to him and he then requests Narada to expand this science in such a way that it will be possible for human beings to develop their devotional service unto Krsna. If one hears, describes, or regularly appreciates the Lord’s activities and those of His different energies with devotion and respect, one surely transcends the illusory energy of the Lord. (51-53)
1. Incarnations of the Lord descend to each universe to perform both general and specific functions. Many incarnations along with Their “missions” are listed in this chapter of the Bhagavatam:
When the Lord appears, details about Him are supplied in sastra so that the claims of ordinary men will not be accepted as God. By following His instructions, one can become liberated from the modes of nature. But one can never become God.
By being serious to meet the Lord by all means and by being guided by a pure devotee, one can reach the Lord by the Lord’s mercy. One shouldn’t be distracted to other purposes. In this day and age, only bhakti-yoga is possible to execute. By serving in bhakti and hearing Srimad Bhagavatam one will achieve all success. Because a pure devote is fully dependent upon the Lord, the Lord thus gives him preferential treatment. In the course of one’s practices, one should carefully avoid disobedience to a great soul.
Whatever sacrifice of the temporary is required to satisfy the Lord is worth the exchange. One should develop his devotion by hearing of the Lord’s incarnations, for devotion alone qualifies us to progress in devotional service. (1-38)
2. The Lord incarnated as Ramacandra to show that one should not attempt to enjoy the Lord’s energies, which are only meant for His service: Regardless of one’s power, one’s pride will be vanquished unless one uses that power in the Lord’s service. (23-25)
3. Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes (along with Lord Balarama) to demonstrate His opulences through displaying extraordinary activities. No one can estimate His greatness. As such, He is unknowable by those who approach Him by their own powers.
His body is transcendental, and He comes not exactly to diminish the burden of the earth, but, rather, to exhibit His transcendental activities in order to encourage His pure devotees who want to enjoy life by chanting the glories of the Lord. Thus the activities of the Lord, in His dealings with worldly people, create a subject matter for discussion by His pure devotees. He is always God, even on the lap of His mother, and He exhibits His extra-ordinary activities in such a way that the affection of His devotees will not be disturbed by overwhelming awe and reverence.
All activities enacted by the Lord’s great devotees were fully spiritual—for they were done with Krsna as the center—and they were saturated by the internal energy. If a devotee remembers the activities of the Lord at the time of death, he will go back to Godhead. (26-35)
4. The Lord as Srila Vyasadeva compiles the Vedic literatures and divides them and adds further literatures to assist the Kali-yuga living entities in their self-realization; as Buddha He preaches principles to atheistic and impious souls to lead them towards actual religion, and as Kalki, the ultimate chastizer, to kill the atheists when the population of the world has descended to animal consciousness and no topics about God remain in the world. (36-38)
5. All rests on the unlimited Lord, who can be known only through bhakti. Through bhakti, one achieves unlimited happiness, for one can associate with the Lord through hearing and chanting about Him. We should partake of the opportunity and, as it the Lord’s desire, go back to Godhead:
The creation, maintenance, and destruction of the entire universe—which exists to facilitate a living entity’s journey back to Godhead—all occur by the power of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His potencies. The all-powerful Lord cannot be approached by any means other that bhakti: No one, regardless of his intelligence, be he sage or even Ananta Sesa, can estimate the potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He can, however, be understood by those surrendered devotees who are favored by Him. Those partaking of an ascending method to understand Him fail. The Lord is unlimited and, by the grace of yogamäyä, He helps the surrendered soul know Him proportionately with the advance of their surrender to the Lord’s pure devotees and their following in the great devotees’ footsteps.
Through bhakti, due to one’s relationship with the Lord, one achieves an unlimited flow of everlasting happiness, without grief or fear as it exists in the material world. Great liberated souls also desire to associate with the Lord through hearing and chanting of His activities.
Thus all in existence rests upon the inconceivably powerful Lord, who is a person and yet aloof from all matter. His devotional service is the only way to attain Him. Although the Lord is the creator of this world, His desire is for the living entities to leave this world and go back to Godhead. (39-50)
6. Hearing Srimad-bhagavatam is association with Krsna, and such hearing from proper sources will free one from maya and fix one in Krsna’s service: As the Lord is unlimited, the science of God, as completely explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam, can also be unlimitedly expanded. The Bhagavatam is actually an incarnation of Krsna and one will become enlightened, free from all distress, simply by hearing the science of God—Srimad Bhagavatam—from proper sources in the proper order, from beginning to end. (51-53)
Chapter Eight, Questions by King Parékñit
Maharaja Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami about Narada Muni’s explanations of the transcendental qualities of the Lord and to whom Narada spoke them. Maharaja Pariksit continued, saying that he wished to hear narrations of the Lord, for they are all auspicious and help one place one’s consciousness on Lord Krsna. Those who hear Srimad-Bhagavatam regularly, taking the Srimad-Bhagavatam seriously, will have Krsna manifest in their hearts in a short time. Why? Because Srimad-Bhagavatam is the sound incarnation of Krsna and as He enters the heart of the self-realized devotee He cleanses the heart of all the dust of material association and such a person will feel fully satisfied, as a traveller is satisfied at home after a troubled journey. (1-6)
Maharaja Pariksit asked many questions including how the soul acquires his body. He inquires about the form of the Supersoul within everyone’s heart, and how that Supersoul acts with His energies. He asks about the relationship between the demigods and the planetary systems with the universal form, virat-rupa, about time and its effects, about the effects of karma on living beings, about the creation, with its globes and inhabitants, about inner and outer space, about the characteristics and activities of great souls, about the characteristics of the varnasrama system of classification, about the different ages and the incarnations within those ages, about the different applications of religious principles, about mystics and mysticism, about the principles of creation, devotional service and Vedic knowledge, about the generation, maintenance and annihilation of the living beings, and about the existence of atheists as well as the unconditioned living beings. (7-23)
Maharaja Pariksit continues by requesting Sukadeva to continue speaking and answering his questions, for he desires to continue tasting the nectar of the words of Sukadeva Gosvami, which allow him to transcend the exhaustion due to his fasting from all food and drink. Suta Gosvami describes how Sukadeva Gosvami, after being invited by Maharaja Pariksit to speak on Lord Krsna, began to reply by explaining how the Srimad-Bhagavatam was first spoken by the Lord Himself to Brahma. (24-29)
1. One should hear and prach Srimad-Bhagavatam continuously, for because the Bhagavatam is Krsna, such hearing fixes one in Krsna’s association and simultaneously removes all material contamination: One should hear Srimad Bhagavatam in disciplic succession so that there will be no difference between the Lord’s actual instructions and the instructions that one hears. Hearing Srimad Bhagavatam in this way is auspicious for all—both devotees and non-devotees—for such hearing fixes one’s mind uponthe Lord and one thereby gains His association and clears all material contamination. For how long should one hear Srimad Bhagavatam? One should continue hearing Srimad Bhagavatam and therebye remain in the Lord’s association until the end of one’s life. One should thus go back to Godhead.
By his preaching Srimad Bhagavatam, an empowered pure devotee of the Lord can deliver both himself and the entire world. Thus a pure devoee should preach. Even the difficulties encountered by the preacher-pure devotee will carry him closer to, not further from the lotus feet of the Lord. (1-6)
2. In addition to hearing Srimad Bhagavatam from a bonafide devotee, one should also place one’s questions before him. One’s questions can be to establish the Bhagavatam’s philosophical basis, the prosecution of devotional service, including how to avoid offenses, various questions about the universe, time, karma, the character and actvities of great souls and the Lord, varnasrama and its relationship to the Lord, the universality of devotional service, mysticism, the Vedas and the prosecution of Vedic religion, and the protection of the Lord. (7-23)
3. Thus one should hear from a devotee in disciplic succession and one will gain strength and remove all fear. A devotee who speaks krsna-katha will also feel happy to have the opportunity to do so. Those desiring to hear Srimad Bhagavatam should be alert to hear only in disciplic succession, and those who speak should similarly be alert to speak only the conclusions he has heard in disciplic succession and also to be free from material motivation. (24-29)
Chapter Nine, Answers By Citing The Lord’s Version
Sukadeva Gosvami first begins replying to Maharaja Pariksit’s question about the pure soul and his acquisition of his material body (Bhag. 2.8.7) by explaining that, other than illusion, no relationship exists between the spirit soul and the material body. By giving up this illusion one then acts as a pure soul. (1-3) Then, in answering the question about the Lord’s form (Bhag. 2.8.9), Sukadeva Gosvami explains how Lord Brahma, due to his penance in bhakti-yoga, had all illusion removed by the grace of Krsna, who became pleased with him.
At first, at the beginning of creation, Lord Brahma, as he sat upon seat of a lotus, could not understand his source. Nor did he understand how to create the universe. Lord Brahma then heard the sound vibration ‘tapa’ and, despite his not being able to understand the source of the sound, he began to execute austerities as per this instruction.
The Personality of Godhead, satisfied by Lord Brahma’s penances, revealed to Lord Brahma Vaikuntha, His personal abode, which is free from the modes of material nature, time, illusion, and the external energy. (4-8)
These Vaikuntha planets, along with their glorious residents, decorations, and airplanes, with Laksmidevi serving the Lord of Viakuntha’s lotus feet along with the Lord’s many associates are described. (9-17) Seeing the Lord in Vaikuntha, Brahma was overwhelmed and bowed down, tears flowing from his eyes. The Lord understood Brahma as worthy of creating the universe. He shook Brahma’s hand and spoke to him, telling Brahma that He was pleased by Brahma’s austerities and submissive attitude. The Lord then revealed to Brahma that it was He Who had requested Brahma to perform austerities by vibrating the syllables ‘tapa’. (18-24)
Although admitting that the Lord knows the desires of everyone, Brahma nevertheless requested him to inform him how, He, although transcendental, beyond matter, nevertheless interacts with the material universes and is their source and resting place. Brahma also requests to learn how he himself may be instrumental in creation without becoming either conditioned or proud. (25-30)
The Personality of Godhead replied, saying that knowledge about Him could only be understood in conjunction with devotional service. He then blessed Brahma with the ability to realize everything. (31-32) The Lord then spoke the Chatur Sloki Bhagavatam, and when He completed describing Himself, the Absolute Truth, in four verses, He told Brahma that his acting on these understandings would free him from pride. (33-37)
Sukadeva Gosvami then ralates that the Lord, after speaking these four verses to Brahma, disappeared, and Brahma recreated the universe as it was previously. Sukadeva continued describing how Narada later questioned Brahma about the energies of Visnu, and Brahma had answered Narada by expanding the four slokas that he had heard from the Lord into the ten characteristics which are contained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Narada then instructed the same to Vyasa. (38-46)
1. Those living entity who are envious of the Lord are placed by the Lord in maya and suffer due to their idenitifcation with their bodies. This illusion can be removed by removing the false conception of who we are and reengaging ourselves as who we actually are—Krsna’s servants: The living entity is by eternal constitution the loving servant of Krsna. By the potency of the Lord’s illusory energy, those living entities who do not wish to serve, but, who, out of envy, wish to be the Lord, are immediately placed by the Lord under the care of His illusory energy, maya, and thus they can imagine themselves as a false lord. Without the efect of the Lord’s maya potency, their is no connection between the soul and his body. Either willingly and directly, or unwillingly and under the grip of maya, the living entity serves the Lord. It is his consitutional position.
Under the influence of maya, the living entities accept the material body they inhabit as themselves and they suffer accordingly, birth after birth, for as long as they desire. But, however, by freely removing all false senses of identity and reengaging in the Lord’s service, one is reinstated in his actual blissful position. One can attain this consciousness, free from illusion, by hearing Srimad Bhagavatam. (1-3)
2. By executing devotional service, bhakti-yoga, one can evoke the Lord’s pleasure. By the Lord’s pleasure, He reveals His form and abode. To properly execute the tapasya of bhakti-yoga is the purpose of human life:
One should practice the tapa of penance in bhakti-yoga for the pleasure of the Lord in a non-deceptive way. When the Lord is pleased, He will exhibit Himself and His abode before His devotee. Thus, by the process of bhakti-yoga, one removes the two great illusions—I am my body and I am equal to the Lord—and achieves the goal.
The Lord’s form and His abode: The form of the Lord is far different from the material form of the conditioned soul. It is transcendental—sac-cid-änanda—eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. The Lord’s abode is also fully transcendental.
Both the Lord and His abode can be attained only by the Lord’s mercy, which is gained through bhakti-yoga and by regularly reading or hearing Çrémad-Bhägavatam. To perform Bhakti-yoga, one should understand that every human being is meant simply for this tapa and for no other business. Why? Because by penance only can one realize his self, and that self-realization, not sense gratification, is the business of human life. One should then chant the maha mantra, become initiated by a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession, and engage himself in the discharge of tapasya in the execution of devotional service. One should be prepared to execute the order of the Lord received in disciplic succession. (4-8)
3. Through evoking the Lord’s pleasure through bhakti-yoga, one will obtain the Lord’s mercy. By that benediction one can realize the Lord, His abode, and the activities the Lord performs there with His different energies.
As the Lord is only pleased by bhakti, the penances in bhakti-yoga, which are the source of happiness for a devotee, evoke the Lord’s favor and blessings. Due to the Lord’s blessing, one is able to see the Lord and gain entrance to His abode, Goloka.
In that transcendental abode, which is non-different from the Lord and which is three-fourths of the creation, no affect of time, the Lord’s mahamaya, or the modes of nature exist. Everyone there is beautiful and possesses a transcendental body. All worship the Lord, and goddesses of fortune sing His glories. He Himself is surrounded by loving devotees, as He sits, equisitely beautfiful, enjoying His own abode with all His energies. We can know of Krsna’s abode through Srimad Bhagavatam. (9-17)
4. Bhakti-yoga is in fact penance performed in the Lord’s service. By pleasing the Lord by the proper performance of devotional service, especially by preaching and reclaiming fallen souls on His behalf, one goes back to Godhead:
Penances, performed Conditioned living entities are envious, especially of the Lord. We must therefore accept our position in relationship to Him: we are His servants. Freedom from envy is reached through devotional service. To practice devotional service, one should first, with all conviction, believe in the Personality of Godhead Çré Kåñëa, and without making efforts to realize Him by speculative philosophy, one should hear about Him from a pure devotee. One should have knowledge, and be submissive, humble, and detached. One should worship Krsna, giving up all other engagements and act under His protection.
Both the Truth of our relationship with Krsna and the process of obtaining it should be spread to all conditioned souls. Those who take up the burden of this responsibility on behalf of the Lord are most dear to the Lord. In executing these devotional penances, one must be determined to return home, back to Godhead and be willing to undergo all types of tribulations for that end. (18-24)
5. The perfection of our desires is to surrender to the Lord’s desire. A devotee, while serving the will of the Lord, feel himself only as His instrument. He thus gives all credit for his successes to the Lord.
The Lord is the director and sanctioner, and without his sanction, no one can either act or enjoy according to his desire. The perfection of one’s desires may be achieved when one desires to serve the Lord. It is also the desire of the Lord that every living entity banish all personal desires and cooperate with His desires.
Although the Lord knows all, the devotee may prays to the Lord to satisfy his desires in His service. One may also put forward questions to obtain knowledge of the Lord or on how to serve. These are not outside of the scope of desireless surrender.
A devotee, while serving the will of the Lord, feels himself simply an instrument. In the liberated stage, the living entity is instrumental to the will of the Personality of Godhead directly. These duties are successfully carried out without hindrance because they are ordained by the Lord. Thus the credit of success goes not to the doer but to the Lord. (25-30)
6. The subtle mystery of knowedge of the Lord is revealed only to the Lord’s devotees by the mercy of the Lord, who is pleased with the devotion of His servant. The Lord servant is dear to the Lord:
One can only receive knowledge of the Lord through devotional service, for knowledge of the Lord is very subtle and is only known when the Lord Himself makes it known to His dear devotee. The knowledge itself and the secret of attaining this knowledge is rahasya, the greatest mystery. It is love for Krsna. Thus one’s advancement in devotion make one eligible to know the Lord.
Bhakti can be practiced at different levels. The prime level is vaidhi-bhakti, in which regulative principles of service are practiced with one’s present senses. Such regulative principles are mainly based on hearing and chanting of the glories of the Lord in the association of devotees. One also requires unflinching faith in the bona fide spiritual master as well as in the Lord. The Lord reveals to the faithful His form, quality, and pastimes.
The Lord has unlimited numbers of transcendental qualities, and one of them is His affection for His unalloyed devotee. Çrémad-Bhägavatam is full of such activities of the Lord in relationship with His devotees. Although nondevotees have no knowledge of such pastimes, the pastimes are factually realized by the devotees by the causeless mercy of the Lord.
7. These four verses (33-36) are the chatur sloki Bhagavatam:
33. The Lord existed before the creation, and the creation is composed of Him. That which will exist after the creation is also Him. He is the source of all and is nevertheless a person.
34. One’s perception of things as unconnected to the Lord is due to the illusory energy.
35. The Lord has an inconceivable relationship with His material energy: He is both within everything and yet aloof.
36. The truth expressed in the Chatur Sloki Bhagavatam is the Ultimate Truth that can be realized. The Truth is prema bhakti and it can be realized only by bhakti.
37. One should become fixed in these truths, and no pride can disturb one. These truths are the property of the devotees. Non-devotees, impersonalists have no access to Srimad-Bhagavatam. To understand, one must learn from a guru in parampara. The symptom of actually and properly obtaining this knowledge is detachment from matter. “The bona fide spiritual master, by his personal activities, teaches the disciple the principles of devotional service. Without personal service, one would go on speculating like the impersonalists and dry speculators life after life and would be unable to reach the final conclusion. By following the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master in conjunction with the principles of revealed scriptures, the student will rise to the plane of complete knowledge, which will be exhibited by development of detachment from the world of sense gratification. This stage is brahma buta and is the prerequisite stage for understanding Krsna. One is given complete instruction after one is detached from matter (loving Krsna) so progress can continue, as spoken in Bhagavad-gétä 10.10.
7. The application of the above knowledge is as follows. The Lord is a person, and to rectify our conditioned existence we must engage our senses in His service. We can only know the Lord by the grace and pleasure of our Guru. To know Krsna, our senses—especially engagement in sex-life—must be controlled. The knowledge of Bhagavatam should be meditated upon and applied; it can be explanded unlimitedly:
The Lord instructed Brahma in this knowledge, and we thus understand that the Lord is ultimately a person, not impersonal. Although we now engage our senses in sense gratification and are forced to remain in the material world, our senses are meant for Krsna’s service. Engaging our senses in Krsna’s service is the process of Krsna consciousness. The universe is created for the living entities to fulfill this purpose.
No one can know the Lord completely, even Brahma, the topmost person in this universe. One must attain knowledge from the spritual master by satisfying him. One who is not self-controlled, specifically in sex life, can become neither a disciple nor a spiritual master. One must have disciplinary training in controlling speaking, anger, the tongue, the mind, the belly, and the genitals. One who has controlled the particular senses mentioned above is called a gosvämé. Without becoming a gosvämé one can become neither a disciple nor a spiritual master.
The Çrémad-Bhägavatam was spoken in four verses, and it had ten characteristics. These too can be expanded unlimitedly. The ten divisions of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, as explained by the great speaker Çréla Çukadeva Gosvämé, are the limitation of all knowledge, and intelligent persons will derive all benefits from them by utilizing them properly. (38-46)
Chapter Ten, Bhagavatam Is The Answer To All Questions
Sukadeva Gosvami opens this chapter by listing the ten subject matters contained within the Srimad-Bhagavatam: creation, sub-creation, the planetary systems, protection by the Lord, the creative impetus, the change of Manus, the science of God, returning home back to Godhead, liberation, and the shelter of all. He then describes each of those in more detail, concluding that the summum bonum, the asraya, the shelter of all, is independent and all other topics are dependent upon Him. (1-9)
The Lord’s generation of sarga, the prime elements of creation, are described as the gross and subtle forms of the material universe. Neither gross nor subtle forms of the Lord are accepted as the Lord, for a pure devotee knows that the Lord’s form is neither gross nor subtle matter, but is transcendental. (10-36)
All living entities are created by the Lord through Brahma, and they are placed , according to their past deeds, under different combinations of the three modes of material nature. The Lord maintains the universe as Lord Visnu, and incarnates to save all the conditioned souls. Then, as Lord Siva, the Lord destroys the universe. Thus the Lord actually never directly acts within the material world. (37-47)
Saunaka Rsi, after hearing of the creation, inquired from Suta Gosvami about the discussions between Vidura and Maitreya while Vidura was on pilgrimage. Sri Suta Gosvami says that he will describe those discussions, and that hearing of them will also answer King Pariksit’s previous inquiries.(48-51)
1.(1-7) The Bhagavatam contains ten subjects: the creation of the universe, subcreation, planetary systems, protection by the Lord, the creative impetus, the change of Manus, the science of God, returning home, back to Godhead, liberation, and the summum bonum. The purpose of the first nine items is ultimately describe the supreme transcendence of Krsna, the Absolute Truth, who is the shelter and source of the other nine items.
Sarga is the creation of the sixteen prime elements by the Lord. The secondary manipulation and inter-combination of these elements by Lord Brahma within universes is called visarga. The situation of the living entities, either religiously and happy or irreligiously and suffering, on the planets within the universe is sthanam, the third topic. The Manus, their laws, and their activities give proper direction in life. This topic is manvatara, the sixth topic. Utaya, the fifth topic, is the creative impetus, the desire for fruitive work. Posanam, protection, is for devotees. Their attempt to serve the Lord achieves for them the Lord’s protection, by His causeless mercy. Isanukatha describes the activities of the Lord and His great devotees. Hearing and studying them brings salvation. Nirodha, the eighth topic, is the merging of all the living entities, along with their conditioned tendencies, within the Lord as He partakes of mystic slumber as Mahä-Viñëu after the cosmic manifestation is wound up. Mukti, the ninth topic, is liberation, the permanent situation for the living entity after he fully becomes free from his changeable gross and subtle material bodies. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original source of all energies, the summum bonum, is the Absolute Truth, which is called Parambrahma. That is asraya, the Bhagavatam’s tenth topic.
To help us understand Krsna’s position as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the purpose of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the complete subject matter is elaborately explained in the Tenth and Eleventh Cantos. (1-7)
2. All living entities are dependent on the fully independent Lord, who is the asraya of all. The entire material creation springs from the independent Lord and by hearing about His dealings with the material world, one’s material bondage is slackened and one becomes His liberated devotee:
Living entities are dependent on the independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, although they themselves are interdependent as the adhyätmic person, the person who is the possessor of different instruments of senses, the adhidaivic person, the individual controlling deities of the senses, or the adhibhautic person, the material body which is seen with our eye. All ultimately fully depend on the Lord.
To become free from the illusions of life, the dependent must take shelter of the independent and depend upon Him. We in the material world are dependent upon the Lord as the purusa avataras who create the universal elements and enter into each universe. They are all the Supreme Lord and are all Supremely independent from the world, even when They create the material world.
To show how only Krsna is the independent Lord and all depend upon Him, the Bhagavatam now describes Maha-visnu’s creation of the cosmos beginning with Lord Siva. All creations are non-different from Him and are His energies. The living entitities are injected within the material creation and the primal material energy begins to move. The virat-purusa, the universal form of the Lord, is then generated. Gradually the living entities develop their bodies. Garbhdaksayi Visnu is the paramatama of the universe, and the virat-purusa expands from Him. The Virat-purusa is the sum total of all living entities. Plus, He is more an expansion of the Lord and thus more directly connected to Him, Garbhdaksayi Visnu. From the Virata Purusa, the adhidaivika demigods are created.
This entire explanation is to show the absolute dependence of the living entities and absolute independence of the Supreme Lord. As all are dependent on the Lord, all, especially our senses, should be used in His service. To become free from all this material entanglement, an intelligent person should associate with the great sages and saints who are on the path of salvation. By such association, one can receive instructions which are able to slacken the conditioned soul’s attachment for matter and thus he can gradually get rid of the illusion of matter and false ego and is promoted to the real life of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. (8-32)
3. The entirety of the creation, as well as it’s destruction, are all manifest indirectly from the Lord. He does this to give the conditioned souls the opportunity to go back to Godhead:
The subtle virata-rupa, which is the Lord’s external energy, is covered by the gross material manifestation. Both are the Lord’s energies. The pure devotees of the Lord accept as worshipable only the transcendental form of the Lord, which is beyond gross and subtle matter. Similarly, the spiritual world is also beyond both these energies. Thus all the activitie sof the Lord are transcendental, having nothing to do with matter. Just knowing this frees one from the material atmosphere. The living entities, by the sanction and direction of the Lord, are under the control of the external energy, the three modes of material nature. By good association of the the Lord’s devotees and their service, one can become free.
The Lord descends by His causeless mercy in varied forms after He has established the creation. He nevertheless, even while “within”the material world, is transcendental.
Thus varied creations occur again and again as do destructions. The entire manifestation is indirectly done by the Lord to give the conditions souls an opportunity to go back to Godhead. The Lord is the cause of all causes. (33-51)
An Overvieu of Srimad Bhgavatam Canto Three
What follows is an early draft of a chapter-by-chapter summary of the pastimes and philosophy within Srimad Bhagavatam Canto Three. Each Chapter’s story-line is followed by a list of major philosophical points from the verses and Srila Prabhupada’s purports in that chapter. By making note of the philosophical points as they are presented from one chapter to the next we get a feel for the philosophical continuity as it develops in the Canto. The philosophical points I list are not “the philosophical points but they rather are those that seemed to me as either of primary importance or thematiã as I read through the chapters.
Questions by Vidura
At the end of Canto Two (2.10.4¸-50) Saunaka Rsi inquires from Suta Gosvami about Vidura for Saunaka heard previously about Vidura’s having met with Maitreya Muni while on pilgrimage (1.13.1). Canto Three (Chapter One) thus begins with Suta Gosvami replying to Saunaka (which repeats Maharaja Pariksit inquiry from Sukadeva Gosvami) about the meeting and discussion between Vidura and Maitreya Muni. (±-5)
King Dhrtarastra overwhelmed by illusion had not stopped his son Duryodhana’s deadly plots against the Pandavas. Dhrtarastra then asked advice from Vidura and Vidura plainly told the King to give uphis affection for Duryodhana who was envious of Lord Krsna. Duryodhana became furious and insulted Vidura ordering him thrown out of the palace. Vidura thus left the palace in Hastinapura for pilgrimage. (¶-16) After many years on pilgrimage Vidura met the great devotee and associate of Sri Krsna Uddhava on the banë of the Yamuna River. (1·-24) Vidura inquired from Uddhava about Krsna’s family members including Dhrtarastra and then requested Uddhava to speaë the glories of Lord Krsna. (2µ-45)
1. The positive fruit of pilgrimage where one leaves home to travel to holy places while fearlessly depending on the Lord is finding a sadhu and hearing from him about Krsna. (17-24)
Chapter Two and Chapter Three
Remembrance of Lord Krsna
The Lord’s pastimes out of Vrindaban
Uddhava became ecstatiã to hear Vidura’s questions for he had been a great devotee of the Lord since his childhood. (2.±-6) Uddhava feelingly and briefly mentions the disappearance of the Lord and the Yadu dynasty from this earth as well as Krsna’s glorious appearance. (2.·-15) While feeling separation Uddhava began remembering the Lord’s inconceivable activities while on this earth including His birth and ending with His lifting Govardhana Hill and His dancing with the gopis of Braja. (2.1¶- 34)
Uddhava continued to narrate Krsna’s pastimes after leaving Vrindaban (3.±-23) as well as the going of the Yadu dynasty to Prabhaksetra the place where by the desire of the Lord the Yadu dynsasty members left the earth. (3.2´-27)
1. One should use one’s life to become an advanced devotee of Krsna which continues to developsteð-by-step from one birth to the next until one aqchieves the platform of ecstatiã love (2.±-6) 2. Krsna appears in this world to protect His devotees. He displayed His transcendental pastimes of Vrindaban Mathura and Dvaraka to attract the conditioned souls by His beautiful form and unparallelled activities with His eternal devotees. He was appreciated differently according to the spiritual advancement of those who sau Him and only those who possessed His full mercy could knou Him fully. (2.·-15) 3. Only devotees by their rendering of devotional service have access to fully understanding the pastimes Krsna exhibited on earth. Those pastimes are wonderful unrivalled inconceivable executed by the Lord’s internal potency examplary merciful seemingly contradictory and human-like. (2.1¶-34 3.±-23 4.±-3)
Vidura Approaches Maitreya
Uddhava continues explaining the events leading to the annihilation of the Yadu dynasty (±-3) and then explained his meeting with the Lord just prior to His departure from this world. Uddhava followed the Lord after the Lord left Dvaraka due to his intense feelings of separation. He later met the Lord as he sau the Lord sitting beneath a tree by the banë of the Sarasvati River. Maitreya Muni by his good fortune arrived and as the Lord spoke to Uddhava Maitreya listened. (´-9) Krsna affectionately told Uddhava that Uddhava would soon attain to Vaikuntha. He also mentioned that He had previously spoken Srimad Bhagavatam to Lord Brahma. This prompted Uddhava whose only desire was to serve the Lord’s lotus feet to inquire about the Lord’s inconceivable pastimes and the same transcendental knowledge that the Lord had previously revealed to Brahma. (1°- 19)
Uddhava told Vidura that he after having heard the Lord’s instructions feeling great separation was nou proceding to Badarikasrama as per the Lord’s desire. Uddhava was about to leave for the North and Vidura questioned him further about the instructions he had received from the Lord. Uddhava who was younger than Vidura requested Vidura to hear those instructions from Maitreya Muni who both was senior and was nearbye. Uddhava and Vidura spent the entire night which passed as if a moment discussing the Lord and in the morning Uddhava continued to Badarikasrama. (4.2°-27)
Pariksit Maharaja inquired as to why Uddhava alone among the members of the Yadu dynasty was requested by the Lord to remain in this world. Sukadeva Gosvami then explained that the Lord felt Uddhava qualified to entrust with disseminating transcendental knowledge about Himself.
Vidura after hearing from Uddhava about the appearance and disappearance of Lord Krsna from this world proceeded to Haridvar along the Ganges banë to meet Maitreya Muni. (2¸-32)
1. The highest goal which is achievable only by pure devotees who have no desire for karma and jnana is to attain the personal association and service of the Lord in Vaikuntha. (¶-16) 2. To properly understand Krsna and His pastimes one must be a devotee and hear about Him from His pure devotee-spiritual master. Only a devotee can give one the proper understanding as he has heard about the Lord in discipliã succession. (1¶-32)
Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya
Vidura met Maitreya and inquired from him about the cause of real happiness and requested Maitreya to instruct him hou to become sufficiently purified so that the Lord would instruct him from within. Vidura then inquired about hou the Lord incarnates and hou He creates and maintains both the material world and the varieties of living entities. (±-9) Vidura next requested Maitreya to answer his questions in such a way that his words all have to do with Krsna. He then glorifies the power of Krsna-katha and its medicinal effect on those who hear it and again requests Maitreya to speaë about the essence of all topics-topics about Krsna. (1°-16)
Maitreya honored Vidura’s exalted position as an eternal associate of the Lord (1·-22) and began describing hou the Lord extended His transcendental potency for the continuous creation maintenance and dissolution of the cosmiã world. Maitreya describes the Lord as the Supreme proprietor who desiring to create impregnates the three modes of nature and causes the appearance of the living entities. Thereafter the ingrediants of creation evolve one after another beginning with false ego and continuing to the mind intelligence the elements the sense objects the senses and the demigods. (2³-37) After the demigods were created they found themselves unable to perform their duties as the elements which had already been created were not combining. They thus prayed to the Lord for assistance first glorifying the shelter of His lotus feet (3¸-44) then comparing the results obtained by devotees and jnanis (4µ-47) and finally requesting the Lord for the ability to serve for His pleasure (4¸-51).
1. The Lord creates the material world maintains it empowers compassionate devotees incarnates Himself and helps from within as Supersoul. His purpose is to allou the insubordinate and rebellious living entities the opportunity to attempt material enjoyment according to their desires and karma and by doing so learn that only devotional service-not material circumstances including attempts by jnana and karma-will satisfy them. (±-9) 2. One should hear only about Krsna for hearing purifies one of family and other material attachment. It brings remembrance of Krsna and vanquishes misery. (1°-16) 3. Maitreya Muni begins describing the chatur-sloki Bhagavatamº The Lord is the original cause of the creation of the material world. He is the source of the living entities who are His parts and parcels. All emanates from Him. His helpin creation is needed at every step. (1·-25 36) 4. The living entities are foreign to the material world. By the influence of time the Lord places them within matter causing them to forget their real ego (their identity as Krsna’s servants) and thus adopt inappropriate independent desires. (2¶- 31) 5. The universe is created by the Lord to give a chance to the fallen living entity to surrender and give uphis independent consciousness through devotional service and remembering the Lord. (2¹-31) 6. To go bacë to Godhead even if one has material desires one should pray for the Lord’s shelter hear Krsna-katha give up mayavadi philosophy perform sacrifices take prasadam and act as the Lord’s servant in His service. (3¸-51)
Creation of the Universal Form
The Lord heard from the demigods that the creation was suspended due to the elements not combining. He thus entered into the elements along with His external energy Kali (time) who alone amalgamates all the different elements and thus the living entities were again able to engage in activities. When the twenty-three principle elements were set into action the Virata Rupa the Universal Form of the Lord came into existence. The Lord Himself then entered into the elements and they transformed into the gigantiã form in which rests all the planetary systems and moveable and immoveable creations. (±-5)
The Virata Rupa known as Hiranmaya along with the living entities lived on the water of the universe for one thousand years. (The Lord manifest the Virata Rupa form in response to the prayers of the demigods so that they would have directions by which they could perform their universal functions.) (¶-10)
The demigods next entered various aspects of the Universal Form and creation tooë place of the senses the elements sense and mental power places of residence ego consciousness Vediã wisdom and the varnas. These are all meant for worshipof the Lord and self-realization under the care of the spritual master. (1±-34) Maitreya then glorified the inconceivable Lord who possesses unlimited power. He then offered the Lord his respectful obeisances. (3µ-40)
1. The creation’s source is the Lord and it procedes by the will of the Lord. (1-3) 2. The Lord is a person and is the source of the Univeral Form. He is also the source of all the universal manifestations the living entities the Visnu-tattva forms and the consciousness of the living entities. All are meant for His service. Speculators cannot understand this. (´-10) 3. The varnasrama system is necessary for the progressive purification and spiritual advancement of human society. (3°-34) 4. The glories of the Lord are unconceivable and He is the origin of the Brahman and Paramatma features of the Absolute Truth. He is knowable only by devotional service and it is our duty to glorify the unlimited Lord as far as possible. (3µ-40)
Vidura further inquired from Maitreya about the Lord’s dealings both within and independent from the modes of nature. He also inquired hou a soul who is non-material can be engaged in nescience. He then asked hou the living entity can possibly be miserable considering he has the Lord as Supersoul within his heart. (±-7) Maitreya replied that the Lord remains at all times unconditioned and free from maya and that the living entity has nothing to do with matter. He describes the living entity’s connection with matter as illusory and compares it to one experiencing in a dream that his own head has been cut off. Maitreya explains that one’s illusury misconception of his identity and the consequent material miseries can be gradually diminished by the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s mercy and detached devotional service-chanting and hearing about the Lord. (¸-14)
Vidura was satisfied by Maitreya’s answers-confirming that the soul’s miseries are due only to his connection with maya-and he glorified the process of inquiring from and serving a spiritual master (1µ-20). He then inquired about the further creation of the material world asking about the creation after the Virata Rupa. He asked about the further increase of population in the universe about Brahma the Manus Siva Visnu the incarnations hou the Lord can be satisified the dissolutions and other topics. He expressed his actual purpose in asking these questions-to knou the pastimes of Hari and to become fixed in His service. (2²-42).
1. The Lord when performing His activities within the material world is never in any way connected to the material world. (9) 2. The living entities however due to their being insignificantly small are overpowered by the illusory energy and they thus experience themselves as material although they too in fact have nothing to do with matter. They therefore due to illusion suffer as if they were matter and as if they were always changing. (1°-11) 3. The gradual process of getting free from this entanglement are varnasrama charity and piety but the best and fastest process of deliverance is hearing Hari-katha. (1²-14) 4. All miseries are gradually vanquished by giving upthe mood that “I am the predominator,¢ through good association transcendental knowledge devotional service and taking shelter of a mahatma and hearing from him Krsna-katha. (1µ-20)
Manifestation of Brahma from Visnu
Maitreya Muni began to reply saying that he would nou speaë the Bhagavat Purana which he heard in discipliã succession from the time when Anantadeva spoke it to the Four Kumaras. Maitreya Muni had heard the Bhagavatam from his spriritual master Parasara Muni who had heard it from Sanhkyayana Muni who had heard it directly from the Four Kumaras. (±-9) Maitreya began narrating hou Garbodaksayi Visnu lay upon Ananta on the universal waters for four thousand yuga cycles until the time was proper for the creation. By the power of time from His navel came an effulgent stem from which first a lotus (which the Lord entered as Supersoul impregnating it with the modes of material nature) and then Lord Brahma appeared. (1°-15)
Lord Brahma could not understand the creation the lotus or himself even after entering the water through the stem of the lotus. He then focused his mind on the Supreme Lord. After one hundred years of meditation he had achieved sufficient knowledge and a sufficient amount of the Lord’s mercy (1¶-22) to see within himself the beautifully ornamented Lord on Ananta Sesa. The Lord showed Brahma His lotus feet. Thus everything became visible to Brahma and he surcharged with passion became inclined to create. He then offered prayers to the Lord for the ability to do so. (2³-33)
1. To hear Hari-katha Srimad-Bhagavatam one should hear it as it was spoken in discipliã succession. One can become a speaker of the Bhagavatam only by achieving the blessing of one’s superiors. (±-9) 2. To find out the ultimate cause of our existence something that every intelligent man will inquire about one must perorm self-surrendered pure devtional service. (1·-22) 3. Pure devotional service is so powerful that it even places the All-Attractive Lord in one’s debt. It is the only means to award one with the Lord’s personal association. (2´-27)
Brahma’s Prayers for Creative Energy
Brahma glorified the Lord as the only knowable object the supreme form who possesses no superior aspect. I surrender to You said Brahma as you are untouched by matter and are the protector. (±-10) Even if one takes shelter of the Lord to satisfy his material desires said Lord Brahma that is far superior than attempting to satisfy the demigods for material gain. (1±-13) The Lord is the prime root of the planetary systems eternal time and the enjoyer of all sacrifices. Thus Lord Brahma offered the Lord his respect obeisances. (1´-19) Brahma described the Lord’s mystical sleep and prayed that nou that His sleephad ended the Lord should be merciful to him a surrendered devotee. Brahma then expressed his desire to create the material world and be uneffected materially by that worë of creation. Brahma requested the Lord’s direction on proceeding to create the universe and became silent. (2°-26)
The Lord sau that Brahma was anxious about constructing the universe and He mercifully removed Brahma’s anxiety by informing him that that which Brahma was requesting had already been grantedº Brahma would be able to knou everything from within his heart. The Lord than reminded Brahma of his attempt to find his source by entering the water through the lotus flower and that He the Lord had nou revealed Himself. The Lord then said that he would fulfill the desires of anyone who worships and prays to Him as Brahma did as it is He who is the only proper object of attachment. The Lord then disappeared. (2·-44)
1. The Lord’s has many forms. All are transcendental and can be understood only by the Lord’s causeless mercy awarded through devotional service. They are expanded for the happiness of the pure devotees whose only desire is to serve Him. (±-6) 2. Unfortunate souls are adverse to hearing Krsna-katha. The devotees who take responsibility to make these souls fortunate become confidential servitors of the Lord. The unfortunate conditioned souls should give uptheir independent plans and surrender to the Lord in devotional service. (·-10) 3. The Lord reciprocates with a devotee who desires to serve the Lord in a specifiã way. He does so by appearing within his heart in the specifiã form that the devotee wishes to serve. (1±) 4. Demigods worshipthe Lord but have material attachment. Pure devotees act for the Lord’s desire and worshipHim with no material attachment. Non-devotees due to their selfishness stubborness and offensiveness do not become devotees. But by the mercy of devotees they can learn to offer the results of their worë for His satisfaction and get permanant benefit from their temporary activities. (12-13) 5. The Lord exists in His internal potency although His activities at times imitate those of humans. He is above the modes of nature and should always be worshiped. One should offer obeisances to the Lord regardless of the form in which the Lord appears for the Lord’s form is always unlimited transcendental and worshipable. (1´-21) 7. Devotees need blessings from the Lord so they may do their service. They also need His blessings so the material energy will not contaminate them. (2²-25) 8. The Lord awards mercy ability and protection to those who serve him with devotion. He also instructs them from within their hearts. Thus the devotee by the Lord’s mercy learns to see the Lord everywhere which makes him immune to material contamination. The Lord does award His devotees unlimited mercy for the Lord is especially inclined to His devotees. (2¶-40) 9. One should endeavor only to satisfy the Lord. One should become attached only to the Lord. (4±-44)
Divisions of Creation
Vidura asked hou Brahma created the bodies of the living entities and Maitreya described hou Brahma after the departure of the Lord sat upon the lotus and performed devotional penances for one hundred celestial years. Brahma thereafter dranë the water and wind which made his lotus tremble. He thus could see that the lotus on which he sat was spread throughout the universe. He entered the lotus and created the fourteen planetary systems for the inhabitation of the different varieties of living entities. (±-9) Vidura asked Maitreya about eternal time and Maitreya replied that time was the Lord’s energy more or less an intersection between Himself and the material world and as the source of the interaction of the three modes of nature it moves all. Time thus creates the cosmos. (1°-13)
Maitreya then explained the nine divisions of creation occuring due to time as 1. Maha-tattva 2. false ego 3. sense perceptions 4. knowledge and working capacity 5. the controlling deities. (These are natural creations of the Lord’s external energy. The remaining four creations are by Brahma.) 6. avidya or ignorance 7. the immovable entities 8. the lower species of life and 9. human beings. The tenth creation is the demigods. After describing the creations Maitreya offered to describe the descendents of Manu. (1´-30)
1. Time controls everything within this and all universes and it acts upon all those in bodily consciousness. Time is under the control of the Supreme Lord. (¹-14)
Before beginning to describe the descendents of Manu Maitreya continues his description of time by defining it so that it can be measured within space. He does this by describing the paramanu the atom and describes time’s basiã unit as the amount of time that it takes for one atom to combine into six. Maitreya building from that basiã unit describes time units comparable to seconds hours weeks months and years and as time units that measure the orbits of planets. (±-15)
Vidura then requests Maitreya to describe the duration of life of the residents of higher planets who are beyond the range of the destruction at the end of Brahma’s day. Maitreya describes the length of time of yugas the days and nights of Brahma Manu’s lifespan partial distructions at the end of Brahma’s day and greater distructions at the end of Brahma’s life. (1¶-38)
Although no one in bodily consciousness escapes the destructive force of time time itself is under the Supreme Lord’s control. The universe is huge in diameter and its coverings are even greater in size yet the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna is the origin cause of all causes. His abode differing from all created within matter is eternal. (3¸-42)
1. Time controls everything within this and all universes and it acts upon all those in bodily consciousness. Time is under the control of the Supreme Lord. (3¸-42)
Creation of the Kumaras and Others
After describing the potency of the Lord’s form as time Kala Maitreya continues to describe the further creations of Lord Brahma. Brahama first created the nescient engagements and then the Four Kumaras who refused to create further. Brahma in anger created the destructive force the Rudras who he placed in meditation until they were needed at the time of the destruction of the universe. (±-20)
Brahma then manifest from his own body ten sages then religion irreligion lust and desire. The sage Kardama was manifest from the shadou of Brahma. (2±-27) Maitreya narrated Brahma’s lust for his own daughter and how when Brahma was respectfully reproached by his sage-sons he gave uphis body which became fog in darkness. (2¸-33)
Brahma next manifest from his four mouths the four Vedas and the paraphrenalia for sacrifice the principles of religiousity and the four asramas. Vidura asked hou and with whose helpBrahma established Vediã knowldge and Maitreya described hou all Vediã sciences and activities became systematically manifest one after another. (3´-48)
Brahma then lamented when he sau that the creation was not yet filled with population and as he thought in this way Manu and Satarupa two forms one male and female were generated from his body and they united. Manu begot in the course of time five children two males Uttanapada and Priyavrata and three females Akuti (handed to the sage Ruci) Devahuti (handed to the sage Kardama) and Prasuti (handed to Daksa). From them the world filled with population. (49-57)
1. Before a living entity is able to enjoy within the material world he must take shelter of ignorance and nescience which was first created by Brahmaº andha-tamisram (the sense of death) tamisram (anger after frustration) maha-mohan (sense of ownershipof enjoyable objects) and mohan (illusory bodily conception) and tamas (darkness in self-knowledge illusory bodily conception). Those who wish to avoid such illusions should avoid the entanglement of family life and must take shelter of Brahma’s second creations which inspire the cultivation of knowledgeº sankhya yoga vairagya and tapasya. (1-6) 2. One should avoid all nescient engagements especially illicit sex for they emanate from the Lord’s powerful illusory energy and degrade one from the civilized platform of human life. The Lord protects one always engaged in his service from such diffiuclties and He forgives one who has difficulties. (2¸-35) ³ All creations both illusory and those based on knowledge the varnasrama dharma system and the entire population of the universe ultimately are creations from the Lord. ¨All chapter)
The Appearance of Lord Varaha
Vidura asked Maitreya about the activities of Manu and Maitreya after appreciating Vidura’s devotional fortune describes Manu’s prayers to Lord Brahma expressing his willingness to serve in any way Brahma desires. (±-8) Brahma appreciates Manu’s submissive mood and requests Manu to generate population rule the world and perform Vediã sacrifices-all for the Lord’s pleasure. (¹-13) Manu then requested a place to perform his service and he informs Brahma of the earth’s being submerged within the depths of the ocean. As Brahma contemplated hou to rectify the situation a tiny creature a boar appeared from his nostril. The boar greu and greu and Brahma wondered if He were Visnu. Roaring the boar entered the water and lifted the earth upon His tusks and killed the demon Hiranyaksa. He then suspended the earth upon his tusts. (1´-33)
The sages offered prayers to Varaha the Lord’s boar incarnation understanding Him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the worshipable object within sacrifices. (3´-45) Maitreya Muni described hou the Lord placed the earth upon the water and returned to His abode. He then glorified the auspicious narration of the pastimes of Varahadeva and he described the auspicious results of hearing the nectar of the Lord’s pastimes. (4¶-50)
1. One should desire to hear about the Lord’s activities as He incarnates and as well as of the activities and qualitities of the Lord’s devotees. (1-8) 2. A son should serve his superior his father without reservation. Hou much more so should all living entities eagerly serve and act for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the supreme superior. One should serve Him through varnasrama Vediã sacrifices or directly through devotional service. Serving the Lord is our own self interest. (9-13) 3. The inconceivably powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshipable in whichever form He assumes according to His desire. All such forms are transcendental and are worthy of our surrender service and devotion. (1´-47) 4. Lord Varaha is considered the Lord of sacrifice and all Vediã sacrifices are meant to worshipHim. He only can be understood by devotional service. (1´-47) 5. The Lord desecends as an avatara and returns to His own abode leaving behind irresistible nectarean narrations of His pastimes which destroy the pangs of material miseries and award transcendental benefit. (4¸-50)
Pregnancy of Diti in the Evening
Sukadeva Gosvami narrated Vidura’s inquiry about the cause of the fight between the Lord and Hiranyaksa. He then narrated Maitreya’s reply which Maitreya had heard from Brahma. (±-7)
Once Diti the daughter of Daksa and wife of Kasyapa Muni approached her husband at dusk an improper time with her desire for children. Kasyapa tried to disuade her by glorifying the posItion of a wife but he at last succumbed. (¸-32) After the act was performed at its inappropriate time Diti approached her husband in fear that Siva due to her offence would distroy the embryos within her womb. Kasyapa condemned the inauspiciousness of the act and predicted that her contemptuous children would be killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (3³-41)
Hearing this Diti was satisfied. Kasyapa then blessed her due to her faith that her son’s son would be the great devotee Prahlada who would see the Lord both within and without. Diti was thus pleased. (42-51)
1. Hearing of the Lord’s pastimes frees one from death. (±-7) 2. Seø desire is consider a sinful reaction or contamination. Only the power of Krsna consciousness is strong enough to free one from seø desire. In Krsna’s service rather than in the mode of ignorance seø may be used to produce good Krsna conscious devotee children like Prahalad Maharaja (1²-51) 3. All positions in Varnasrama are meant to cultivate one’s Krsna consciousness. In the dealings between husband and wife both should be trained to properly act within their positions in such a way that they become Krsna conscious. (1·-20) 4. Lord Siva is the greatest devotee of Lord Visnu and the greatest of demigods. He is in charge of ignorance and is both easily pleased and easily displeased. (2³-37)
Discription of the Kingdom of God
Diti kept the embryos within her womâ for one humded years but due to the power of the embryos the universe became dark. Seeing this the demigods fearfully approached Brahma prayed to him and requested that he explain the cause of the universal darkness. (1-10)
Brahma related hou the Four Kumaras once after traveling throughout the universe desired to visit Vaikuntha. The traveled through that beautiful place which was pure filled with beautiful residents free from mundane seø desire and free from the modes of material nature. (1±-22) Lord Brahma then glorified Vaikuntha and hearing topics about Vaikuntha saying that one should not give uphearing these topics. Human birth is especially sought after to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead and one can achieve the supreme abode simply by becoming ecstatiã when hearing the glories of the Lord. (23-25)
The Four Kumaras passed through the first siø gates of Vaikuntha which is predominated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead but were stopped by the two gate-keepers at the seventh gate the gate before Lord Narayana’s palace. The Kumara’s the oldest of sages although looking like young boys were furious with the discordant mentality of the gatekeepers and cursed them who they accused of seeing enemies in a place where no enemies could exist to fall to the material world. (2¶-34) The gatekeepers fell down at the brahmana’s feet accepting the curse but expressing their fear of forgetting the Lord. (3µ-37)
At that moment the beautiful all-auspicious Lord appeared fully decorated and accompanied by the Godess of Fortune. The sages sau Him whom they had always meditated within their hearts manifest before their eyes. They then smelled the fragrance of the tulasi leaves carried from the Lord’s lotus feet by a breeze. The Kumaras§ minds were disturbed and they gave up their brahman realization understanding that the realization of the Personality of Godhead was higher and sweeter. (3¸-45) The Four Kumaras then prayed to the eternal form of the Lord that they did not mind being born in any condition as long as they could hear and chant the Lord’s glories. (4¶-50)
1. No fear and anxiety exists in Vaikuntha as it does throughout the material world even if one is raised to the position of a demigods. (±-13) 2. Vaikuntha is the eternal and transcendental abode of the Lord and His servitors who are free from envy who all possess full beauty and good qualities and who are fully in harmony with the desires of the Lord. (1±-22) 3. One should properly use his human life by hearing of Vaikuntha and understanding the goal of human life. An offenseless person who hears the glories of the Lord in ecstacy attains the kingdom of God. (23-25) 4. The living entities in Vaikuntha are in complete harmony with the Lord and His desires. They are thus fully free from fear. In the material world no one is interested in satisfying the senses of the Lord and they thus due to their criminal mentality are suited for the prison house of the material world. (31-35) 4. Realization of the form of the Lord in Vaikuntha is realization of the Lord’s Bhagavan feature. That form is transcendental beyond the modes of nature and far more attractive than both Paramatma and Brahman realization. Similarly serving the Lord in great love is the perfection of the soul’s consciousness and far greater than any material pleasure achievement through the process of yoga or liberation. (37-50)
Jaya and Vijaya Cursed by the Sages
Brahma continued to describe the Lord’s words to the Kumaras which approved of their curse of His gatekeepers and apologized for the disrespect of His servant. The Lord glorified the vaisnavas and brahmanas saying that even He takes the dust of the feet of the vaisnavas upon His own head and that Laxsmi devi had given upher flickering nature and steadily serves Him due to His own service to His devotees. The Lord then requested the Kumaras to allou His servants to soon return to Vaikuntha. (1-12)
The Kumaras heard the fascinating words of the Lord with great relish yet they could not understand whether He was pleased or disturbed by their actions. (13-16)
The Four Kumaras spoke glorifying the Lord’s words as meant to teach others and protect religious principles. They spoke of the Lord’s affection for His pure devotees and expressed their understanding that they had cursed two faultless persons. The Lord replied that the punishment awarded to His servants was in fact ordained by Him and that they would soon return to Him due to their intensely thinking of Him in anger while within the material world. (1·-26)
The sages delighted to have seen the Lord and having learned of the divine opulences of the Vaisnavas then left Vaikuntha. The gatekeepers however became morose lost their lustre and fell from Vaikuntha. (27-34)
Brahma then explained to the demigods that these two gatekeepers from Vaikuntha were within the womâ of Diti and are the cause of the darkness. Nothing can be done to stopthem as it is the Lord’s desire explained Brahma. He alone will come to our rescue. (35-37)
1. The Lord is pleased when His devotees the brahmana-Vaisnavas are pleased and He is disturbed when they are offended. He protects His devotees and glorifies serving them. (±-12) 2. The Lord’s activities and pastimes are transcendental and meaningful. They are meant for His purposes and they reveal the path of devotion. (13-16) 3. Lord is the Supreme Personality of Godhead the source of Lord Siva and Lord Brahma the Absolute Truth the source of all benedictions. His devotees the bhaktas are the topmost yogis and the Lord desires that they be respected and offered all facilities. Serving the Lord in bhakti-yoga-whose essence is thinking of the Lord-delivers one from all sin. (1·-31)
Chapter Seventeen Chapter Eighteen and Chapter Nineteen
The Victory of Hiranyaksa
The Battle between Lord Boar and Hiranyaksa
The Killing of of the Demon Hiranyaksa
At the birth of the two gatekeepers nou powerful demons within the material world inauspicious signs appeared everywhere. The younger of the two Hiranyaksa tooë his cluâ in his hand and began terrorizing the universe for the pleasure of his elder brother Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyaksa journeyed to the ocean and disturbed the aquatics and smite the ocean waves with his club. He challenged Varunadeva for battle and the demigod avoided Hiranyaksa prideful words telling him to seeë Visnu who would fight with him and kill him. (17.1-31)
Hiranyaksa did not heed Varuna’s words of warning but began seeking Visnu within the ocan where he found the Lord lifting the earth upwards at the end of His tusk. The demon challenged the Lord saying he would kill him thus ending all sacrifices and causing the devotees to cease to exist. The Lord was pained by the abusive words of the demon but He carefully placed the earth upon the water before replying with great anger.
Hiranyaksa strucë the Lord with his mace and a fierce fight began. Brahma arrived and and noting that night was approaching he requested the Lord to kill the demon without delay. (18.±-28)
Maitreya related hou the Lord accepted the request of Brahma. Laughing He picked upHis cluâ to kill the demon. But Hiranyaksa threu his own cluâ and knocked the Lord’s cluâ from His hand. The Lord then called for His cakra and knocked down the mace which the demon had again thrown. At the demon’s second attempt the Lord caught the mace. Frustrated and humiliated the demon threu a trident which was torn to pieces by the Lord’s cakra. The demon tried magic but the Lord dispelled that too with His cakra. Hiranyaksa tried to crush the Lord but he found the Lord outside his grasp. The Lord then effortlessly and nonchalantly slapped Hiranyaksa at the root of his ear and killed him. (19.1-26)
Brahma praised the fortune of Hiranyaksa for having died at the Lord’s hand and the demigods showered flowers and offered prayers. (19.2·-31) Maitreya then glorified the process of hearing the Lord’s pastimes and the pastimes of the Lord’s devotees. He also praised the service of the Lord who is such a loving master. Maitreya then described the benfits accrued to one who hears the narration of the Lord’s killing of Hiranyaksa. (19.3²-38)
1. Demons who go against the principles of religion and who deride and challenge the authority of the Lord are killed effortlesly by the Lord regardless of the quantity of power they have accumulated. Devotees can thus be assured of the Lord’s protection in all circumstances.(17.1µ-19 18.´-28 20.±-32) 2. The unconquerable Lord regardless of His form is always worshipable. (18.±-3 20.4 20.3°-32) 3. Hearing and chanting of the Lord’s wonderful pastimes as spoken by in the guru-parampara awards great fortune. (20.3³-38)
Conversation Between Maitreya and Vidura
Saunaka Rsi inquired about Vidura’s questions to Maitreya. Suta first described Maitreya’s delight at hearing the pastime of the Lord’s killing Hiranyaksa and then repeated Vidura’s further questions to Maitreya in which Vidura inquired about the evolution of the population of the universe from the Prajapatis. (1-11)
Maitreya began explaining the creation of the universeº first the mahat-tattva then false ego then the production of a shining egg-like universe which lifelessly lay upon the waters of the Causal Ocean until the Lord entered as Garbhodaksayi Visnu. Brahma sprouted from the lotus born of His navel and the Lord then entered Brahma’s heart and gave Him the intelligence to recreate the universe. (12-17)
Brahma first created ignorance then raksasas night the demigods day and from his buttocks the demons. Brahma in fear of the demons approached the Lord who told him to give up that body which the quickly tooë as twilight a beautiful woman and possessed. Brahma then evolved Apsaras and Gandharvas ghosts invisible sadhyas and pitas kinnaras and snakes. (1¸- 48)
He then created the Manus whom would promote welfare activities within the universe and whom he endowed with his own form. The demigods applauded Brahma’s creation of the Manus for by that creation they would achieve the results of the ritualistiã acts that the Manus would cause to be performed. Brahma next evolved the great sages as his sons and gave each a part of his body. (49-53)
1. The Lord is the ultimate source of all created within the material world both the good and the bad. This second description of the creation of the universe differing from the first description in Chapter Six emphasizes not the Lord’s instigation of the creation but rather Brahma’s creation the secondary creation. (All Chapter) 2. Many topics previously mentioned are reviewed in briefº the potency of hearing Krsna-katha from devotees (±-6) the material creation is meant to provide an opportunity for sense enjoyment for those conditioned souls as per the directions of the Supersoul (12,17) the Lord protects His devotees from distress (2·-28) seø-desire binds one to the material world (2¹-37) sacrifices are meant for the pleasure of the Lord (51) and yoga is meant to concentrate the mind upon the Lord (5²-53).
Conversation between Manu and Kardama
Vidura inquires about the lineage from Svayambhuva Manu mentioning his two son Uttanapada and Priyavrata who ruled the world. He especially inquired about his daughter Devahuti who had married Kardama Muni and about his other two daughters who had married Ruci and Daksa. (±-5) Maitreya in reply describes the penance of Kardama Muni and its resultº The Lord appeared to Kardama. Kardama offered obeisances to the Lord and then prayerfully requested the Lord to satisfy his desire for a wife. (¶-21) The Lord replied to Kardama by informing him that Svayambhuva Manu would soon come and offer his qualified daughter Devahuti to become his wife. The Lord tells Kardama that he will have nine daughters through Devahuti and through them the sages will be able to procreate. Kardama the Lord foretells will then leave home and will attain perfection. The Lord then informed Kardama that He Himself will manifest as his son Kapiladeva to teach Sankhya philosophy. having spoken to the sage Kardama the Lord departed for Vaikuntha. (2²-34)
Bindu-sarovara Kardama Muni’s hermitage was wonderfully beautiful and peaceful and in two days as the Lord predicted Svaymabhuva Manu arrived there with his daughter Devahuti. Kardama Muni spoke to Svayambhuva Manu and glorified Manu’s position as King the protector and regulator of society. (3µ-56)
1. Yoga can award all mystiã powers but they are not the true pupose of yoga. The Lord can bestou nay material benediction upon yogis who worshipHim for the fulfillment of their desires. The actual purpose of yoga is realization of the personal form of the Lord. Bhakti-yoga is when one serves that personal form. (´-14) 2. One can get married and enjoy his life with a partner of a like disposition follou the Vediã rules and regulations and live so as one becomes elevated to the higher status of spiritual realization. (1µ-16) Yet by taking shelter of Krsna by hearing and chanting the pastimes ofthe Lord one can forget the intoxication of material existence and transcend birth and death. (17-18) 3. One should take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and act according to His direction regardless of one’s desires. One’s desires will undoubtably be satisfied. (1¹-30) 4. Krsna is the Absolute Truth and as all is connected to Him all should be used in His service. Anyone who worships the Lord one of the innumerable forms of the Lord in devotional service is liberated. (31-34) 5. Ksatriyas possess the protecting power of Lord Hari and they are necesary for the proper ruling of society. (50-56)
(**ª This Chapter begins the second story within this canto of husband and wife combining to beget offspring. The first is from Chapter Fourteen when Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakashipu are produced from the combining of Kasyapa Muni with Diti. The differing circumstances in the conception and the qualities of the offspring produced make for an interesting contrast.)
The Marraige of Kardama Muni and Devahuti
Svayambhuva Manu glorifies Kardama Muni and in doing so he glorifies the relationshipbetween the ksatriyas and the brahmanas. (±-8) Svayambhuva Manu and Kardama then speaë about Kardama Muni’s acceptance of Devahuti Svayambhuva Manu’s daughter as his wife and Kardama accepts Devahuti on the condition that he would be given permission to leave home and take sannyasa as soon as a child would be born. (¹-20)
Svayambhuva Manu agreed and returned to his opulent kingdom within which he enjoys incredible material opulence beyond the miseries of material existence and yet makes advancement in spiritual life. Manu at the end of his life goes bacë to Godhead. (2±-39)
1. Brahmanas insure that spiritual goals remain the focus of society. They act as sadhus and by their association and guidance lead train and inspire the rest of society. (±-8) 2. Marriage is required within society and one should marry and remain married according to scriptural and varnasrama injunctions to a partner who suits one’s nature. (¹-25) 3. One can lead a Krsna conscious householder life by acting for the Lord’s pleasure and always hearing and chanting about the Lord. One can then transcend the modes of nature. (26-39)
Devahuti served her husband with full devotion and even neglected her own body while engaged in his service. Kardama Muni expressed his appreciation for Devahuti’s service and Devahuti then expresses her desire to have children. She then requested Kardama to make all suitable arangements. (1-11)
Maitreya told Vidura of the wonderful and opulent arrangements Kardama Muni made through his mystiã powers. He created a flying palace equipped with all opulences. He had Devahuti enter the Bindu Sarovara lake and had her beautified and attended by thousands of maidservants. Devahuti and Kardama then traveled throughout the universe within their palace and enjoyed all sights. Finally returning to Bindu Sarovara Kardama divided himself into nine and impregnated Devahuti. Devahuti on that same day gave birth to nine charming female children. (12-48)
Kardama immediately prepared to leave home to take sannyas. Devahuti then approached Kardama and shyly placed before him her lacë of spiritual realizations and her thought that she had wasted her entire life on sense enjoyment and had not sought liberation. (49-57)
1. A faithful devoted and gentle wife is a asset for her husband. She should live by the principles of her husband and if the husband is a great devotee a very good result accrues from following him. Naturally as a wife she automatically shares her husbands achievements. The greatest achievement of course is Krsna prema and that is achieved by a faithful wife if her husband is a great persoality in Krsna consciousness. (1-9) 2. The children born from a husband and wife are expansions of their personal qualities. A wife naturally wants a son and she should be given a son before her husband leaves home for renunication. The husband has the responsibility therefore to be a great soul so that the son will take on his great qualities.(10-11) 3. A powerful yogi-devotee can through his powers can create anything wonderful by his powers. (1²-48) 4. The debt of the husband to the wife is repaid by his spiritual instructions. This the purpose of a wife’s life is also self- realization not sense gratification. Her life otherwise is a waste of time. Thus the worë of one’s life should somehou lead to self realization and by it the Lord should be worshiped. (4¹- 57).
The Renunciation of Kardama Muni
Kardama recalled the words of Visnu and he assured Devahuti that the Lord Himself would soon enter her womâ as her son. Kardama acted as her spiritual master and instructed her to faithfully worshipthe Lord and she did so. Thus the Lord appeared after many years as the son of Devahuti and Kardama Muni. (±-6)
At the time of the Lord’s descent the demigods sounded musical instruments from the sky and Lord Brahma could understand that the Lord had appeared. He came to Kardama’s hermitage with other sages in great pleasure and told Kardama and Devahuti that they should give their nine daughters in charity to the nine sages. Brahma then glorified Kapiladeva’s appearance in which he would explain sankhya-yoga and uproot the desire for fruitive worë within this world. He then assured Devahuti that her son Kapiladeva would increase her fame and cut all her knots of ignorance and doubt before traveling throughout the world. (·-19)
Brahma leaves and Kardama Muni after handing his daughters to the sages prays to Lord Kapiladeva in a secluded place and glorifies the Lord’s kindness in His descent within his home. Kardama surrenders to Kapiladeva whose form is transcendental and requests permission to take sannyas and thinë always of Kapiladeva within his heart. (2°-34)
Kapiladeva replied saying that he has appeared to explain Sankhya philosophy for this path had been lost in time. Kapiladeva then gave Kardama permission to leave home foretelling that Kardama would surrender all activities to the Lord conquer insurmountable death and worshipHim for eternity. Kapiladeva then promised that He would explain the science of Sankhya to Devahuti His mother. (3µ-40) Maitreya related hou Kardama circumambulated Kapiladeva and at once left for the forest. He tooë a vou of silence and fixed his mind on the Parambrahma. Kardama gradually became liberated situated in transcendental devotional service and went bacë to Godhead. (4±- 47)
1. A husband who spiritually instructs his wife in detachment and devotional service for the purpose of achieving the favor of the Lord is in fact her spiritual master. (1-5) 2. The Lord is already all-pervading He can thus appear wherever He desires exactly as He likes. He can if He desires to shou His favor to His devotee even appear within the semen or womâ of His devotee and act as their son. (µ-11) 3. All blessing come by carrying out the order of one’s spiritual master. (12-13) 4. The Lord is a person. He Himself at times as He did when He appeared as Kapiladeva teaches His own devotional service and thus teaches conditioned souls hou to cut the knot of material attachment by hearing transcendental knowledge. Lord Caitanya also comes for this purpose. Although the teachings of the Lord may appear to differ during one of His transcendental appearances or another He actually only teaches bhakti devotional service. By that devotional service He is conquered. (1¶-33) 5. Even if the Lord Himself is one’s son one should follou the varnasrama system and renounce family life at the end of one’s life. (3´-35) 6. The mature fruit of yoga is to become free from bodily attachment and always thinë of the Lord with devotion. Lord Kapiladeva will later explain this further in His description of Sankhya Yoga. (3¶-47)
The Glories of Devotional Service
Saunaka Rsi glorified the Lord’s incarnation of Kapiladeva and then requested Suta Gosvami to speaë about Kapiladeva’s activities and pastimes. Suta Gosvami narrated Maitreya’s description of Devahuti’s awareness of her son Kapiladeva’s position and her pleading to Kapiladeva and her taking shelter of HIm for transcendental instructions. (±-12)
Maitreya explained the Lord’s thankfulness for Devahuti’s inquiry and Maitreya began to describe the Lord’s description of the yoga system which causes detachment from matter and attachment to Krsna. Following this system one should transfer his attachments from matter to sadhus. Kapiladeva then describes the symptoms of a sadhu which He follows by describing the result of saintly associationº One will hear and chant about the Lord in his association and advance towards perfection in Krsna consciousness. The essence of the entire process of Sankhya Yoga is then explained as not serving the modes of nature but always devotionally thinking of the Lord His names His qualities and His pastimes in both the material and the spiritual world. Kapiladeva describes this process as awarding His association in this life. (1³-27)
Devahuti inquires as to the practical activities of this Sankhya Yoga devotional service and Kapiladeva compassionately explains that the senses and natural tendency of the mind to serve must be engaged in His service and by this practice one’s subtle body is effortlessly dissolved. One should also see the Lord’s charming form and become always absorbed in the Lord. A devotee who does this never wishes to merge with the Lord nor does he desire mystiã perfections for he has achieved the Supreme opulence. Due to the Lord’s potency which dictates the functioning of the universe the devotees without fear by fixing their minds upon Him enter the kingdom of God. (2¸-44)
1. To become free from the encumberances of material life and to advance in Krsna consciousness one must surrender and take shelter of the instructions of a spiritual master. ¨1-12) 2. The goal of Sankhya Yoga is to transfer one’s consciousness and one’s attachment from matter to spirit from the body as one’s self to the devotional service of the Lord. (1³-19). 3. The root of success in Sankhya Yoga is to associate with and hear about the Lord from saintly devotees. Thus one will progress. One’s attachment should be turned from matter to sadhus and that attachment will liberate one. (20-27) 4. One must become purified of false identification with the body for that identification binds one to sense enjoyment which will be followed by happiness and distress. To do this one must direct the mind’s serving tendency towards serving the Lord and engage in bhakti. Thus bhakti-yoga will automatically dissolve one’s illusory attachment to matter. (2¸-33) 6. The devotees of the Lord are so fully satisfied by the eternal benefits they attain by always thinking of the Lord that they desire no other benediction from the Lord. Yet they automatically without their desiring it attain liberation. (3´- 38) 6. The Lord is able to take one beyond birth and death because He is all-powerful. (39-44)
Kapiladeva begins to explain the categories of the Absolute Truth. He first describes the qualities of the first principle the Supreme Purusa and then His material nature which creates the forms of the living entities. The material nature is the creator of the living entity’s senses and their presiding demigods while the living entity’s perception of happiness and distress are created by the living entities themselves due to misuse of their freedom. (±-8)
Devahuti then requests Kapiladeva to further explain the relationshipbetween the Lord and His material energies and Kapiladeva describes the unmanifest (pradhana) and manifest (prakrti) material energies. He next describes the effect of the Supreme Lord as the time factor upon these elements as well as His activities as the Supersoul. (9-18) He describes hou the Lord impregnates the living entities within pradhana causing it to manifest variety. The first manfifestation is the Vasudeva state or goodness the consciousness needed to understand the Lord. Next the first contamination appears false ego which is manifest in three modes (along with its worshipful Deity Sankarshana) followed by the mind (with its worshipful Deity Aniruddha) senses and organs of action and gross elements. From false ego in passion intelligence and its by-products are produced followed by the knowledge acquiring senses and the senses of action. (19-31)
False ego in ignorance produces sound and from sound comes ether followed by the sense of hearing. Next from sound by the influence of time the sense object touch air and the sense of touch become prominant followed by form fire and the eye. Next taste water and the tongue then odor earth and the nose are manifest. ¨32-49)
After these element were created they still remained unmixed. The Lord then entered the universe (as Garbhodaksayi Visnu) with the necessary seven primary elements. The Virata Purusa was thus born within the egg of material ingrediants. From the Virat Purusa incarnation comes the senses the sense objects the sense organs the predominating deities of those sense organ and other manifestations. (5°-61)
Yet the Virata Purusa remained asleep and the demigods reentered the Virat Purusa to wake Him. But He would not awaken until the deity presiding over consciousness entered. When that Deity entered the Virata Pusa arose from the causal waters. (6²- 72)
1. Understanding the categories of Absolute Truth will allou one to see himself as distinct from matter. It will also allou one to see the Lord’s supreme position in relationshipto the material energy. Thus one can then cut one’s material attachments become attached to the Lord and become free from the bewilderment caused by maya in the form of the three modes of nature. (This Chapter explains for the third time within Canto Three the creation within the universe.) (1-8) 2. The Supreme Lord through His energies causes the manifest and non-manifest existences of the material world. (9-14) 3. The time factor the mixing element is a manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (15-17) 4. By the time factor’s agitation of the unmanifest prakrti from without and by the Supersouls adjustment from within the elements of creation evolve. (1¸-49)
Understanding Material Nature
Kapiladeva continued to describe the basiã principles of Sankhya Yoga. The practitioner through his devotional service is in knowledge and is detached. His actions thus will not be dictated by the modes and due to his freedom from a sense of proprietorship he will also therefore be free from the reactions of the modes although he may be within a material body. It is being under this spell of the modes and under false ego that forces the soul to transmigrate. One’s duty therefore is to engage one’s polluted consciousness in the practices of devotional service with detachment. One should perform the Sankhya Yoga practices and hear and chant about the Lord. One should live simply and in seclusion and should only vieu the world and all his relationshipwithin the world with the highest transcendental vision. (±-16)
Devahuti then inquires about the release of the soul from material nature as the soul and material nature have been attracted to each other eternally. (1·-20)
Kapiladeva answered that one can become free from matter as well as the control of the modes of material even while still within one’s material body by seriously discharging devotional service and giving upboth the desire to exploit material nature and the desire to become one with the Lord. One must truely knou the faultiness of the desire to enjoy material nature. One must fully give upthe attempt. An enlightened soul cannot be harmed by maya even while he is within this material world as his mind is fixed on the Lord. After many births the yogi will have neither doubts nor desire for material or mystiã enjoyment and his motivation for action will be his affection for the Lord and his desire to please Him. By the Lord’s causeless mercy such a devotee is enlightened and goes bacë to Godhead. (21-30)
1. Sankhya Yoga is based on understanding that one is a soul and not composed of material nature. Knowing oneself as a soul one should therefore act in devotional service while being detached from matter. That will enable one to atain transcendence and successfully meditate upon and serve the Supersoul a process which will be described in the following chapter. (±-9) 2. A liberated soul sees the Lord everywhere sees all as the Lord’s energy and to be used in the Lord’s service and sees himself as an individual servant of the Lord. (1°-16) 3. To become in fact not theoretically freed from the influence of matter one must resolutely perform devotional service with detachment. Once a soul has been awakened to his actual position as independent from the dream of material life material nature cannot harm him. One actually comes to this stage by the mercy of the Lord. (2°-27) 4. One can in fact be free from the modes of nature and all material entanglement while still living within a material body within this world. Such a pure devotee is beyond attraction to merging within brahman or yogiã siddhis. (2¸-30)
on the Execution of Devotional Service
Kapiladeva next explained the performance of the system of yogiã meditation which is also known as astanga yoga. One should surrender to one’s spiritual master not perform karma-kanda be fully celibate read sastra concentrate on the Deity and practice asanas and breathe control to withdrau the senses from the sense objects with the aim of concentrating the mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (1-7)
One should sit straight and practice breath control with the purpose of controlling his mind. One should then meditate on Visnu by fixing his eyes at the tipof his nose. He should see the Lord as bluish cheerful and with a lotus like countenence. One should practice yoga until he is accustomed to always seeing the form of the Lord. One should not meditate on the Lord’s form in total all at once for that may engender impersonalism. One should meditate on the parts of the Lord’s body one by one from the feet upward. One should fiø his mind on the distinctive markings upon the sole of the Lord’s feet for a long time. He should meditate upon the service that he does for Narayana and next meditate on the Lord’s thighs navel and then the emeralds of His necklace which turn white due to the reflection of the necklace of pearls which decorates the Lord’s body. A yogi should meditate on the Lord’s chest the Lord’s arms His disc His conch His club His lotus like face His compassionate glance His smile His laughing and His lotus teeth. (¸-33)
Gradually by following this process of meditation one should begin to fiø his pure mind on the Lord due to ecstatic spontaneous attraction. In this way the material function of the mind stops and one is liberated freed from false ego and sees the individual souls and the Supersoul everywhere. (3´-44)
1. One should practice material detachment sadhana (under the guidance of a spiritual master) and astanga-yoga to purify one’s mind and fiø one’s consciousness upon the Supersoul within the heart and the Lord’s Vaikuntha-lila. (±-33) 2. Gradually one should become absorbed in the Lord become detached from the body and developspiritual vision as well as spontaneous attraction for Him. (3´-44)
Explaination of Devotional Service
Devahuti questions Kapiladeva about devotional service time and samsara. Kapiladeva will explain devotional service and time in this chapter and samsara and time in the following three chapters. Devahuti has asked these questions for the benefit of others and Kapiladeva is pleased by her compassion. (±-6)
Kapiladeva begins describing devotional service which is itself pure but is executed in varieties according to the qualities of the executorº ignorance passion or goodness. Pure devotion is described as spontaneous attraction to Krsna (and hearing and chanting about Him) that flows naturally like the waves to the ocean unentangled by material conditions. A pure devotee describes Kapiladeva does not even accept liberation if offered by the Lord for he desires only the Lord’s service. Such a pure devotee is free from the modes of material nature. (·-14)
To attain this stage a devotee should perform his prescribed duties for Krsna’s pleasure visit the Lord in the temple offer prayers and touch the Lord’s feet and respect all living beings as souls. A devotee should respect the acaryas be compassionate to those without spiritual knowledge make friendshipwith those who share common interests follou the rules and regulations and discuss Krsna-katha. After being purified one will be attracted by Krsna’s name and qualities. 1µ-19)
One should be careful to not simply respect Krsna yet disrespect other living beings. A person acting in that way will never attain peace of mind. One should only see the soul and Supersoul present within all living beings-including oneself. One should thus satisfy the Lord who abides in all creatures as their very Self. (2°-27)
Kapiladeva next describes a progression of twenty-one varieties of living beings so we are able to distinguish between those living entities whom we should treat with compassion and those whom we should treat with friendship. The topmost entity is one who has no interest separate from the Lord. One who thus approaches the Lord through Sankhya-yoga in this way will achieve the abode of the Supreme Person by that devotional service. (2¸- 35)
Kapiladeva next explains the time factor as another feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Visnu through the time factor is the cause of all annihilation is the inspirer of those who remember Him and is the destroyer of those who don’t. The universe functions out of fear of Him. Time is eternal and it carries on the creation maintenance and dissolution of the entire universe. (3¶-45)
1. One should follou the principles of devotional service with no desire including becoming liberated other than to please the Lord. That is called pure devotional service. (·-13) 2. One should execute his prescribed duties and one’s devotional activities regularly. Thus spontaneous attraction to Krsna’s names qualities and pastimes develops from practicing pure devotional service. (14-19) 3. One should respect all living entities as Krsna as the Supersoul is within everyone’s heart. (20-35) 4. One must approach the Supersoul the Lord in the heart for He is the Supreme Controller the time factor and the goal of yoga. (3¶-43) 5. Knowledge of time as Lord Visnu’s energy impels one to understand the all-devouring effect of time and detach one from material activities. (44)
Description of Adverse Fruitive Activities
Living entities do not note the powerful effect of time and become delusioned into creating that which time will destroy. Maya covers the living entity and pulls him down by influencing him to thinë of his home land wealth and even his body as permanent. The practical example of delusion is the attached householder who remains attached to his family despite difficulties until old age. He remains enchanted with wife and children and forgets all can end in a moment. He may even go to hell for his misdeeds in supporting the family and he yet will be disrespected and treated with neglect in his old age. Finally he lies down to die surrounded by relatives and he dies thinking of his family. (±-19)
Such a sinful conditioned soul is then taken by the messengers of Yamaraja for punishment. He is made to suffer and is carried by the Yamadutas and bitten by dogs as he remembers the sinful acts of his life. He is pulled suffering and tormented a long distance which he covers in a feu painful moments. (2°-24)
In Yamaraja’s court prisioners eat their own flesh have their limbs set on fire have their entrails cut out and are tormented by serpents scorpions and other creatures. Their limbs are cut (those whose life has been built upon illict seø especially suffer). Thus one attains his sinful reactions after leaving this body. Although the man who has earned his money by illicit means leaves the money behind at death he is still punished for his criminal deeds. (2µ-34)
1. The time factor deludes the conditioned living entities and causes them to enjoy illusory satisfaction. (1-5) 2. Householders become bewildered enjoying the temporary as if it were permanent. They do this until old age and death. (¶-19) 3. After death the bewildered soul is punished for his sinful attempts at enjoyment. (20-34)
The Movements of the Living Entities
The suffering soul later to be reborn as a human becomes a humnan embryo. At siø months the fetus is trapped like a bird in a cage. He fears taking birth and fears committing the same sinful mistakes again. He thus prays to the Lord and seeks shelter in surrender. He repents and offers his obeisances to the Lord praying that only by mercy can he be freed from the bondage of maya. The embryo then acknowledges the causeless mercy of Krsna who has allowed his consciousness to awaken and he thus prays to remain in the womb even if uncomfortable for he nou is not bound by maya and the bodily concept of life. He prays for deliverance by the process of keeping the lotus feet of the Lord always within his mind. (±-21)
Kapiladeva then explains that during the birth process the child in agony loses his knowledge and cries loudly. Passing through childhood he cannot play as he likes and he thus becomes angry. With the growth of his body he becomes more addicted to lust and passion and makes emnity with similarly lusty people. By following the path of unrighteousness influenced by persons addicted to seø and improper eating he again glides to hell. Due to addiction to sex he looses all good qualities. (2²-33)
Advancement in Krsna consciousness brings out all good qualities within a man but association with those addicted to seø degrades one. Such association is thus most dangerous. A woman is one who due to attachment to a woman in his previous life has taken the form of a woman and who nou sees man as the “provider”. A man should thus avoid attachments to a woman and visa versa. Both should be attached to Krsna. (3´-43)
Enjoying and suffering the fruits of his karma a living entity revolves in different species and planets. One should understand and remedy the problems of birth and death through detachment and resolution of purpose. One should intelligently understand his true identity and his relationshipwith the material world and act unconcerned with the material world. (4´- 48) 1. A soul if fortunate may attain a human birth. Yet he nevertheless sufferes as an embryo within his mother’s womb. (±- 10) 2. Upon achieving consciousness within the womb the embryo prays to the Lord that he may surrender and not become entangled again within fruitive work the cause of his suffering. (1±-21) 3. The living entity within the womâ is aware of his unlimited suffering and he prays for the Lord’s mercy. But when takes birth he forgets his prayers and again becomes entangled in fruitive activities and further suffering. (2²-33) 4. For a transcendentalist association with women is restricted. Association with women beginning by accepting service leads one unknowingly to death. (3´-42) 5. By bad association one suffers but when one is fortunate in his revolutions of birth and death he attains the association of a spiritual master. Good association is therefore the key to exiting the material world and going bacë to Godhead. (43-48)
Entanglement in Fruitive Activities
Pious householder who wish to enjoy materialisticly worship the demigods and may even attain the moon planet. But they again return to earth. Intelligent persons therefore perform their duties with detachment for Krsna’s pleasure and approach the spiritual world. Yogis practicing detachment and pranayam reach Brahmaloka and go bacë to Godhead as Brahma does at the end of the universe. Kapiladeva then advised Devahuti to take direct shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by devotional service. (±-11)
Those who practice devotional service to attain their own self-interest attain the Purusa but again come bacë by the influence of time. Fruitive performers of Vediã rites are in the mode of passion and have no interest in Krsna-katha. These people are condemned by the Lord. They give uphearing and Krsna-katha but hear of mundane activities and attain Pitriloka to again return to take birth in their own family. (1²-21)
Kapiladeva thus advises His mother to fully take shelter only of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead with devotion. Diverting one’s attention to any other activity is unnecessary for by engagement in devotional service one will developdetachment and knowledge. Although the common element of all transcendental processes-bhakti yoga jnana-yoga and astanga yoga-is detachment from matter one should attain detachment by thinking of the Supreme Lord as all manifestations of matter ultimately come from Him. Brahmacarya and the other asramas the varnas Vediã study and control of the mind and senses are ultimately meant to award the realization of the Supreme Lord within the material world and in transcendence. (2²- 36)
Kapiladeva tells his mother that He has explained devotional service in transcendence and in each of the three modes of nature. In addition He has explained hou time imperceptibly stalks all living entities. Once one enters into forgetfulness of his actual identity he is engaged by the modes with no understanding of the result of his engagement.
Those who have the following qualities explains Lord Kapiladeva should not hear these instructionsº the envious the agnostic the unclean the hypocrites the proud the greedy the superficially submissive those too attached to possessions wife and family the non-devotees. and those who are envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The instructions should be given to faithful devotees who are respectful to the spiritual master friendly to all eager to render service who consider the Supreme Personality of Godhead more dear than anything and who are detached.
Those who meditate upon hear or chant about Kapiladeva with faith and affection go bacë to Godhead. (3¶-43)
1. All activities other than pure devotional service bring mixed results. One should therefore only take full shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional service. We thus should give uphearing about others and hear about Him. All results other than attaining His shelter are temporary. (±-22) 2. One should become detached from matter by seeing all matter in relationshipto Krsna for He is the cause of all. We should thus use matter in His service for doing so will free us from our attachment to it and from the modes of nature. (2³-25) 3. The purpose of all Vediã activities is to bring us to the final point of Krsna consciousness. But of all processes “sravanam kirtanam visnu¢ is the best to free us from matter and establish us in Krsna consciousness. (26-36)
Activities of Kapila
Devahuti became filled with knowledge. She offers her obeisances to Kapiladeva and offeres Him prayers in relationship to His dealings in the material world His birth His name and His identity. Kapiladeva then gravely informed His mother that anyone following the path of Sankhya would become free from birth and death. Kapiladeva then tooë permission from His mother and left home. (±-12)
While feeling separation from Kapiladeva her son and meditating upon Him Devahuti practiced Sankhya Yoga in Kardama Muni’s opulent asrama became liberated and attained perfection. (1³-32)
Kapiladeva went to the ocean in the northeast where He even today resides and is worshiped. Anyone who hears or reads this narration becomes a devotee and thereafter enters the kingdom of God to engage in His transcenental loving service. (3³-37)
1. Those that chant the Lord’s names even once are glorious what to speaë of Devahuti who held the Lord within her abdomen and sau Him face to face. (±-8) 2. Those who follou Kapiladeva’s instructions become free from birth death old-age and disease and achieve Him. (1°-11) 3. The process of meditating upon the Lord is the seventh stage of astanga yoga. It is the same as smaranam the third stage of bhakti. (26) 4. The Krsna-katha of the instructions of Kapiladeva can carry us bacë to Godhead. (37)
The Activities of Maharaja Priyavrata
King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Goswami about Maharaja Priyavrata, and why such a great devotee remained in household life, attached to his family members. Sukadeva Goswami answered that great devotees can never give up the feet of Krsna, and Maharaja Priyavrata, when asked by his father, Svayambhuva Manu to take up ruling the world, expressed doubts that he should do so. Lord Brahma then appeared upon his swan carrier from Satyaloka. Narada Muni who was there instructing Priyavrata, Svayambhuva Manu, who was there requesting Priyavrata, and Priyavrata himself all worshiped and respected Brahma. Brahma then spoke smilingly. (1-10)
Lord Brahma explains that everyone must carry out the order of the Lord, and everyone must also carry out their varnasrama duties and allow themselves to be conducted by the Supreme Lord, even if one is liberated, through viewing material activities as a dream and being detached. (11-16)
“One who has controlled his senses is not entangled householder life,” said Lord Brahma. “Seek shelter of the Lord, knowing that householder life and ruling the world is His desire for you.” After convincing Priyavrata of his duty, Lord Brahma left, and Priyavrata, with no resentment, honored the order of Lord Brahma and ruled the world, while always thinking of the Supreme Lord. (17-23)
Maharaja then married Barhismati and begot ten sons, three of whom became paramhamsas. He also begot three more sons who later became manus. Maharaja Priyavrata appeared to be enamored with his wife, but actually he was a great soul. (24-30)
Once, Maharaja Priyavrata became dissatisfied with the sun giving light only during the day. He then drove his chariot as a second sun, and the wheels of his chariot incidentally created the seven oceans.
As he was immersed in his householder life, Maharaja Priyavrata began to consider how he had become entangled in material activities, and he began to criticize himself and speak of renunciation. He then divided up his kingdom and renounced everything. (31-38)
Three verses glorifying Maharaja Priyavrata’s activities are then repeated. (39-41)
1. One who comes under the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord can never become attracted by the activities of family life, for householder life guides one towards sense gratification, its reactions, and hell, which is an opposite direction to Krsna consciousness. Because the contradictions in a devotee’s life are resolved by the grace of the Lord through the blessings of a great devotee, a householder can perform his duties properly, without attachment, and remain always absorbed in the Lord’s service. (1-10) 2. When one chants, the words Krsna and Hare remind Him of the Lord’s activities. (6)
3. One should not attempt to avoid the order of the Lord. In pusuance of that order, whatever situation one finds himself within, he should use it to serve Krsna, accepting all distresses and happiness as a result of his past, getting on with his real business of Krsna consciousness. (11-16) 4. One who controls his senses and who serves the Lord is liberated regardless of his being either either a householder or sannyasi. Real shelter is taking shelter of the Lord’s order, and that will protect one from all material influences. (17-23) 5. A devotee should always consider himself a servant of the Lord’s servants, and he should not be eager for material affairs. His eagerness should be to gain relief from material involvement and to always think of the Lord. Such a devotee, regardless of his external position, is above all material contaminations. (24-30) 6. A householder may be setting a good example and performing the rules of his asrama, and a paramhamsa may be serving all others. As the paramhamsa has no interest other than devotional service, he is thus relieved from the bodily concept of life and has full realization of Krsna. Therefore a devotee may even be acting as if he was a materialistic, henpecked husband, but he may be fully conscious of his position as a spirit soul, and by the Lord’s mercy, may achieve great powers. (24-30) 7. Although material opulences tend to cover us from the spiritual purpose of our lives, one who has already taken to the path of Krsna consciousness can not actually become a materialist, but can surmount his material attachments by constantly remembering the Lord. (31-38) 8: The Lord at times awards the title bhagavan to his pure devotee to increase his devotee’s esteem. (39) 9. One can transcend the fighting tendencies that arise through conditionings of body and karma only through Krsna consciousness. (40) 10. One can only truly be detatched from material opulences if one truly achieves the higher taste of Krsna consciousness. (41)
The Activities of Maharaja Agnidhara
After Maharaja Priyavrata renounced his kingdom to return again to a life of austerities, his son, Maharaja Agnidhra, ruled. Agnidhra wished to have a son and thus began meditating and performing austerities to please Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma understood Agnidhra’s desire and sent a beautiful damsel named Purvacitti from the heavenly planets. (1-5)
Agnidhra sees Purvacitti and becomes fully captivated by her beautiful features. He thus speaks to her, describes her attractive features, and asks her to marry him. (6-15)
Purvacitti agrees to marry Agnidhra, and they live together for thousands of years. After giving birth to nine children, and after witnessing the children grow up, Purvacitti aagin returned to her heavenly abode. Agnidhra continuously thinks of her after she departed and thus achieved her planet, Pitri loka, after his death. (16-23) 1. Using one’s senses in Krsna’s service protects one. But if one becomes lusty, he will be bewildered and will thus contemplate the features of a woman as the object of his uncontrolled senses. The result of this is death by the hands of maya. (1-14) 2. One can make advancement in household life, and household life pure prosecuted keeps the woman’s mind pure, which results in good progeny. (15-21) 3. One should not become attatched to one’s wife and think of her at the time of death; rather, one should become attatched to Krsna and go to Krishna loka. (22-23)
Chapters Three: Rsabdeva’s Appearance
Although one can obtain the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through sacrifice, it was ultimately the Lord’s kindness to His devotee, Maharaja Nabhi, that invoked His wonderful presence at the sacrifice. When the Lord appeared, the priest attending the sacrifice began to pray to the Lord that it is the devotion with which a sacrifice is offered, not the specific paraphernalia, that satisfies the Lord and evokes Him to bestow the all-auspicious benediction of His presence. (1-12)
The priests admit that the sacrifice they had just performed for King Nabhi to obtain a son like the Lord was an improper reason to evoke the Lord’s presence at the sacrifice. (13-15)
The Supreme Personality of Godhead was pleased by the prayers of the priests and agreed to personally become the son of the king. (16-20)
1. Since the Lord is in need of nothing, His apppearance in any form, either His personal descent, His Holy Names, or the arca vigraha, is His mercy to benefit us throough the facility of making devotional offerings. (1-12) 2. A pure devotee, which one becomes through the association and blessings of another pure devotee, takes advantage of the Lord’s association by praying for and worshiping the Lord only to attain the Lord’s service. (13-15) 3 When the Lord personally descends, He does so to maintain the words of His devotees, to broadcast His supreme position, and to demonstrate bhakti, the proper execution of religious principles. (16-20)
Chapter Four: The Characteristics of Rsabdeva
After the Supreme Personality of Godhead Rsabdeva took birth and although He displayed His opulences, He still dealt with everyone as if He were an ordinary human being. (1-4)
Understanding his son’s popularity within the kingdom, Maharaja Nabhi, the Lord’s father, installed Rsabdeva as the emperor of the world. Nabhi then left for the Himalayas, practiced austerities, and attained Vaikuntha. Maharaja Nabhi great fortune of having the Lord as his son was glorified by two verses composed by brahmanas. Rsabdeva then married and performed exemplary activities. He begot one hundred sons, of which the eldest, Bharat, possesses exalted attributes. (5-9)
Maharaja Rsabdeva’s other sons were also highly qualified and powerful, and thus the perfect personality, Maharaja Rsabdeva, set an ideal example in His householder life through His performance of varnasrama dharma. By seeing Rsabdeva’s example, the citizens became fully affectionate towards Him, and thus, because He was the Supreme Lord, devoid of material desires. Once while touring the earth, Rsabdeva instructed His sons in a place known as Brahmavarta. (10-19)
1. When the almighty independent Supreme Lord incarnates and recognized by sastric symptoms, He is still all-powerful although He may be acting as an ordinary human to not disturb the affection of His parents. (1-4) 2. The Lord comes to set the example how the Vedic lifestyle brings one to liberation, even in this life, by acting only to please the Lord and acting according to the directions of the brahmana Vaisnavas. Then, especially if one has taken birth in India, one should preach Krsna consciousness for the benefit of the entire world. (5-9) 3. The Lord also demonstrates how the perfection of government, wherein the citizens have no material desires and use their lives to journey back to Godhead, can be achieved through following the Varnasarama system. (10-19)
Chapter Five: Lord Rsabdeva’s Teachings
Lord Rsabdeva describes that human life is especially meant for performing austerities to achieve spiritual happiness, which one can achieve through serving Mahatmas and doing nothing that is not related to Krsna’s service. (1-3) He further explained that an intelligent man acts in such a way that he doesn’t again take a material body, which is the source of his miseries, and thus uses his life to develops love for Krsna. (4-6)
To become free from material life, one has to slacken his attachment to sex-life, wife, family, and their paraphrenalia. Only by cutting through these knots of illusion will one be able to go back to Godhead. (7-9)
Rsabdeva explained that one must accept a bona fide spiritual master and refrain from acting for sense gratification and always engage in devotional service, rejecting even that which brought one to devotional service. (10-14)
He also explained that one should carefully not engage in any fruitive activities and one who is a guru should not engage his disciples in any fruitive activities; rather, one shouldn’t take on any relationship where people are dependent upon him unless he takes responsibility for releasing those dependents from birth and death. (15-18)
Lord Rsabdeva then explained that He, Himself was the Supreme Lord, and that serving Him could be accomplished through serving Bharata, his pure, and elevated son. Since He, the Supreme Lord, is the Supreme entity, the brahmanas who are so dear to the Lord, because they purely preach the Vedas and are satisfied simple in devotional service, should be respected. (19-25) He explained that His sons should envy no one, and, while offering respects to every living entity, fully engage in devotional service. After thus instructing His sons, Lord Rsabdeva installed Bharata as emperor and lived like an avadhuta and did not care for the conventions of the world. (26-35)
Verses to memorize: 5.1, 5.2 (first two lines), 5.5, 5.8, 5.18
1. Humans should not waste their lives seeking sense gratification; rather, they should volunarily accept penances that increase their Krsna consciousness, associate with devotees, avoid the association of materialists, and, even if living at home, be detached, living to make spiritual advancement. (1-3) 2. One should neither engage in sinful activites, karma, or jnana, but one should surrender to Krsna in devotional service and thus end the cycle of birth and death. (4-6) 3. One can become free from attachment to family life, which also affects devotees who are contaminated by karma and jnana and which binds conditioned souls to samsara, and go back to Godhead by associating with sadhus and engaging in devotional service. (7-9) 4. To become liberated, one must first accept a bonafide spiritual master, give up acting for sense gratification, and act always in the service of the Lord. One should even give up the processes that led one to devotional service. (10-13) 5. Since only knowing and serving Krsna can actually liberate one, and since all fruitive activities bring future sufferings, one should only take on the responsibility of a relationship if he has the ability to liberate his dependents. (15-18) 6. Conclusion: Even if a devotee is king, that king should be subordinate to qualified brahmanas who have assimilated the scriptures and are compassionately preaching, with no material motive, to deliver the conditioned souls. (19-25) 7. The living entities are distinct from the Supreme Lord, but all of them, regardless of their bodies, should be treated with respect and not envied. One should engage his senses and his mind only in the service of the Lord, and without doing so, one cannot get out of the clutches of maya. (26-27) 8. One who fully realizes that this body and the material world are temporary is not concerned with bodily pain and pleasure. A devotee is peaceful because he is desireless, and he is desireless because he is completely dependent on the mercy of Krsna. (28-35)
Chapter Six: The Activities of Lord Rsabdeva
Maharaja Pariksit asked Sukadeva Goswami why, considering that Rsabdeva was completely pure in heart, did he neglect his mystic powers although he possessed them. Sukadeva replied by explaining the treacherous nature of the mind, and that even one who has full control of his mind does not put full faith in it. Rather he remains always vigilant over the mind’s actions. (1-5)
Maharaja Rsabdeva wandered over the earth, as if a madman. Once as he was in a forest near Kutakacala, a forest fire burnt the body of Rsabdeva to ashes. Later, after Rsabdeva ended His pastimes, a king named Arhat heard of the activities of Rsabdeva. Being influenced by Kali Yuga, Arhat imitated Rsabdeva and, concocting a new system of religion, he gave up the principles of varnasrama dharma. (6-12)
The glories of Maharaja Rsabdeva are chanted by great scholars and are the reservoir of all good things. The Supreme Lord Rsabdeva came out of His causeless mercy to teach the self’s real identity and the goal of life. Whoever attentively hears or speaks Rsabdeva’s glories attains pure devotional service. (13-19)
1. Even though a devotee is neither attracted to or averse to material opulences, he still does trust his mind which will tend to be the cause of falldown, and he therefore carefully chants Hare Krsna, always engages his mind in Krsna consciousness, and practices austerities and penances to keep his mind, the root cause of material life, under control. (1-5) 2. If one keeps spiritually fit and remains in the mood of an eternal servant of the Supreme Lord, he will go back to Godhead at the time he as to give up his body. One should follow the Vedic principles and one should not imitate Rsabdeva. Those so called followers of Rsabdeva think themselves the Supreme Lord and do not respect the followers of the Vedic principles, the real brahmanas. In Kali Yuga, if one does not imitate, but follows the instructions of Rsabdeva in the Fifth Canto, he will certainly be liberated. (6-12) 3. The perfection of yoga is not the attainment of siddhis, but achieving the favor and shelter of the Supreme Lord. Compared to this, liberation is also easy to obtain, is insignificant, and comes automatically for the devotee. Lord Rsabdeva descendend and by His example taught us to attain full satisfaction within, in Krsna consciousness, completely independent of the body for satisfaction. (13-19)
Chapter Seven: The Activities of King Bharat
Bharat Maharaja, the great devotee son of Maharaja Rsabdeva, ruled the entire earth. He was affectionate to his citizens and performed various sacrifices to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. Maharaja Bharat’s devotion, due to his worship, increased day by day. (1-7)
After ruling for thousands of years, he renounced his family and kingdom and retired to Pulaha Asrama, where he lived, performed austerity, and felt completely satisfied performing devotional service. Gradually, Bharat Maharaja increased his ecstatic love for Vasudeva and worshipped the Lord through reciting prayers from the Rig Veda. (8-14)
1. Since sacrifices are intended to please Krsna, and since Krsna is the source of Brahman and Paramatma, in Kali Yuga, one should engage in sankirtan yajna to please Krsna. This creates no new karma and purifies one as well. (1-7) 2. One can either renounce the world and go to a place wherein the Lord is present either personally or in the form of arca vigraha or one can render devotional service to the Lord according to the instructions of the Srimad Bhagavatam. But wherever he is, ecstacy results when one is engaged constantly in the Supreme Lord’s service. (8-14)
Chapter Eight: The Character of Bharat Maharaja
While Bharat Maharaja meditated and chanted his mantra in Pulaha Asrama, he took compassion on a helpless, deer calf, born from a miscarriage which occurred when the mother deer heard a nearby lion roar. In no time, because of his attachment to the baby deer, Bharat Maharaja became distracted from his spiritual practices. Thinking it his duty to shelter the deer, Bharat Maharaja became bound to it with affection, as he protected and fondled it. When the deer was not present, in illusion he would lament. (1-12)
Due to his attachment Bharat Maharaja would lament in the deer’s absence that the deer had rightfully rejected him due to his own cunningness and faithlessness, and he would become filled with anxiety and fear for the deer’s safety. Bharat Maharaja would then loose himself while remembering his playful dealings with the deer. Bharat Maharaja felt great pain in the absence of the deer and madly spoke of the deer in deep separation. (13-25)
Bharat Maharaja, due to his attachment for the deer, thus fell down from his renunciation and in due course of time died. At the time of death, the deer came beside him, and the emperor who had renounced the world, thus took his next birth within the body of a deer. In that body, due to his previous rigid devotional practices, Bharat Maharaja could remember his past life. He thus lamented his foolishness and became completely detached from material life, again traveling to Pulaha Asrama, and finally giving up his deer body. (26-31)
1. One must be extremely cautious in one’s spiritual practices, otherwise a little material attatchment can cause one to fall down again into material existence. Make sure not to —
a. neglect the rules and regulations and the regular chanting of Hare Krsna
b. engage in material compassion; rather spiritually elevate souls
c. become attached to material things, which is the cause of our material bondage. (1-12) 2. One who is serious about advancing in Krsna consciousness must make sure he doesn’t become attached to anything but Krsna, for even while engaging in spritiual practices, his advancement may be killed. (13-25) 3. Devotees should be cautious in executing their devotional service for if they again take to sense gratification, it is purposeful, and they will be punished for some time by the Lord. (26-31)
Chapter Nine: The Supreme Character of Jada Bharata
Bharata Maharaja, after leaving the body of a deer, took his next birth within a family of pious brahmanas. During that life he was known as Jada Bharata. Jada Bharat could also remember his past births, and he therefore, due to fear of intimate association with non-devotees, constantly remembered the Lord and remained aloof, externally acting crazy and dull. Despite Jada Bharata’s act, his father continuously attempted to train him as a qualified brahmana and a learned scholar. But since Jada Bharata had surpassed these attainment, he showed no interest in the reformatory processes. In due course of time, Jada Bharata’s father and mother died, and Jada Bharata was placed under the care of his cruel step-brothers, who could not understand his exalted position. They thus mistreated him.
Acting as if a madman, Jada Bharat neglected his muscular body and kept it dirty. Nor did he care for palatable foods nor did he care that he was continuously exploited by his brothers. One day, while working for his brothers as a watchman in the fields, he was captured by some dacoits who planned to sacrifice him to the Goddess Kali. (1-14)
The dacoits brought Jada Bharata to the Kali temple, planning to offer his blood as a sacrifice to the goddess. Just as they raised their sword to kill Jada Bharata, the Kali deity burst asunder, not being able to tolerate the offense to the great soul Jada Bharata. As Kali emerged from the deity along with her fearsome associates, she began to behead the rogues and dance and sing and drink their blood. Thus the Lord always protects devotees who take shelter at His lotus feet. (15-20)
1. As a devotee picks up his advancement from his last brith, and he should therefore become determined to become free from the modes of material nature, engage in no fruitive activities, engage only in devotional service, becoming neutral to good and bad in this world, and become a paramahamsa. (1-14) 2. Even if a devotee is an extreme circumstances, as was Jada Bharata when he was to be offered as a sacrifice to the Goddess Kali, a devotee keeps depending upon Lord Krsna and the Lord gives all protection. (15-20)
Chapter Ten: The Discussion Between
Jada Bharata and Maharaja Rahugana
(Maharaja Rahugana Meets Jada Bharata)
As Jada Bharata was walking by the Iksumati River, the chief palanquin carrier of Maharaja Rahugana enlisted him to carry the king’s palanquin. But Jada Bharata, due to his non-violence, carried his share erratically, which upset the smoothness of the king’s ride. Thus Maharaja Rahugana became angry and criticized Jada Bharata with sarcastic words. When the king saw that Jada Bharat still wasn’t carrying the palanquin properly, despite his chastisement, he became angry and spoke harshly to the great soul, Jada Bharata. (1-8)
Jada Bharata replied to the king and showed him the spiritual meaning of the his insults. The king could thus understand that it is illusion to identify oneself with his body and his bodily situation. He also could understand that Jada Bharat was above such illusion. (9-14)
After instructing the king, Jada Bharata picked up the palanquin to carry it as before. Maharaja Rahugana rushed from the palanquin and fell down flat on the ground in respect for Jada Bharat. The king began to offer prayers before the exalted devotee, requesting him to reveal his identity, forgive his offense, and further explain the instructions he had just given. Maharaja Rahugana asked, “What is the most secure shelter within this world? How can I advance in spiritual life? If this world is not factual, why are we able to visualize the affects of the interaction of the world’s elements? How is it possible that the soul, which is within the material body, is completely detached from the conditioning of the material body?” (15-25)
1. A highly advanced Vaisnava knows he is not his body and is fixed on Krsna and doesn’t become disturbed by distressful circumstances, while anger occurs easily within one who is in the bodily conception of life. (1-8) 2. The pure soul, in illusion, although aloof from the body, identifdies with it, thinks himself the master, and thus suffers, a situation which can be removed by agreeing to become controlled by the Supreme Lord and his representatives and by accepting all difficulties as concessional suffering, while offering obeisances to the Lord within his heart. (9-14) 3. Everyone, regardless of his material position, must approach (and not offend) a Vaisnava, who is distributing knowledge of Krsna, and learn from him how to engage without attachment in Krsna’s service. (15-25)
Chapter Eleven: Jada Bharata Instructs King Rahugana
Jada Bharata begins answering Maharaja Rahugana’s questions by chastising the king for speaking words based on material reasonings. He then begins explaining that the Vedas deals with piety and impiety, and is insufficient for complete self-realization. (1-4)
Jada Bharata further explains to Maharaja Rahugana about the activities of the material mind, and how it dictates the spirit soul’s wanderings from body to body. In addition to binding a soul within the material world, the mind can, however, cause liberation. Jada Bharata continues describing the mind’s functional interactions with the material world, and how it establishes a field of activities with its false identifications. (5-14)
Jada Bharata describes how the mind must be conquered through service to the lotus feet of Spiritual Master and the Supreme Lord or it will lead us through countless births and deaths. (15-17)
Canto Five, Chapter Eleven
Jada Bharata Instructs King Rahugana 1. Devotional service is the highest platform, and it is the true fruit of Vedic study, the only solution to all material prolems, and the culmination of liberation. (1-4) 2. The mind causes both the material entanglement of the jiva soul and by being fully engaged in Krsna’s service, his liberation as well. (5-14) 3. To become free from birth and death one must conquer the mind by serving the lotus feet of the spiritual master. (15-17)
Canto Five, Chapters Twelve
Rahugana Converses with Jada Bharata
Maharaja Rahugana glorifies Jada Bharata’s exalted position and requests him to repeat his instructions and clarify the ideas he could not understand. (1-4)
Jada Bharata replies by explaining that all bodies are merely transformations of the earth, while the earth itself, as well as the entire universe from which it comes, has no ultimate existence. Beyond this , the Absolute Truth can ultimately be understood as the Supreme Person Vasudeva, the cause of all causes, including Brahman and Paramatma. (5-11)
Jada Bharata then explains the secret of spiritual success as association with great devotees, and tells of his own previous births as Bharata Maharaja and a deer. (12-16)
1. To become saved from maya one should approach a saintly person and surrender to him, serve him, and submissively hear and inquire from him about subject matters beyond the bodily concept of life. (1-4) 2. Since Krsna is the proprietor and maintainer of everyone, the Ultimate Cause, the resting place of the creation, and the cause all causes, including brahman and paramatma, one should learn about Krsna from a bona-fide spritual master. By concentrating one’s understanding on Krsna, one will then understand all else. (5-11) 3. To achieve Krsna, do the following:
a. approach a pure devotee who never talks about worldly topics
b. Achieve the mercy of the devotee by serving him
c. Never envy, neglect, or try to surpass one’s spiritual master.
d. accept the association of devotees and reject the association of non-devotees. (12-16)
Further Talks Between King Rahugana and Jada Bharata
Jada Bharata compares the living entity’s situation within the material world to that of a merchant entering a forest to acquire goods to later sell for a profit. While in the forest, he’s attacked by six plunderers, bitten by mosquitoes, and frightened by ghosts and fiends. Running from place to place as he searches for success, he is blinded by the dust of a whirlwind. (1-4)
As he is left hungry and thirsty, he is forced to beg food from the uncharitable. He has his wealth stolen and dreams of living with his family within a celestial palace. He attempts to climb a high mountain, but his feet become bruised and he is crushed by a python. (5-9)
He seeks enjoyment through sex with a debauched woman, cheats other living entities, and tries to counteract the natural miseries of material life. Because of his beginning and stealing, he is insulted and his relationships become strained. After losing his mother and father, he becomes attached to his young children. Seeking shelter within forest bowers, he fears lions, and befriends cranes and vultures only to become cheated by them. He jumps from one branch of a tree to another like a monkey, and falls within a mountain cave. Getting freed from his dangerous position, he returns home to his wife, remaining in illusion till the moment of death. (10-19)
Jada Bharata thus advises the king to slash the hard knot of the illusory energy with the sword of knowledge, and cross beyond the ocean of nescience. Maharaja Rahugana, after hearing the words of Jada Bharata, glorifies being born as a human, for such a birth gives one opportunity to associate with devotees. Maharaja Rahugana then gives up the bodily concept of life.
After hearing the words spoken to Maharaja Rahugana by Jada Bharata, Pariksit Maharaja then requests Sukadeva Goswami to explain the purport and direct meaning of the allegories. (20-26)
1. Human life is meant to serve Krsna. But seeking sense gratification and forgetting the accompanying repetitions of birth and death, we thus entangling ourselves in household life and fruitive activities, getting pleasure only from sex life, not knowing that these sinful acts pave his future material bodies. (1-4) 2. Since miseries, not happiness can only be found in the material world, one should therefore retire to Vrindaban, awaken from the illusion of trying to become happy here, and take shelter of Govinda and His Holy Names, as taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. (5-9) 3. Sex desire captures, deludes, and forces one to remain in the material world, with its cheating, envy, false-shelters, and ignorant sufferings, without understanding the real aim of life. (10-19) 4. Sadhus are needed all over the world to give knowledge and free individuals through their association from the bodily concept of life. One must beg such sudhus for forgiveness if one happens to offend such a saintly person. (20-26)
Chapter Fourteen: The Forest of Enjoyment
When King Pariksit asked Sukadeva Goswami about the direct meaning of the forest of material enjoyment, Sukadeva Goswami replied that a merchant going into the forest to acquire goods and earn money is like the greedy, conditioned soul who enters this material world. In the forest of material existence, the six plunderers are compared to the six senses and family members that plunder one’s money for sense gratification. Like the ploughman who ploughs his field only to have weeds come up the following year, the desires of one in the grhasta asrama for fruitive activities grow up again and again unless the seeds of his desire are destroyed.
Despite disturbances within his life, he continues with his material existence, thinking this temporary world permanent. He chases after the objects of the senses like an attached deer chasing after a mirage in the desert. He becomes interested in gold, since gold brings sense enjoyment. He becomes absorbed in finding a residence and acquiring the necessities to maintain his body. Blind with lusty desires and disobeying the regulations governing sex life, he does not know his disobedience is witnessed. The conditioned soul, at times, realizes the futility of sense enjoyment, but cannot escape his desires due to his strong bodily conception. He enjoys his riches and wealth attained through previous pious activities, but his enjoyment helps neither in this life nor the next. Attempting to overcome his distresses, he is cheated when he takes shelter of atheists and pseudo-spirituals, which is compared to jumping in a shallow river and breaking one’s bones as an attempt to cool one’s self from the summer heat.
He even takes to maintaining himself through exploiting his dear relatives, and doesn’t mind giving them trouble. Implicated in family life, which is just like a blazing fire in the forest, the conditioned soul burns with lamentation. Government men, acting like carnivorous raksasas, plunder his wealth and thus rob him of his enthusiasm, and in his misery, he seeks pleasure imagining his father or grandfather has become his son. The performance of his children’s marriages are like a big hill covered with thorns that he must cross over, and due to his suffering and disturbed condition, he becomes angry with his affectionate family members.
Sleeping, like a dead body thrown in the forest, he is placed in dangerous positions by his enemies. In ignorance, he loses his intelligence, like a blind man who has fallen in a dark well. Attracted by the happiness derived from sense gratification and illicit sex, he is arrested by the government and put into jail for kidnaping, rape, or theft. Therefore, because of all the miseries connected with fruitive activities, transcendentalists condemn the materialistic path as the source of miseries.
He is unable to enjoy his accumulated money, he suffers the threefold miseries, he becomes the enemy of others due to minor cheating, and he thus he is overcome by fear, happiness, distress, madness, greed, and envy, moroseness, lamentation, and misery. Because of his attachments to members of the opposite sex, he loses his Krsna consciousness and throws himself in the dense darkness of material existence. But uncheckable time gradually steals away his life, and he, the living entity, in takes shelter of man-made gods who cannot help him. After being cheated by these atheists, he may even take shelter of a real devotee. But but because he cannot follow their principles, and again falls down to bad association with monkey-like men. Living a life fearing death, suffering miseries, making enemies due to financial dealings, falling into scarcity, stealing, remarrying, he thus becomes alternatingly miserable and happy.
He has forgotten his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and devotional service. Because he doesn’t associate with saints, however powerful he may be, he forgets the mission of his life. Thus the entanglement of his fruitive work is the cause of all his sufferings. Having summarized the teachings of Jada Bharata, Sukadeva Goswami tells Maharaja Pariksit that most kings cannot follow the path of renunciation followed by Bharata Maharaja followed, and which Jada Bharata explained to Maharaja Rahugana. Sukadeva continues to glorify Bharata Maharaja, and then explains that those who submissively hear about Maharaja Bharata attain all their material and spiritual desires.
(This chapter is organized differently than most, and we’ve therefore modified our system for outlining it. The chapter’s first verse tells us that the living entity enters the material world due to his desire for sense enjoyment. The remaining verses and purports repeatedly describe miseries that result from that initial illicit desire of the living entity. They also describe the process by which the soul can attain freedom from his suffering.
To focus our outline, we’ve grouped the instructions under four themes:
1. The nature of the material world
2. Sex desire and family attachment
3. Wealth and sense enjoyment
4. Freedom from suffering)
1. The nature of the material world: The unchangable nature of the material world is miserable. (8,14-16,20-21,23,25,27,36-37)
The very nature of this world is miserable. Even if we wish to remain in our situation, we are forced to change from one miserable body to another. Our struggle for happiness bring more and more misery, and at kleast one of the three-fold miseries disturb us at all times. We are forced to cause distress to those we love, we can’t sleep peacefully, the goverment causes miseries, and emnity and envy ruins all relationships. And ultimately death claims all.
2.Sex desire and family attachment: All in all family life and sex simply cause one misery and bind one to the material world. (3-6,9,17-19,22,28,30,32,34-35)
The conditioned soul suffers changes of body again and again because he’s captivated by momentary sex pleasures. Illusioned by passion and unsatisfied, the conditioned soul even engages in illicit sex. Although he thinks himself unobserved, his acts are witnessed and he is punished birth after birth. His sex desire even stops him from following the rules and regulations within the path of devotional service.
To acquire the acoutrements needed for sex and the results of sex, his family responsibilities, he cheats and creates emnity even among his intimate friends. The family-social duties he must perform causes him difficulty, and his family members plunder his hard earned wealth and energy and thus cause him to cheat to obtain more money. All in all, family life gives no satisfaction, and the pleasure one receives from it is compared to a drop of water on the desert. The strong desire for family life can be burnt out only when one fully engages in devotional service.
3. Wealth and sense enjoyment: Because gold and sense gratification simply cause misery, one should only gratify his senses in the service of the Lord and use all his activities to attain His favor. (7,11-12,24,26,29,33)
Laxmi belongs to Narayana and should only be used in His service, and one attempting to independently enjoy Laxmi is vanquished. Those whose minds are covered by the mode of passion are attracted by gold, and those who get gold use it for sinful activities and sense gratification. They are so attached to sense gratification that they fail to see the miseries they are causing themselves. But the scriptures nevertheless enjoin that one should not endeavor for sense gratification, but should utilize all his activities to attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, one’s senses should only be gratified in connection with Krsna’s service. Because conditioned souls suffer so much misery just to enjoy sense gratification, they are considered rascals and the lowest amongst mankind.
4. Freedom from suffering; One can only free oneself from the suffering of the material world through the process of Krsna consciousness. (1-2,13,10,31,38-44)
One should understand that the nature of this world is miserable. He should give up his attempts to be happy here and only attempt to get out, understanding the goal of life is to become completely absorbed in Krsna and His service. To get out, one needs a bonafide spiritual master engaged in Krsna’s service to end one’s struggles within this material world. and attain the dust from his lotus feet, execute devotional service to please Krsna, associate with devotees and chant Hare Krsna, use one’s material possessions in Krsna’s service and not for sense gratification.
The Glories of the Descendents of King Priyavrata
The descendents of Bharata Maharaja to Pratiha, the great preacher, are described. (1-4) Pratiha’s descendents to Viraja, especially the great king Gaya, are glorified. (5-16)
1. So called followers of the Vedas who do not follow the parampara are bogus and their association should be avoided. while one who has realized Krsna is the bona fide spritual master and preacher. (1-4)
2. A king becomes glorious when he satisfies all the citizens, and through his good qualities pleases Krsna and the demigods and thus brings prosperity to earth. (5-15)
Those who come directly from Krsna are called Mahapurusa, and sometimes a devotee is also called Mahapurusa. The kings responsibility is to satisfy the citizens, and Maharaja Gaya, who did so, was known as Mahapurusa. The current rulers should take example from Maharaja Gaya. The good qualities of a king allow bring prosperity from the earth for the use of the citizens. An expert king satisfies all the citizens. All living entities are pleased with a devotee when Krsna is pleased with Him. The fame of one family member glorifies one’s entire family.
A Description of Jambudvipa
Maharaja Pariksit wishes to hear from Sukadeva Goswami a more detailed description of Bhu-mandala, the configuration of land divided by Maharaja Priyavrata’s chariot. Sukadeva replies that it is impossible to perfectly understand the material universe, but that he would describe its principle regions. He then describes Bhu-mandala, Jambudvipa, and the nine varsa into which Jambudvipa is divided. (1-10)
Sukadeva next describes the mountans, lakes, inhabitants, opulences, gardens, fruits, fragrances, products, rivers, trees, and towns, and living conditions that surround and rest upon the great golden mountain, Mount Sumeru, which stands in the middle of Bhu-mandala’s central island, Jambudvipa. (11-29
1. The positions of the planets were studied and known to the sages of the Vedic age. Dealing with the material world or understanding the geographic location material universe is not material if one understands everything as an expansion of Krsna’s energy. If one cannot comprehend the vastness of the material world, how can one understand the expansiveness of the spiritual world. We should be satisfied with the statements of the authorities like Sukadeva Goswami and appreciate how the entire cosmic manifestation has been made possible by the external energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Since we cannot understand the vastness of the material world, we should come to the following conclusions:
a. the spiritual world is even more wonderful and expansive than the material world.
b. the vast material world is simply the Lord’s external energy.
c. that we should accept the statements of Sukadeva Goswami which describe the unlimitly vast material world. (1-10)
2. Although devotees care only for the lotus feet of Krsna, not for material opulences, they nevertheless support the agrarian and sacrifice-based Vedic culture which brings the citizens true opulences and prosperity and prepares them for their next life as well. (11-29)
The Descent of the Ganges
The Ganges descends from the Causal Ocean, and due to it having washed the lotus feet of Lord Vanamadeva, every living entity can purify his mind by touching its transcendental waters. The Ganges first descends to Dhruva-loka, then to the planets of the seven great sages, then to Mount Meru, where it divides in four branches, each flowing to the ocean. Wheverever the Ganges flows, great sages like Dhruva Maharaja and the seven sages keep her waters reverently upon their heads and accept devotional service as the perfection of life. (1-10)
Bharata-varsa is considered, among the nine varsas, as the field of fruitive activities. The other eight varsas are heavenly, wherein souls exhaust their pious activities. The Lord is wroshiped in His Deity form in each of the nine varsas. In Ilavrta-varsa, where Siva is the only male, Lord Siva meditates on the Personality of Godhead Sankarsana through chanting manatras which praise the Lord as being unlimited, unmanifest to the non-devotees, manifest in various forms to the devotees, the deliverer of the devotees from material existence, unaffected by the modes of material nature, aloof from–yet the source of creation, maintenance, and destruction, greater than any demigod, and the person whose favor frees one from the illusory energy. (11-24)
1. Those who regularly bathe in the Ganges become purified, and feel ecstacy due to their constant remembrance of Krsna. For such a pure devotee, no activity, even heavenly sense pleasures, other than the Lord’s service, is valued. (1-13) 2. The Deity is directly Krsna and one who worships the Deity (and the spiritual master) without offenses advances in spirirual life. (14) 3. The Supreme Lord is beyond the modes of material nature, although He works through the modes to create, maintain, and destroy this material world. One who wants to transcend the modes must take shelter of Him. Because Krsna is Dhira, unagitated in all circumstances, one who wishes to also be dhira and unbewildered, must take shelter of His lotus feet. The Lord is far beyond those incarnations through whom He actually does the work of creation, maintenance, and destruction of this material world. The creators and controllers of the universe, even Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, are limited and bound by the Supreme Lord. One must surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead if he wishes to get out of the control of the threee modes of material nature. (15-24) 4. The Vaisnava has no desire other than serving Krsna, who is available as the non-different Deity form, and thus the take shelter of Him, who is the only one aloof from all material activities and interactions. (Summary of 11-24)
The Residents of Jambudvipa Offer Prayers
In the tract of land known as Badrasva-varsa, Bhadrasrava, the son of Dharmaraja, and his followers offer prayers. In these prayers, Badrasrava glorifies the Lord as the reservoir of purifying religious principles. Bhadrasrava states that foolish materialists desire only sense gratification in this perishable world governed by the powerful illusory energy. He then glorifies the Lord as the cause of all causes, and as Hayagriva, the retriever of the Vedas for Lord Brahma, when this true knowledge was stolen by ignorance. (1-6)
In Hari-varsa, Prahlad Maharaja prays to Lord Nrsimhadeva that the Lord will vanquish all material desires from within his heart and allow all living entities to take to devotional service, fixed in remembrance of Krsna. Prahlada prays that he will fell no attraction for temporary family life and material advancement, all of which hamper one’s spiritual advancement. After glorifying associating with devotees and hearing from them about Krsna as the process to cleanse the heart of all contaminations and placing within the heart all good qualities, Prahlada mentions that non-devotees have no true assets, and thus requests everyone to take full shelter of Lord Nrsimhadeva.(7-14)
In Ketumala, Laksmidevi prays to Kamadeva, who is Visnu-tattva with a material body, that He, the supreme master and provider for all, be always favorable. She prays that he, as the the one who is free from fear, is the only true husband and protector. As the Lord always fulfills the desires of His devotees, one need not worship the Him for material benefit. Laksmideva then says that she actually favors no one but the Lord’s devotees, and prays for the benediction of the Lord, whose motives are ununderstandable. (15-23)
In Ramakya-varsa, Vaivasvata Manu worships Lord Matsya in pure devotion by praising the Lord as pure transcendence, the origin of life and strength, the controller of all living entities, and the witness and commander within and without everyone’s heart. Manu exlains how all leaders are envious of the Lord’s authority, and that He is the only maintainer within this world. (24-28)
In Hiranyamaya-varsa, Aryama leads the residents in worshiping the beautiful form of Lord Kurma with hymns which glorify the Lord as transcendentally situated in pure goodness as well as not limited by past, present, or future. The Lord is the source of the cosmic manifestation, and His form is conceivable only to devotees in transcendental consciousness. The Lord has innumerable inconceivable energies which are manifested in countless forms of living entities, as the planetary systems, and as the entire cosmos. While expanding thus, the Lord Himself is situated separately, as transcendental forms of which non-devotees remain ignorant. (29-33)
Lord Varaha lives in Uttarakuru-varsa, and the Lord is worshiped there by an Upanisadic mantra chanted by Mother Earth. The mantra glorifies the Lord as the essence of all ritualistic cermemonies, who only reveals His identity to those who wholeheartedly search for Him. All objects of material enjoyment are created by Him, all the element are expansions of His external energy, inert matter moves by His glance, and the Supersoul, expanded from Him, is in the background of everything. (34-39)
1. Prayers to Lord Hayagriva in Badrasva-varsa by Bhadrasrava, the son of Dharmaraja, and his associates: In this world, wherein most people in ignorance will perform any sin for sense gratification, a devotee can be saved by his strict adherence to the instructions of the Lord. By the strong desire of a trusted devotee of the Lord, the Vedic knowledge will again be distributed. (1-6) 2. Prayers to Lord Nrsinghadeva by Prahlad in Hari-varsa: The Supreme Lord Krsna incarnates in many forms, such as Lord Nrsinghadeva, and only by being in constant touch with Him through His service–the mercy of the Lord, living simply, avoiding bad association, giving up thinking of sense gratification, always thinking of the lotus feet of Krsna, and hearing about Krsna (Giving people the chance to hear is the sum and substance of the Krsna consciousness movement.)– can the binding, fruitive tendency (especially householder life, the root cause of material enamourment) be removed and purity and exhalted qualities can become established within one’s heart. (7-14) 3. The prayers of Lasmidevi in Ketumala to Kamadeva, who is Visnu-tattva (The protector): The Lord, as the controller of the material energy and the Lord of Karma, is the only true protector within this world and therefore the only true shelter. One should therefore become a devotee of Krsna, in the service of the residents of Vrindaban. (15-23) 4. Vaivasvata Manu worships Lord Matsya in Ramakya-varsa (The maintainer): The devotees see that the Lord is situated in the platform of pure goodness, that the Lord is within everyone’s heart, that the Lord is maintaining all living entities, and that the Lord is acting behind the workings of material nature in creation, maintainance, and annihilation of the universe, and they therefore surrender to Him and become liberated from the control of the material energy. (24-28) 5. In Hiranyamaya-varsa, Aryama worships Lord Kurma. (The Lord and His energies): Only the Lord’s devotees can understand how it is the Lord whose “impersonal” form and material energies are pervading everywhere. Non-devotees do not see Him. (29-33) 6. Lord Varaha is worshiped in Uttarakuru-varsa by Mother Earth: Krsna, who comes in Kali Yuga as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is the background of everything as He creates the material world, maintains it, and expands Himself as the Supersoul to give the living entities an opportunity to come back to Him. (34-39)
Chapter Nineteen The Island of Jambudvip
Sukadeva Gosvami described how, in Kimpurusa-varsa, the great devotee Hanuman is always in engaged with the inhabitants of that land, including Gandharvas and Aristasena (the chief person in Kimpurusa-varsa), in hearing and chanting the glories of Lord Ramacandra. Hanumanji chants mantras glorifying Lord Rama and which are meant to please Him. Hanuman describes the pastimes of Rama as examplary, and meant to teach, and the Lord as fully transcendental, perceivable only by pure Krsna consciousness. Lord Rama killed Ravana and taught all that life centered around sex is the cause of many miseries. Although Lord Rama displayed these pastimes, He, Himself, is the Supersoul and beyond all attachment and lamentation and suffering. Hanumanji that states that no quality other than devotional surrender is a prerequisite for friendship with Rama, and thus one should serve the Lord with devotion, just to satisfy Him, and by His satisfaction, the devotee achieves all success. (1-8)
Sukadeva Gosvami continued to describe the Lord’s appearance in Badarikasrama as Nara-Narayana for the purpose of demonstrating religious practices and the path of austerity as the process of self-realization.(9) Narada Muni glorifies Nara-Narayana and describes the tenets of his book, the Narada Pancaratra, to Suvarni Manu to teach the residents of Bharat-varsa how to achieve the Lord’s devotional service through their following of varnasrama dharma. Narada thus offers his obeisances to the Lord and describes Lord Nara-Narayana’s supreme position as the teacher of paramhamsas, but yet, the transcendental Lord, unaffected by matter, the Supersoul, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He then describes the perfection of yoga as giving up one’s body with one’s mind fixed upon the Lord’s feet, and contrasts that with the position of materialists who fear giving up their bodies. He then requests the benediction of devotional service, which alone can bring detachment from the body. (10-14)
Narada then continues to describe the glories of Bharat-varsa, with its holy rivers ad mountains, and where all take birth exactly according to their karma. There, one can, by serving Lord Visnu through following varnasrama dharma, reach perfection, which occurs when one’s piety leads one to associate with pure devotees. (15-20) Narada describes that even the demigods glorify the facility for devotional service that a human birth in Bharat-varsa affords, for that birth can lead one from the material world to Vaikuntha. What then is the value of places devoid of Krsna-katha, devotees, or sankirtan-yajnas? One who attains the facility of a human birth in Bharat-varsa but who neglects devotional service is like a freed animal who again becomes bound by a hunter due to his carelessness. Bharat-varsa contains many worshipers of demigods who are worshiping the Lord indirectly for material benediction. They too can gain shelter at the Lord’s lotus feet, by His special mercy. The demigods thus express their desire for a future birth as a human in Bharat-varsa to perfect their devotional service. (21-28) Sukadeva Gosvami then describes eight smaller islands that surround Bharat-varsa and that altogether constitute Jambudvip. (29-31)
1. Lord Ramacandra, or any incarnation of Lord, is completely transcendental and has nothing to do with the material thoughts, feelings, and activities as humans perform. His ideal, human-like activities are thus meant to teach us. To learn properly of the Lord’s pastimes, one should hear of them from a pure devotee. Three lessons from Lord Rama’s pastime of recovering Sita from Ravana are as followes:
a. Marraige and sex life causes miseries. It thus, if possible, should be avoided.
b. If one does become married, one must fully protect one’s wife, despite the sufferings that may occur.
c. The apparent sufferings of the Lord and His devotees are only apparent, and are, in fact, transcendental bliss. (4-6)
2. The one qualification that attracts the Lord’s mercy to us is sincere devotion and eagerness. No material quality is a prerequisite to achieve the Lord’s favor and friendship. All, regardlessof their position, should therefore serve Lord Rama. (7-8)
3. Birth in Bharat-varsa naturally affords one the facilty to easily become Krsna conscious. One naturally has faith, one has the facilty of being under definite, not mixed, modes of nature, at least remnant of the varnasrama institute exist, the contribution of the great acaryas are available, one can easily think of Krsna, holy places and pure devotees are present, and even one’s material desires can be fulfilled by demigod worship, which, if done correctly, leads one to devotional service. One should take advantage of the facility that has occurred by virtue of birth and cultivate and become Krsna conscious. Then one should teach others. (10, 19-28)
4. Only devotional service is powerful enough to detatch one from the material body and free one from the fear of death. We should pray to the Lord to give us strength in devotion. (14-15)
Chapters Twenty, Twenty-one, and Twenty-Two Studying the Structure of the Universe, The Movements of the Sun, and The Orbits of the Planets
Chapter Twenty Studying the Structure of the Universe
In this chapter there is a description of various islands, beginning with Plakñadvépa, and the oceans that surround them. There is also a description of the location and dimensions of the mountain known as Lokäloka. The island of Plakñadvépa, which is twice as broad as Jambüdvépa, is surrounded by an ocean of salt water. The master of this island is Idhmajihva, one of the sons of Mahäräja Priyavrata. The island is divided into seven regions, each with a mountain and a large river.
The second island is called Sälmalédvépa. It is surrounded by an ocean of liquor and is 3,200,000 miles wide, twice as wide as Plakñadvépa. The master of this island is Yajïabähu, one of the sons of Mahäräja Priyavrata. Like Plakñadvépa, this island is also divided into seven regions, each with a mountain and a very large river. The inhabitants of this island worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Candrätmä.
The third island, which is surrounded by an ocean of clarified butter and is also divided into seven regions, is called Kuçadvépa. Its master is Hiraëyaretä, another son of Mahäräja Priyavrata, and its inhabitants worship the Supreme personality of Godhead in the form of Agni, the fire-god. The width of this island is 6,400,000 miles, or, in other words, twice the width of Sälmalédvépa.
The fourth island, Krauïcadvépa, which is surrounded by an ocean of milk, is 12,800,000 miles wide and is also divided, like the others, into seven regions, each with a large mountain and a large river. The master of this island is Ghåtapåñöha, another son of Mahäräja Priyavrata. The inhabitants of this island worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of water.
The fifth island, Çäkadvépa, which is 25,600,000 miles wide, is surrounded by an ocean of yogurt. Its master is Medhätithi, another son of Mahäräja Priyavrata. It is also divided into seven regions, each with a large mountain and a large river. Its inhabitants worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Väyu, air.
The sixth island, Puñkaradvépa, which is twice as wide as the previous island, is surrounded by an ocean of clear water. Its master is Vétihotra, another son of Mahäräja Priyavrata. The island is divided in two by a large mountain named Mänasottara. The inhabitants of this island worship Svayambhü, another feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Beyond Puñkaradvépa there are two islands, one always lit by the sunshine and the other always dark. Between them is a mountain called Lokäloka, which is situated one billion miles from the edge of the universe. Lord Näräyaëa, expanding His opulence, resides upon this mountain. The area beyond Lokäloka Mountain is called Aloka-varña, and beyond Aloka-varña is the pure destination of persons who desire liberation.
Vertically, the sun-globe is situated just in the middle of the universe, in Antarikña, the space between Bhürloka and Bhuvarloka. The distance between the sun and the circumference of Aëòa-golaka, the globe of the universe, is estimated to be twenty-five koöi yojanas (two billion miles). Because the sun enters the universe and divides the sky, it is known as Märtaëòa, and because it is produced from Hiraëyagarbha, the body of the mahat-tattva, it is also called Hiraëyagarbha.
Chapter Twenty-one The Movements of the Sun
This chapter informs us of the movements of the sun. The sun is not stationary; it is also moving like the other planets. The sun’s movements determine the duration of night and day. When the sun travels north of the equator, it moves slowly during the day and very quickly at night, thus increasing the duration of the daytime and decreasing the duration of night. Similarly, when the sun travels south of the equator, the exact opposite is true—the duration of the day decreases, and the duration of night increases. When the sun enters Karkaöa-räçi (Cancer) and then travels to Siàha-räçi (Leo) and so on through Dhanuù-räçi (Sagittarius), its course is called Dakñiëäyana, the southern way, and when the sun enters Makara-räçi (Capricorn) and thereafter travels through Kumbharäçi (Aquarius) and so on through Mithuna-räçi (Gemini), its course is called Uttaräyaëa, the northern way. When the sun is in Meña-räçi (Aries) and Tulä-räçi (Libra), the duration of day and night are equal.
On Mänasottara Mountain are the abodes of four demigods. East of Sumeru Mountain is Devadhäné, where King Indra lives, and south of Sumeru is Saàyamané, the abode of Yamaräja, the superintendent of death. Similarly, west of Sumeru is Nimlocané, the abode of Varuëa, the demigod who controls the water, and north of Sumeru is Vibhävaré, where the demigod of the moon lives. Sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight occur in all these places because of the movements of the sun. Diametrically opposite the place where the sunrise takes places and the sun is seen by human eyes, the sun will be setting and passing away from human vision. Similarly, the people residing diametrically opposite the point where it is midday will be experiencing midnight. The sun rises and sets with all the other planets, headed by the moon and other luminaries.
The entire käla-cakra, or wheel of time, is established on the wheel of the sun-god’s chariot. This wheel is known as Saàvatsara. The seven horses pulling the chariot of the sun are known as Gäyatré, Båhaté, Uñëik, Jagaté, Triñöup, Anuñöup and Paìkti. They are harnessed by a demigod known as Aruëadeva to a yoke 900,000 yojanas wide. Thus the chariot carries Ädityadeva, the sun-god. Always staying in front of the sun-god and offering their prayers are sixty thousand sages known as Välikhilyas. There are fourteen Gandharvas, Apsaräs and other demigods, who are divided into seven parties and who perform ritualistic activities every month to worship the Supersoul through the sun-god according to different names. Thus the sun-god travels through the universe for a distance of 95,100,000 yojanas (760,800,000 miles) at a speed of 16,004 miles at every moment.
Chapter Twenty-two The Orbits of the Planets
In this chapter the orbits of the planets are described. According to the movements of the moon and other planets, all the inhabitants of the universe are prone to auspicious and inauspicious situations. This is referred to as the influence of the stars.
The sun-god, who controls the affairs of the entire universe, especially in regard to heat, light, seasonal changes and so on, is considered an expansion of Näräyaëa. He represents the three Vedas—Åg, Yajur and Säma—and therefore he is known as Trayémaya, the form of Lord Näräyaëa. Sometimes the sun-god is also called Sürya Näräyaëa. The sun-god has expanded himself in twelve divisions, and thus he controls the six seasonal changes and causes winter, summer, rain and so on. Yogés and karmés following the varëäçrama institution, who practice haöha or añöäìga-yoga or who perform agnihotra sacrifices, worship Sürya Näräyaëa for their own benefit. The demigod Sürya is always in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Näräyaëa. Residing in outer space, which is in the middle of the universe, between Bhüloka and Bhuvarloka, the sun rotates through the time circle of the zodiac, represented by twelve räçis, or signs, and assumes different names according to the sign he is in. For the moon, every month is divided into two fortnights. Similarly, according to solar calculations, a month is equal to the time the sun spends in one constellation; two months constitute one season, and there are twelve months in a year. The entire area of the sky is divided into two halves, each representing an ayana, the course traversed by the sun within a period of six months. The sun travels sometimes slowly, sometimes swiftly and sometimes at a moderate speed. In this way it travels within the three worlds, consisting of the heavenly planets, the earthly planets and outer space. These orbits are referred to by great learned scholars by the names Saàvatsara, Parivatsara, Iòävatsara, Anuvatsara and Vatsara.
The moon is situated 100,000 yojanas above the rays of the sunshine. Day and night on the heavenly planets and Pitåloka are calculated according to its waning and waxing. Above the moon by a distance of 200,000 yojanas are some stars, and above these stars is Çukra-graha (Venus), whose influence is always auspicious for the inhabitants of the entire universe. Above Çukra-graha by 200,000 yojanas is Budha-graha (Mercury), whose influence is sometimes auspicious and sometimes inauspicious. Next, above Budha-graha by 200,000 yojanas, is Aìgäraka (Mars), which almost always has an unfavorable influence. Above Aìgäraka by another 200,000 yojanas is the planet called Båhaspati-graha (Jupiter), which is always very favorable for qualified brähmaëas. Above Båhaspati-graha is the planet Çanaiçcara (Saturn), which is very inauspicious, and above Saturn is a group of seven stars occupied by great saintly persons who are always thinking of the welfare of the entire universe. These seven stars circumambulate Dhruvaloka, which is the residence of Lord Viñëu within this universe.
1. The demigods are who are worshiped are in fact empowered agents of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are parts of His universal body. The resultant benedictions supplied to worshippers of the demigods are sanctioned by the Supreme Lord, who is the Supersoul of even the demigods. The demigods are never independent of the Lord, they are, rather, His empowered servants and they never deviate from His order, their prescribed orbit. (5.20.3-5,18, 5.21.3 ) 2. The cosmic situation as- described by the modern scientists and that described by the Vedic literatures differs. We accept the Vedic version because– – a. it is received -through the disciplic succession, (5.20.37),
b. It has proved correct in its astronomical predictions long before scientists could even imagine such things (5.20.37),
c. Prabhupada’s conviction in the accuracy of the version of the Vedic literatures. (5.22.8)
Chapter Twenty-three The Çiçumära Planetary Systems
This chapter describes how all the planetary systems take shelter of the polestar, Dhruvaloka. It also describes the totality of these planetary systems to be Çiçumära, another expansion of the external body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Dhruvaloka, the abode of Lord Viñëu within this universe, is situated 1,300,000 yojanas from the seven stars. In the planetary system of Dhruvaloka are the planets of the fire-god, Indra, Prajäpati, Kaçyapa and Dharma, all of whom are very respectful to the great devotee Dhruva, who lives on the polestar. Like bulls yoked to a central pivot, all the planetary systems revolve around Dhruvaloka, impelled by eternal time. Those who worship the viräö-puruña, the universal form of the Lord, conceive of this entire rotating system of planets as an animal known as çiçumära. This imaginary çiçumära is another form of the Lord. The head of the çiçumära form is downward, and its body appears like that of a coiled snake. On the end of its tail is Dhruvaloka, on the body of the tail are Prajäpati, Agni, Indra and Dharma, and on the root of the tail are Dhätä and Vidhätä. On its waist are the seven great sages. The entire body of the çiçumära faces toward its right and appears like a coil of stars. On the right side of this coil are the fourteen prominent stars from Abhijit to Punarvasu, and on the left side are the fourteen prominent stars from Puñyä to Uttaräñäòhä. The stars known as Punarvasu and Puñyä are on the right and left hips of the çiçumära, and the stars known as Ärdrä and Açleñä are on the right and left feet of the çiçumära. Other stars are also fixed on different sides of the Çiçumära planetary system according to the calculations of Vedic astronomers. To concentrate their minds, yogés worship the Çiçumära planetary system, which is technically known as the kuëòalini-cakra.
1. All the planets move by the time factor, which is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord so loves His devotee Dhruva that He has placed the time factor under Dhruva’s control. The various planets revolve around the polestar, like bulls around a post, by the supreme order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Material nature cooperates with the Lord and thus all is done. Planets float in space and in their orbits, demigods attain their posts, and this universe and all universes are coordinated and maintained by the all-potent Supreme Lord. (5.23.2-3) 2. The giant constellation of rotating planets and stars is which is called Sisumara, a dolphin, and those who require to see a a “great” form of the Lord, like the viratarupa, may meditate upon the Lord in this Sisumara form because it is actually visible to them. By meditating on this form three times a day as the external body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one will always be freed from sinful reactions. (5.23.4-9)
Chapter Twenty-four The Subterranean Heavenly Planets
This chapter describes the planet Rähu, which is 10,000 yojanas (80,000 miles) below the sun, and it also describes Atala and the other lower planetary systems. Rähu is situated below the sun and moon. It is between these two planets and the earth. When Rähu conceals the sun and moon, eclipses occur, either total or partial, depending on whether Rähu moves in a straight or curving way.
Below Rähu by another 1,000,000 yojanas are the planets of the Siddhas, Cäraëas and Vidyädharas, and below these are planets such as Yakñaloka and Rakñaloka. Below these planets is the earth, and 70,000 yojanas below the earth are the lower planetary systems—Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talätala, Mahätala, Rasätala and Pätäla. Demons and Rakñasas live in these lower planetary systems with their wives and children, always engaged in sense gratification and not fearing their next births. The sunshine does not reach these planets, but they are illuminated by jewels fixed upon the hoods of snakes. Because of these shining gems there is practically no darkness. Those living in these planets do not become old or diseased, and they are not afraid of death from any cause but the time factor, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In the planet Atala, the yawning of a demon has produced three kinds of women, called svairiëé (independent), kämiëé (lusty) and puàçcalé (very easily subdued by men). Below Atala is the planet Vitala, wherein Lord Çiva and his wife Gauré reside. Because of their presence, a kind of gold is produced called häöaka. Below Vitala is the planet Sutala, the abode of Bali Mahäräja, the most fortunate king. Bali Mahäräja was favored by the Supreme personality of Godhead, Vämanadeva, because of his intense devotional service. The Lord went to the sacrificial arena of Bali Mahäräja and begged him for three paces of land, and on this plea the Lord took from him all his possessions. When Bali Mahäräja agreed to all this, the Lord was very pleased, and therefore the Lord serves as his doorkeeper. The description of Bali Mahäräja appears in the Eighth Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam.
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead offers a devotee material happiness, this is not His real favor. The demigods, who are very puffed up by their material opulence, pray to the Lord only for material happiness, not knowing anything better. Devotees like Prahläda Mahäräja, however, do not want material happiness. Not to speak of material happiness, they do not want even liberation from material bondage, although one can achieve this liberation simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, even with improper pronunciation.
Below Sutala is the planet Talätala, the abode of the demon Maya. This demon is always materially happy because he is favored by Lord Çiva, but he cannot achieve spiritual happiness at any time. Below Talätala is the planet Mahätala, where there are many snakes with hundreds and thousands of hoods. Below Mahätala is Rasätala, and below that is Pätäla, where the serpent Vasuké lives with his associates.
1. Those materialists who live within the lower planetary systems even enjjoy a higher standard of living and less anxiety than do the residents of the heavenly planetary systems. They also neither suffer disease nor old-age. Yet their sole fear is the time factor, the effulgence of the Lord’s Sudarshana Cakra, which herlds death. The live as if they will never die, but they do die and take their next birth according to their karma. Devotees, vaisnvas, following the example of Prahlada Maharaja, feel compassionate for these dull and illusioned souls whose illusury happiness cannot endure, and thus they attempt to give all such bewildered materialists the real happiness of spiritual bliss. (5.24.8-15) 2. Materialists can be turn into devotees, as bell metal can be turnred into gold, through the person being properly initiated into vaisnava activities. Iskcon’s attempt is to turn mlecchas and yavanas into reaL brahmanas by having them refrain from illicit activities, chanting Hare Krsna, and initiation. (5.24.17) 3. Materialists are enamoured with desires for material wealth and happiness and thus they live in illusion and fear of death. Devotees, on the other hand, even reject the Lord’s offer of material happiness, desiring only to become the servant of the servant of the Lord’s devotees. When, an advanced devotee gets material opulence, however, it is not a result of karma, it is the Lord’s gift to facilitate their service. The real affect of proper chanting of the Lord’s names and of devotional service, however, is neither liberation, freedom from sinful reactions, nor material opulence. Krsna may offer therse as by-products of devotional service, whose true result is only Prem. (5.24.18-27)
Chapter Twenty-five The Glories of Lord Ananta
In this chapter, Çukadeva Gosvämé describes Ananta, the source of Lord Çiva. Lord Ananta, whose body is completely spiritual, resides at the root of the planet Pätäla. He always lives in the core of Lord Çiva’s heart, and He helps him destroy the universe. Ananta instructs Lord Çiva how to destroy the cosmos, and thus He is sometimes called tämasé, or “one who is in the mode of darkness.” He is the original Deity of material consciousness, and because He attracts all living entities, He is sometimes known as Saìkarñaëa. The entire material world is situated on the hoods of Lord Saìkarñaëa. From His forehead He transmits to Lord Çiva the power to destroy this material world. Because Lord Saìkarñaëa is an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, many devotees offer Him prayers, and in the planetary system of Pätäla, all the suras, asuras, Gandharvas, Vidyädharas and learned sages offer Him their respectful obeisances. The Lord talks with them in a sweet voice. His bodily construction is completely spiritual and very, very beautiful. Anyone who hears about Him from a proper spiritual master becomes free from all material conceptions of life.The entire material energy is working according to the plans of Anantadeva. Therefore we should regard Him as the root cause of the material creation. There is no end to His strength, and no one can fully describe Him, even with countless mouths. Therefore He is called Ananta (unlimited). Being very merciful toward all living entities, He has exhibited His spiritual body. Çukadeva Gosvämé describes the glories of Anantadeva to Mahäräja Parékñit in this way.
1. At the very bottom of the universal structure is transcendtal Lord Ananta, who effortlessly holds the insignificant universe upon one his hood. Ananta supplies the false ego of “I am the enjoyer” to those souls who out of envy desires to lord it over the material world. Out of anger at the conditioned souls misues of the opportunity of being within the material world, His tendency is o distroy the world. He withholds that anger until the time of the universal distruction approaches and then allows Lord Siva, whose worshipful Deity if Anantadeva, Lord Sankarshana to enable the dsitruction. Thus the living entities within the realm of matter, possessed of unlimited desires, after traveling from body to body within the material universal sphere seeking illusury satisfaction, are again wound up within the body of Visnu. (5.25.1-15 entire chapter [5.25.1-6,8,14])
Chapter Twenty-six A Description of the Hellish Planets
The Twenty-sixth Chapter describes how a sinful man goes to different hells, where he is punished in various ways by the assistants of Yamaräja. As stated in the Bhagavad-gétä (3.27):
prakåteù kriyamäëäni guëaiù karmäëi sarvaçaù ahaìkära-vimüòhätmä kartäham iti manyate
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” The foolish person thinks he is independent of any law. He thinks there is no God or regulative principle and that he can do whatever he likes. Thus he engages in different sinful activities, and as a result, he is put into different hellish conditions life after life, to be punished by the laws of nature. The basic principle of his suffering is that he foolishly thinks himself independent, although he is strictly under the control of the laws of material nature. These laws act due to the influence of the three modes of nature, and therefore each human being also works under three different types of influence. According to how he acts, he suffers different reactions in his next life or in this life. Religious persons act differently from atheists, and therefore they suffer different reactions.
Çukadeva Gosvämé describes the following twenty-eight hells: Tämisra, Andhatämisra, Raurava, Mahäraurava, Kumbhépäka. Kälasütra, Asi-patravana, Sükaramukha, Andhaküpa, Kåmibhojana. Sandaàça, Taptasürmi, Vajrakaëöaka-çälmalé, Vaitaraëé, Püyoda, Präëarodha, Viçasana, Läläbhakña, Särameyädana, Avéci, Ayaùpäna. Kñärakardama, Rakñogaëa-bhojana, Çülaprota, Dandaçüka. Avaöa-nirodhana, Paryävartana and Sücémukha.
A person who steals another’s money, wife or possessions is put into the hell known as Tämisra. A man who tricks someone and enjoys his wife is put into the extremely hellish condition known as Andhatämisra. A foolish person absorbed in the bodily concept of life, who on the basis of this principle maintains himself or his wife and children by committing violence against other living entities, is put into the hell known as Raurava. There the animals he killed take birth as creatures called rurus and cause great suffering for him. Those who kill different animals and birds and then cook them are put by the agents of Yamaräja into the hell known as Kumbhépäka, where they are boiled in oil. A person who kills a brähmaëa is put into the hell known as Kälasütra, where the land, perfectly level and made of copper, is as hot as an oven. The killer of a brähmaëa burns in that land for many years. One who does not follow scriptural injunctions but who does everything whimsically or follows some rascal is put into the hell known as Asi-patravana. A government official who poorly administers justice, or who punishes an innocent man, is taken by the assistants of Yamaräja to the hell known as Sükaramukha, where he is mercilessly beaten.
God has given advanced consciousness to the human being. Therefore he can feel the suffering and happiness of other living beings. The human being bereft of his conscience, however, is prone to cause suffering for other living beings. The assistants of Yamaräja put such a person into the hell known as Andhaküpa, where he receives proper punishment from his victims. Any person who does not receive or feed a guest properly but who personally enjoys eating is put into the hell known as Kåmibhojana. There an unlimited number of worms and insects continuously bite him.
A thief is put into the hell known as Sandaàça. A person who has sexual relations with a woman who is not to be enjoyed is put into the hell known as Taptasürmi. A person who enjoys sexual relations with animals is put into the hell known as Vajrakaëöaka-çälmalé. A person born into an aristocratic or highly placed family but who does not act accordingly is put into the hellish trench of blood, pus and urine called the Vaitaraëé River. One who lives like an animal is put into the hell called Püyoda. A person who mercilessly kills animals in the forest without sanction is put into the hell called Präëarodha. A person who kills animals in the name of religious sacrifice is put into the hell named Viçasana. A man who forces his wife to drink his semen is put into the hell called Läläbhakña. One who sets a fire or administers poison to kill someone is put into the hell known as Särameyädana. A man who earns his livelihood by bearing false witness is put into the hell known as Avéci.
A person addicted to drinking wine is put into the hell named Ayaùpäna. One who violates etiquette by not showing proper respect to superiors is put into the hell known as Kñärakardama. A person who sacrifices human beings to Bhairava is put into the hell called Rakñogaëa-bhojana. A person who kills pet animals is put into the hell called Çülaprota. A person who gives trouble to others is put into the hell known as Dandaçüka. One who imprisons a living entity within a cave is put into the hell known as Avaöa-nirodhana. A person who shows unwarranted wrath toward a guest in his house is put into the hell called Paryävartana. A person maddened by possessing riches and thus deeply absorbed in thinking of how to collect money is put into the hell known as Sücémukha.
After describing the hellish planets, Çukadeva Gosvämé describes how pious persons are elevated to the highest planetary system, where the demigods live, and how they then come back again to this earth when the results of their pious activities are finished. Finally he describes the universal form of the Lord and glorifies the Lord’s activities.
1. A human acts under different degrees of the modes of material nature. According to his actions and the configuration of his modes he either enjoys, due to the proportions of the mood of goodness, or sufers hellish punishments due to the mode of ignorance. There are unlimited hellellish planets within which one can suffer for his sinful activities. Twenty-eight are listed. (5.26.1-7) 2. Animals do not accrue sinful reactions for their activities, but if humans do not follow the sastric rules and regulations that regulate their material enjoyment and commit sinfful activities to unnecessarily increase their wealth to maintain their bodies and their families, possessing more money than required, he is cast into hell to suffering. (5.26.8-36) 3. The upper planets are meant for enjoyment and the lower and hellish planets are meant for suffering. Regardless of one’s birth, one should use the opportunity of his human life to become a vaisnava by surrendering to Krsna, One should thus leave the material world altogether–from the upper planetary systems to the lower–by the process described at the end of the Bhagavad-gita sarva dharmam parityaja and man mana bhava mad bhakto.
One should thus hear of the external body of the Lord, the Virata Rupa, and be gradually [purified to hear of the spiritual form of the Lord. All this is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Hearing and preaching the Srimd Bhagavatam is the purpose of Iskcon. (5.26.37-40)
Chapter Nineteen A Description of the Island of Jambüdvépa
This chapter describes the glories of Bhärata-varña, and it also describes how Lord Rämacandra is being worshiped in the tract of land known as Kimpuruña-varña. The inhabitants of Kimpuruña-varña are fortunate because they worship Lord Rämacandra with His faithful servant Hanumän. Lord Rämacandra exemplifies an incarnation of Godhead who descends for the mission of pariträëäya sädhünäà vinäçäya ca duñkåtäm—protecting the devotees and destroying the miscreants. Lord Rämacandra exhibits the actual purpose of an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the devotees take the opportunity to offer loving transcendental service to Him.
One should surrender fully to the Lord, forgetting one’s so-called material happiness, opulence and education, which are not at all useful for pleasing the Lord. The Lord is pleased only by the process of surrender unto Him. When Devarñi Närada descended to instruct Särvaëi Manu, he described the opulence of Bhärata-varña, India. Särvaëi Manu and the inhabitants of Bhärata-varña engage in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the origin of creation, maintenance and annihilation and who is always worshiped by self-realized souls. In the planet known as Bhärata-varña there are many rivers and mountains, as there are in other tracts of land, yet Bhärata-varña has special significance because in this tract of land there exists the Vedic principle of varëäçrama-dharma, which divides society into four varëas and four äçramas. Furthermore, Närada Muni’s opinion is that even if there is some temporary disturbance in the execution of the varëäçrama-dharma principles, they can be revived at any moment. The effect of adhering to the institution of varëäçrama is gradual elevation to the spiritual platform and liberation from material bondage. By following the principles of varëäçrama-dharma, one gets the opportunity to associate with devotees. Such association gradually awakens one’s dormant propensity to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead and frees one from all the basic principles of sinful life. One then gets the opportunity to offer unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Väsudeva. Because of this opportunity, the inhabitants of Bhärata-varña are praised even in the heavenly planets. Even in the topmost planet of this universe, Brahmaloka, the position of Bhärata-varña is discussed with great relish. (21-28)
All the conditioned living entities are evolving within the universe in different planets and different species of life. Thus one may be elevated to Brahmaloka, but then one must again descend to earth, as confirmed in Çrémad Bhagavad-gétä (äbrahma-bhuvanäl lokäù punar ävartino ’rjuna). If those who live in Bhärata-varña rigidly follow the principles of varëäçrama-dharma and develop their dormant Kåñëa consciousness, they need not return to this material world after death. Any place where one cannot hear about the Supreme Personality of Godhead from realized souls, even if it be Brahmaloka, is not very congenial to the living entity. If one who has taken birth in the land of Bhärata-varña as a human being does not take advantage of the opportunity for spiritual elevation, his position is certainly the most miserable. In the land known as Bhäratavarña, even if one is a sarva-käma-bhakta, a devotee seeking the fulfillment of some material desire, he is freed from all material desires by his association with devotees, and ultimately he becomes a pure devotee and returns home, back to Godhead, without difficulty.
At the end of this chapter, Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé describes to Mahäräja Parékñit the eight sub-islands within the island of Jambüdvépa. (29-31)
The Chapters of Canto Six Grouped into Pastimes
The Deliverance of Ajamila (1-3), the Descendents of Daksa (4-6), the Story of Vrtrasura (7-13), Maharaja Citraketu (14-17), and the Pumsavana Vrata (18-19)
Chapter One, The History of the Life of Ajamila
Maharaja Pariksit summarized that which he had already heard from Sukadeva Gosvami about nrvrtti marg (Canto Two), pravrtti marg (Canto Three), the varieties of hells (Canto Five), the first Manvantara (Canto Three), the characteristics and descendants of Maharaja Priyavrata (Canto Five) and Maharaja Uttanapada (Canto Four), and the planets and creations within the material universes (Canto Five). He then inquired as to how a living entity can be saved from entering and suffering within hell.(1-6)
Sukadeva Gosvami replied that in order to become freed from being cast into hell, one must atone before his death for the sins he has committed within his life. Maharaja Pariksit, however, condemned the process of sinning and then performing atonement, for such a process doesn’t remove the tendency to sin from within one’s heart. (7-10) Sukadeva Gosvami agrees and begins to described the process of liberation through the cultivation of knowledge, but, he explains, this process is also imperfect for it too does not remove the tendency to sin. (11-14)
Sukadeva then glorifies pure devotional service as being so potent that it is able to completely remove all effect of sins. He then describes the process of devotional service—dedication to the lotus feet of Krsna—and glorifies it as the true method of atonement, for it removes all effects of sins from within one’s heart. To illustrate the potency of the process of devotional service, Sukadeva begins to narrate the history of a conversation between the Yamaduttas and the Visnuduttas. (15-20)
Ajamila was a young brahmana of Kanyakubja who, due to his attraction to a prostitute, gave up all principles of decency. Marrying the prostitute, he maintained himself through sinful activities until his eighty-fourth year. He had ten sons, and as he was dieing, he thought of his most beloved son, his youngest, who was named Narayana. Three distorted creatures then stood over Ajamila and prepared to take him to the court of Yamaraja to punish him for his sins. In great fear, Ajamila cried out his son’s name and thus chanted the holy name of Narayana.
Two Visnuduttas immediately appeared, for they heard Ajamila offenselessly call out the name of their master, Lord Narayana. The Visnuduttas forbade the Yamadutas from taking Ajamila. The Yamaduttas first described the beauty of the Visnuduttas, and then inquired why such exalted souls as the Visnudutta were obstructing their duty. (21-36)
Sukadeva Gosvami related the reply of the Visnuduttas, in which they requested the Yamaduttas to describe the following:
1. the meaning of religious principles and the symptoms of irreligion. (38)
2. The process of punishing others (39)
3. Who among non-devotees are liable for punishment (39)
The Yamaduttas began by describing religion as acts prescribed in theVedas—which are eternal and yet come from the caused of all causes, Lord Narayana—and irreligion as all other activities. All activities are witnessed, and those whose acts differ from the Vedic prescription are liable for punishment. All within the material world must be active, and due to their activities under the modes of nature, each person becomes more or less punishable. Yamaraja, like the Paramatma, observes the activities of all and thus knows everyone’s future lives which can be detected (as well as one’s past lives) through observing the modes of nature that control one in this life. The living entities does not perceive how he is trapped within a subtle body which houses his desires and which carries him to his next gross material body in which, regardless of his position, he will be miserable. Thus the living entity traps himself within a network of his own material desires and cannot escape from repeated births and deaths. Everyone is forced at each moment to act according to his natural tendencies, and the results of his actions cause him to receive his future bodies. Thus the living entity, due to his association with material nature, is in an awkward position. He can overcome this if, while in human life, he is taught how to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His devotees. (37-55)
They then began describing Ajamila’s position, saying that although he was trained as a brahmana in youth, he, despite his training, was influenced when he saw a sudra embracing a prostitute. He was thus captured by lust. Ajamila employed the prostitute in his own home as a servant and gradually gave up brahminical activities. He gave up his wife, engaged in sinful activities, acquired money by sinful means to maintain the prostitute’s sons and daughters, and transgressed all the Vedic rules and regulations. Thus, concluded the Yamaduttas, since Ajamila had broken the Vedic principles and had lived without atonement, they should take him to Yamaraja for punishment and purification. (56-68)
1. Chapters 1-3 answer the question, “How can one become free from the suffering due to him due to the sinful activities committed in this and previous lives?” (1-6)
2. The process of atonement that is recommended within sastra is insufficient because experience has shown that it does not remove from the heart the essential tendency to sin. (7-10)
3. Higher than the process of atonement, which is within the realm of karma, is removing sinful reactions and the tendency to sin thorugh acquiring knowledge. This is the process of jnana. But acquiring knowledge is also an imperfect method of atonement because it, like burning the leaves beneath a bamboo plant, allows roots—the root cause of sinful desires–to remain and therefore ready to grow back. (11-14)
4. Only pure devotional service is potent enough to completely remove the prime cause as well as the effect of sin. Such devotional service, following the path of the mahatmas, is bhakti and, as a side effect, is the true method of atonement as it removes all tendency to sin. (15-20)
5. To now give an example as to the practical potency of Bhakti, especially chanting Krsna’s names as he has described in text 19–sakrn krsna manah-padaravindoh, even once taking shelter of Krsna frees one from even having to see the Yamadutas—Sukadeva now describes the activities of sinful Ajamila. Ajamila was old and sinful, yet, due to naming his youngest son Narayana, he was always calling out “Narayana” and did so at the moment of his death. Either directly thinking of Narayana or only thinking of his son, he nevertheless chanted the Lord’s name with tearful eyes at that time of his death. That chanting was sufficient to cleanse him of all sinful reactions. Thus he was protected by the servants of Visnu from being dragged to hell by the order carriers of Yamaraja. (21-36)
6. The ultimate principle of religion is surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (37-39) The following statements of the Yamadutas (40-55) define religiosity. (Added within ( ) are Srila Prabhupada’s conclusive statements.)
a. Religion consists of following those rules prescribed in the scriptures (theVedas). Lack of following is sinful and irreligious.
b. As the eternal Vedas are directly manifest from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Näräyaëa, man, despite his attempts, cannot manufacture religious principles. The living entities are under the control of the all-powerful Lord through the modes of nature, and he must act—either religiously or irreligiously.
c. All acts are witnessed, and no one can escape punishment for irreligous and sinful activities. All living entities in this world are punishable, for they must be active and will naturally—all living entities have independent tendencies—at times act against the sastric injunctions as dictated by the three modes of material nature.
d. One enjoys or suffers in his next life according to his pious and sinful acts in this life. From the combination of the modes of nature in one’s present life, one can detect his past and future lives, as one can understand the nature of past and future springs from the current spring. (The best policy, therefore, is to disassociate oneself from the three modes of material nature and be always transcendental to their contamination by fully engaging in Krsna’s service.) (45-47)
e. The actual decisions concerning the next lives of the living entities are made by the Supersoul and are carried out by Yamaräja. (48)
f. One should thus contemplate his previous and future lives and not engage in attempts under the modes of nature to enjoy within the material world. Otherwise, based upon one’s mind’s desires, one will get another gross body which leads to death. (One’s life only becomes successful when he surrenders, avoids his own conditioned tendencies, serves Krsna, spiritualizes his subtle body, and attains His help. To attain this position one should associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His devotees.)
6. Unless one always chants and attains the shelter of Krsna through constant devotional service, one will fall victim to lust which is practically all-pervading in Kali-yuga. All such victims will be liable for punishment by Yamaraja for their sinful activities. (58-60, 62, 64, 68)
7. All sinful qualities are acquired through bad association. (56-57, 63-65)
Chapter Two, Ajamila Delivered by the Visnuduttas
Sukadeva Gosvami described the critical words of theVisnuduttas after they heard the Yamadutas speak. The Visnudutas first accused theYamadutas of improper leadership and of introducing irreligion as religion by punishing sinless Ajamila. Leaders of society, to properly protect those who surrender to them, explained the Visnuduttas, are duty bound to set the proper example to teach people in general the true principles of religion. (1-6)
Ajamila, the Visnudutas explained, was sinless due to his having chanted the Lord’s holy name without offense as he was dieing. They continued to explain that no other method, even ritualistic Vedic atonement, is as affective for atonement as chanting the Lord’s names. Because Ajamila loudly chanted Krsna’s names as he was dieing, he had become freed from all sins committed in this and previous lives, regardless of the weight of the sins he had committed. This is true, the Visnudutas explained, even if the chanting was done in jest, neglect, or for other purposes. Chanting Krsna’s names can remove the tendency to sin from one’s heart, for it, like medicine, cures, or like fire, burns to ashes all sinful reactions, regardless of the consciousness of the participant. (7-19)
Thus the Visnudutas freed Ajamila from death and forced his release from the hands of the Yamaduttas, who left to explain all that had occured toYamaraja, their master. Ajamila, who had heard everything, then tried to speak. But the Visnuduttas immediately vanished.
As Ajamila remembered the discussion between the Yamaduttas and the Visnuduttas, he lamented his sinful life. He praised his own good fortune (20-33) and appreciated the potency of chanting the Lord’s holy names. Deciding to engage purely in devotional service, freed from the bodily concept of life and his mind fixed on Krsna’s lotus feet, Ajamila became detached and immediately started for Haridvara. This was all due to his fleeting association with the Visnudutas, who were devotees of the Lord.
In Haridvara while living within a Visnu temple, Ajamila controlled his mind and applied it to the pure devotional service of the Lord and became absorbed in thinking of the Lord’s form. When his meditation became fixed, he again saw the Visnudutas. He gave up his body in Haridvara and attained an appropriate spiritual body for an associate of the Lord. He along with the Visnudutas then traveled in a golden airplane to the spriritual world. (34-44)
Ajamila, the performer of sinful activities, was saved from hell and went back to Godhead because of his glimpsing the pure chanting the Lord’s holy name, which alone, of all methods of purification, can award the ultimate benefit. Hearing or describing this potent narration frees one from sins. It delivers one from the Yamadutas, and allows one to go back to Godhead after his death. Ajamila was saved although his chanting was directed towards his own son. Who, therefore, can doubt that one will go back to Godhead if one offenselessly chants the names of the Lord. (45-49)
1. The government and their representatives (what to speak of religious leaders) should strictly know and follow religious principles and rule and shelter the innocent, surrendered citizens according to those principles. (1-6)
2. One who chants Krsna’s names at the time of his death or, even through calling his own son, is relieved from unlimited sinful reaction. Thus chanting is the best means of atonement, for it evokes the Lord’s own desire to cleanse the heart of the soul, it awakens him to devotional service, and thus reminds the soul of the pastimes and qualities of the Lord. The chanting is effective even if it is done neglectfully, in jest, or as muscial entertainment. (7-15)
3. Regardless of the weight of the sin, the mahamantra can protect one from all sinful reaction, regardless of whether a person chants knowingly or unknowingly. Other pious activites can neutralize sinful reactions, but only chanting the mahamantra can remove the root cause of sin–sinful desire. (16-19)
4. One, with determination, after being saved from sinful life by the vaisnava devotees, should leave home and determinedly renounce the material concept of life. One should take shelter of a Visnu temple and focus his mind on the Deity, chant Hare Krsna, take prasadam, and perform devotional service. When one’s mind is focused on Krsna and when his devotion matures, the Lord’s representative will come for him and take him back to Godhead. (20-38)
5. One, regardless of how sinful he is, can be saved from hell and can go back to Godhead by even a glimpse of pure chanting the Lord’s holy name, which alone of all methods of purification can award the proper benefit. Hearing or describing this potent narration frees one from sins and delivers one from the Yamadutas and carries on back to Godhead after his death. (45-49)
Chapter Three, Yamaraja Instructs His Messengers
Pariksit Maharaja inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami as to Yamaraja’s reply when his servants, the Yamaduttas, reported to him the results of their attempt to arrest and punish Ajamila. (1-2) Sukadeva narrated the inquiries of the frustrated Yamaduttas to Yamaraja which inquired as to who ultimately was the authority in awarding the sinful and pious results of the living entities. They also inquired as to the identity of the four pure souls who had released Ajamila. (3-10) Yamaraja was pleased that his servants had uttered Narayana’s name. He explained that all in existence rests upon Narayana and all demigods and controllers of this world work under His supreme control. Even the most powerful souls within this world fall short of knowing the Lord, who is fully transcendental and has order carriers who look similar to Him and who are completely independent. These wereVisnuduttas, who the Yamadutas saw, explained Yamaraja, and their service is to protect the devotees of Visnu . (11-18)
Yamaraja continued to explain the true meaning of religion. Real religious principles, he said, are spoken only by the Lord; no one else can ascertain them. The twelve Mahajanas know these principles of religion, which are also known as Bhagavat-dharma. By knowing them, one can go back to Godhead. The essence of Bhagavat-dharma is chanting the Lord’s holy name, which is so glorious, it even saved Ajamila from punishment and death and is the recommended remediation from sinful reactions.
Even many great sages, who are instead interested in dharma, artha, kama, and moksa, do not truly understand the religious system of the twleve mahajanas. Intelligent persons, however, follow this system by adopting devotional service and chanting the Lord’s holy names. Such persons are always protected from sinful reactions. (19-26)
Yamaraja thus instructed his order-carriers to not approach devotees, for they are protected by the Lord and are beyond the jurisdiction of time. The Yamaduttas, said Yamaraja, should approach only those who do not associate with paramhamsas and who are on the path to hell: those dedicated to worldly enjoyment and family life. Yamaraja thus instructs the Yamaduttas to bring him only those who neglect their duties to Lord Visnu. (27-30)
Sukadeva Gosvami concludes saying chanting Hare Krsna uproots the reaction to all sins and it is therefore the most auspicious activity in the universe. One who constantly hears and chants the Lord’s names or about Him easily attains pure devotional service, for such actions uproot all dirt from one’s heart. Only those who taste the honey of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna truly neither care for material activities nor return to them again. Performers of Vedic activities and of atonements must again sin due to their incomplete purification.
Hearing from Yamaraja about the glories of the Lord and His name, the Yamaduttas were struck with wonder. Thus they fear devotees and dare never even look at him. (31-35)
1. Yamaraja, in his description of his master, Lord Narayana, shows that He is unknowable other than through devotion. Next he describes the glories of the Visnudutas, the devotees of Visnu. (11-18)
2. Ucontaminated-by-the-lower-modes, the ultimate principles of religion are called Bhagavat-dharma, devotional service—those activities by which the Lord is pleased. This system of religion is so potent that one is liberated simply by understanding them. These principles are rarely understood, even by great rsis. (19-21, 25)
3 Although the ultimate purpose of the Vedas to to know Krsna, the religious principles mentioned in the Vedas are generally meant to purify and appease materialistic persons. (19)
4. One can only know the true principles of religion directly from the Lord, from the Lord’s representatives, the mahajanas, or from their representative. (19-21)
5. The essence of bhagavat-dharma is chanting of the holy name of the Lord. By chanting the holy name of the Lord and dancing in ecstasy, one gradually sees the form of the Lord, the pastimes of the Lord, and the transcendental qualities of the Lord. In Kali yuga, there is no other way for advancement other than chanting Krsna’s names, and one should therefore incessantly chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra (22-23) and associate with those who are engage twenty-four hours a day in devotional service. (28)
6. Chanting Hare Krsna, regardless of how it is chanted, easily relieves one from all sinful reactions. One should even continue to chant if one has committed offenses, for chanting again and again will remove the effect of the offenses. (24) Especially in the age of Kali, sankirtan alone is sufficient to purify the heart and to raise one to the platform of pure devotional service, which is the only qualification that can allow one to see the Lord. Chanting is so powerful, that one who chants is considered sinless even if he advertantly commits a sin. Even if one chants, however, one should still perform Deity worship to keep oneself clean of body and mind. (25-26)
7. The Yamaduta’s have been instructed to never approach surrendered devotees, for they are protected by the Lord. (27) But, rather, they should bring for punishment those who do not serve Visnu, and those who are attached to family life and sex. (28, 29) One should also remember that a master is responsible for the misdeeds of his servants. (29)
8. The chanting of the Lord’s holy names can uproot even the greatest sin, and it is therefore the most auspicious activity in the entire universe. One should try to understand this so that others will take it seriously. (31)
9. Chanting Hare Krsna frees one from all sinful reactions, but one should be careful to not sin and chant to remove the reaction. This is an offense.
10. One who constantly hears and chants the holy name of the Lord and hears and chants about His activities can very easily attain the platform of pure devotional service, which can cleanse the dirt from one’s heart. One cannot achieve such purification merely by observing vows and performing Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. (32)
11. One can avoid offenses by continuously chanting without deviation. One who becomes accustomed to this practice will always remain in a pure transcendental position, untouchable by sinful reactions. (32)
12. Actual devotees do not care at all for material activities, which are performed under the three modes of material nature and which bring only misery. Indeed, devotees never give up the lotus feet of Kåñëa to return to material activities. (33)
Chapter Four, The Hamsa Guhya Prayers
Suta Gosvami described Sukadeva’s reply to Maharaja Pariksit’s question about the secondary creation. When the Pracetas (Canto Four, Chapters 2?-30) came from the water they felt great anger and began to destroy the trees who had overrun the earth. (1–5) Soma, the nourisher of all vegetation, pacified the anger of the Pracetas by describing their kingly duty as protector of the population, including the trees. He then requests the Pracetas to not destroy the trees, but, rather, accept Marisa, the daughter of the trees, as their wife. From Marisa, the daughter of Pramloca Apsara who was nurtured by the trees, the Pracetas fathered Daksa. Daksa generated all animals from his mind and from his semen. When Daksa saw that he wasn’t yet generating the population properly, he took shelter of the Vindhya Hills to perform difficult austerities. In the Vindhya Hills, Daksa offered the Hamsa Guhya prayers to evoke the Lord’s pleasure. (6-22)
Daksa prayed to Lord Hari to seek His pleasure as He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, fully transcendental, the source of all (23), unknowable for the conditioned soul (24-25), and who can only be seen by one in the transcendental state (26). Those advanced in consciousness can perceive the Lord within their hearts, despite the heart’s material coverings. Yet one attains liberation only when the Lord is pleased (27-28). He is beyond all matter, the ultimate doer, the cause of all causes, as well as the cause of the forgetfulness of all souls, including the philosophers who maintain conflicting philosophical theories. (29-31) Despite their conflicting statements, both the personalist worshippers of the Supersoul and the impersonalists have Him as their objective. (32-33) He is especially merciful to His devotees and thus manifests His forms, names, and pastimes. Daksa prayed that the original Supreme Personality of Godhead would fulfill his desires. (34)
Lord Hari, pleased with Daksa, appeared, fully decorated and upon Garuda, and spoke. (35-42) The Lord first glorified the process of austerity mixed with devotion and described Himself as the source of all creation. The Lord then related how He had previously advised Brahma how to successfully create, and He then advised Daksa to marry Asikni, the daughter of Pancajana Prajapati, and create further population. All his progeny, the Lord said, although captivated by illusion, would be able to make presentations to Him for His pleasure. This Lord Hari, after having spoken to Prajapati Daksa, disappeared. (43–54)
1. Royalty is given prestige due to their giving protection to all—regardless of their bodies–who have taken birth within their kingdom. (4-12)
2. The transcendental Lord is the Supreme Controller—existing within His own potency–beyond the perception of conditioned souls, regardless of their power, ability, and intelligence. Nothing within matter nor composed of matter can approach Him. (22-24, 29)
3. The Supersoul controls and directs the workings of the senses of the living entities. Yet, they cannot perceive Him, as the sense objects cannot perceive the senses. (23)
4. Only in trance—when one’s consciousness is untinged by matter–can one percieve the Lord, who is difficult to realize, and who reveals Himself to one in that consciousness. That consciousness is devotional service: atah sri-krsna-namadhi na bhaved grahyam indiryaih, sevon ukhi hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. (24-26)
5. The difficult to realize Lord becomes easy to realize through sincere devotional service, especially hearing and chanting about Him. The Lord even utilizes in His service and neutralizes the impediments of His devotee that stop him from advancing. (27-29)
6. He is the Ultimate doer of everything, the cause of all causes. He causes the existence of the material world, and He Himself has no cause. Nothing has an existence separate from Him. (30)
7. He, the original cause and the one possessing unlimited transcendental qualities, causes the inconclusive and differing opinions about the Supreme amongst the philosophers of this world. Both the theists and the atheists, the personalists and the impersonalists, actually demonstrate the existence of the Absolute Truth (31-32)
8. The devotees say the Lord has attributes, but no material attributes; the impersonalists say He has no attributes. Both are correct from their differing points of view. (32-34)
9. That inconceivable Lord who possesses no material names, forms, or pastimes is merciful to the devotees who worship Him. He appears to every worshiper according to their desire and their system of worship. What is the use of worshiping a form other than the original form of the Lord? (33-34)
10. Realizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the greatest fortune (43), for otherwise, the living entities are doomed within this material world of birth and death due to their rebellious desires against the service of the Lord. (44) One can be free from material existence only by Krsna consciousness. (43-44)
11. Following Krsna’s desire and inducing souls to become Krsna conscious is the topmost way of pleasing Krsna, and those thus engaged in the Lord’s service, whether materially high or low, are spiritually very dear to the Lord. One completely engaged in the Lord’s service can become empowered by Him. (44-45) (This is a great tapasya that is purifying to the heart and makes one dear to Krsna. (49) We are inpure in our material existence, but through performing tapasya for the pleasure of Krsna (acting for the Lord’s pleasure, preaching), we can be purified and do something wonderful in his service by the Grace of Krsna. (49)
12. Even materialistic conditioned souls who care not advanced enough to see the Lord’s personal form can understand the Lord as He manifests His energies in the workings of the universe. (Yet, the Lord was personally present before Daksa speaking.) He was also personally existing when nothing else was existing before the creation of the universe. Thus the Lord, the unlimited source of all, personally exists in His spiritual body through all three features of time. The living entities also exist, but their gross bodies are destroyed at the time of annihilation and they exist in their subtle bodies. The Lord, however, exists in an eternal body. (46-48)
Chapter Five, Narada Muni Cursed by Prajapati Daksa
Daksa, impelled by the mode of passion begot 10,000 sons, the Haryasvas, within his wife, and requested them to further the creation. The Haryasvas headed west to a holy land inhabited by holy men and became purified by bathing in the holy Sindhu River. Dutifully. without attachment to material life, they began to perform austerities. Narada Muni decided to instruct them in the form of an analogy which accurately described the hopelessness of material life, for he could not tolerate their performance of austerities for material purposes. (1-9)
The Haryasvas considered Narada’s words with their intelligence and concluded that as the body is doomed, bodily activites within the field of activities without working for the cessation of bondage are useless (10-11), the Supreme Person is meant to be understood (12), one should use one’s life to attain Vaikuntha (13), the material intelligence mixed with passion engages us in unprofitable activities (14), one one should not follow one’s intelligence when polluted by fruitive desires (15), and no benefits accrue by performing activities influenced by maya. Rather we should perform devotional service and, by the mercy of the Lord and escape from the material energy (16). One shouldn’t limit one’s activities within the elements created by the Supreme Lord; one should serve the all-powerful Lord who is the reservoir of those elements (17) and study sastra to differentiate between matter and spirit and gain directions for freedom from the material world (18). One should study the devastating effect of time and therefore use his life only to cultivate his Krsna consciousness (19). One must follow the conclusive instructions of one’s real father, Krsna, through sastra and one’s spiritual master and become free from material bondage (20)
The Haryasvas became convinced by the words of Narada, and, after circumambulating him, they renounced the material world. Narada travelled onward, while always thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord. He informed Daksa of the renunciation of his sons, and Daksa began to lament. Lord Brahma pacified Daksa, and Daksa begot another one thousand sons, the Savalasvas, in his wife. These sons on the order of their father also went to the Narayana Saras to perform austerities. Narada Muni approached the Savalasvas and instructed them in a similar way to his instructions to the Haryasvas and requested them to follow their brothers’ example. Not attempting to produce children, the Savalasvas also adopted the path of Krsna consciousness. (21-33)
Daksa heard from several sources of the renunciation of his second group of sons due to the instructions of Narada. He almost fainted due to lamentation, and when he met Narada, his lips trembled in anger as he spoke harsh words to the sage. Daksa criticized Narada for being a false devotee, devoid of compassion, and not a true representative of the Lord due to his abominable action of inspiring false renunciation within immature boys who have no personal experience. Daksa then cursed Narada to travel throughout the universe bereft of any residence. Narada Muni, the tolerant, saintly devotee, accepted the curse of Daksa and took no action against him. (34-44)
1. One who is spiritually advanced should not become entangled in material activities, even out of duty. Rather, he should renounce material activities and perfect his Krsna consciousness. (6-9)
2. Points from the words spoken by Narada (6-8) are in bold, and the verse numbers the Haryasvas speak their understandings are within ( ):
a. You have not seen the extremities of the earth: The living entities live in material bodies made of earth, and they attempt to enjoy sense gratification within those bodies. But they finding enjoyment, they remain trapped within the continuous bondage of birth, death, old age and disease as they transmigrate form one body to another. In otherwords, they really do not understand the nature of the material world (10-11)
b. There is a kingdom where only one man lives: The Lord is the Lord of the spiritual world. He is the only enjoyer with no competitor. We should use our human life to understand Him, and not use it to increase our sense enjoyment. (12)
c. There is a hole from which, having entered, no one emerges: If one enters the lower planetary systems he more or less never returns. Similarly, if one enters the spiritual world by understanding the Lord, he does not return to birth and death. (13)
d. A woman there who is extremely unchaste adorns herself with various attractive dresses: One should neglect his material intelligence, which is always changing its promises of material happiness. One actually serious about spiritual life is conducted by another type of intelligence, namely, intelligence that is fixed and determined in Kåñëa consciousness. If one, contrarily, follows the dictations of material intelligence and material consciousness he will never be happy and he will be forced to accept one body after another. (14)
e. and the man who lives there is her husband: If one surrenders to his polluted intelligence, he prolongs his materialistic life and suffers happiness and distress. If a man becomes the husband of a prostitute, he cannot be happy, and similarly one who follows the dictations of material intelligence and material consciousness will never be happy. (15)
f. In that kingdom, there is a river flowing in both directions: Once the living entity falls within the river of the material energy, he cannot escape, especially since the current of the river flows more swiftly nears its two banks (knowledge and austerity). One should understand the actual nature of the material world and take to devotional service. That will allow one to get out. (16)
g. a wonderful home made of twenty-five materials: One should take shelter of the Lord, the reservoir of the 25 material elements. One should not take shelter of the elements themselves. (17)
h. a swan that vibrates various sounds: The sastra can give us actual understanding of the material world and give instruction to get us out. The Krsna consciousness movement therefore translates and distributes sastras in different languages. (18)
i. an automatically revolving object made of sharp razors and thunderbolts: Time destroys all in the world of matter, and one should be extremely careful to utilize the span of his life for spiritual realization, Kåñëa consciousness. (19)
j. (from Text 8) You have not seen all this, and therefore you are inexperienced boys without advanced knowledge. How, then, will you create progeny? (From Text 9)Alas, your father is omniscient, but you do not know his actual order. Without knowing the actual purpose of your father, how will you create progeny? : One must accept the original instructions of the çästra and received instructions f rom one’s real father—Krsna—in the form of sastra and a bona fide spiritual master and end his material life. (20)
3. A spiritual master initiates his disciple and instructs him how to give up materialistic life. (21) It is the disciple’s duty to assimilate and follow the path back to Godhead. Narada Muni and his follower spiritual masters instruct that one should ecstatically chant the names of Krsna and dance. (22, 26)
4. When one takes up the instructions of Narada, a parent should be happy and not obstruct his child’s devotional development. (23) Representatives of Narada should keep preaching whether or not parent are satisfied with that preaching. (24)
5. One interested in advancing should chant Hare Krsna, bathe in holy places, and perform the austerity of following the four rules. (28)
6. To free a soul from material life, a teacher can use tactics that evoke even material affection. (30) Although a mahatma like Narada may wish to save a lost, illusioned soul, he may be criticized due to the faultfinding mentality of others. (36) In ignorance a grhastha may strongly criticize or even curse a devotee-preacher, while thinking that their children’s life is destroyed by their adoptation of a Krsna consciousness. But that will not stop one in the disciplic succession of Narada from preaching renunciation and performing their great service. (36-39, 42-44) Preachers must thus be fearless and tolerant of criticisms so they can continue their service of being merciful to fallens souls. (38, 44)
7. Experience is insufficient impetus. One needs the blessing of a vaisnava to actually renounce material life. (41) One who does surrender to Krsna owes no further debts to others. (37)
Chapter Six, The Progeny of the Daughters of Daksa
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
As described in this chapter, Prajäpati Dakña begot sixty daughters in the womb of his wife Asikné. These daughters were given in charity to various persons to increase the population. Since these offspring of Dakña were women, Närada Muni did not try to lead them toward the renounced order of life. Thus the daughters were saved from Närada Muni. Ten of the daughters were given in marriage to Dharmaräja, thirteen to Kaçyapa Muni, and twenty-seven to the moon-god, Candra. In this way fifty daughters were distributed, and of the other ten daughters, four were given to Kaçyapa and two each to Bhüta, Aìgirä and Kåçäçva. One should know that it is because of the union of these sixty daughters with various exalted personalities that the entire universe was filled with various kinds of living entities, such as human beings, demigods, demons, beasts, birds and serpents.
Chapter Seven, Indra Offends His Spriritual Master, Brhaspati
One sentence summary of this Chapter from the summary of Srila Prabhupada: As related in this chapter, Indra, the King of heaven, committed an offense at the feet of his spiritual master, Båhaspati. Båhaspati therefore left the demigods, who then had no priest. However, at the request of the demigods, Viçvarüpa, the son of the brähmaëa Tvañöä, became their priest.
At the end of the previous chapter, Sukadeva Gosvami mentioned that Visvarupa, a son of the demons, was accepted as the spiritual master of the demigods when the demigods were rejected by Brhaspati. This chapter opens, therefore, with Pariksit Maharaja inquiring from Sukadeva Gosvami as to how Brihaspati rejected his disciples the demigods. (1) Sukadeva Gosvami began narrating how Indra, surrounded by opulence and demigods who glorified him, neglected to show respect to his spiritual master, Brhaspati, who left the assembly and returned to his home. Indradeva regretted his breach of ettiquette and in the assembly of demigods, condemned himself, his opulence, his wealth, and his pride born of false ego, and decided to apologize and attempt to satisfy Brhaspati. Brhaspati, however, left home and became invisible, leaving Indra morose and with no peace of mind. (2-17)
The demons took advantage of Indra’s weakness and declared war, defeating the demigods and forcing them to seek shelter in Lord Brahma, who first chastized the demigods, explained the source of the demons’ power–their having pleased Sukracharya, their spiritual master– and then advised them to accept Visvarupa, the son of Tvasta, as their guru, despite Visvarupa’s being partial to the demons. (18-25)
The demigods, free from anxiety, approached Visvarupa and requested his shelter. (26-33) Visvarupa was pleased with the request of the demigods, and after first decrying the act of accepting priesthood as a professional means of livelihood, agreed to fulfill the demigod’s request. He thus performed the required activities with enthusiasm and attention. Visvarupa composed a protective prayer known Narayana-Kavaca and gave it to Indradeva, who, by the power of this mantra, conquered the military power of the demons. (34-40)
1. Material opulence tend to cause pride which will be followed by falling down to unmanagebleness, chaos, and degradation. (12)
2. Repentence that one has disrespected the spiritual values of life.is required to rectify falldowns caused by pride. This is true both on an individual level and a societal level, as a civilization can only prosper when it offers due respect to holy persons and religious principles. (12, 24)
3. False leaders who do not know the purpose of life should be rejected. Actual leaders who know the religious principles in sastra should guide society according to the principles of varnasrama. In a varnasrama society, quality men who possess character and who know the purpose of life as well as the highest principles of religion lead. (12-14)
4. One needs the guidance of a spiritual master to become spiritual enlightened as well as to solve the problems of life. One should be careful to never disrespect one’s spiritual master or any superior person. (16, 21-24)
5. A learned person advanced in spiritual realization can be accepted as guru, regardless of his birth. That spiritual master or priest should use his position as well as the rewards that are naturally given to him for Krsna’s service and not for his personal benefit. He should sincerely be thinking of the welfare of those whom he serves and place them under the protection of Lord Visnu. (33-39)
Chapter Eight, The Narayana-Kavaca Shield
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: This chapter describes how Indra, the King of heaven, was victorious over the soldiers of the demons, and it also describes the shield of the Viñëu mantra.
[In answer to Maharja Pariksit’s inquire, Sukadeva Gosvami began describing Visvarupa’s explanation of the Narayana Kavaca shield to Indradeva. (1-3) Visvarupa first describes to Indra the preliminary processes of invoking the armour, including applying mantra’s to one’s body. (4-11)] To take protection from this shield, one must first touch kuça grass and wash one’s mouth with äcamana-mantras. One should observe silence and then place the eight-syllable Viñëu mantra on the parts of his body and place the twelve-syllable mantra on his hands. The eight-syllable mantra is oà namo näräyaëäya. This mantra should be distributed all over the front and back of the body. The twelve-syllable mantra, which begins with the praëava, oàkära, is oà namo bhagavate väsudeväya. One syllable should be placed on each of the fingers and should be preceded by the praëava, oàkära. Thereafter, one must chant oà viñëave namaù, which is a six-syllable mantra. One must progressively place the syllables of the mantra on the heart, the head, between the two eyebrows, on the çikhä and between the eyes, and then one should chant maù asträya phaö and with this mantra protect himself from all directions. Nädevo devam arcayet: one who has not risen to the level of a deva cannot chant this mantra. According to this direction of the çästra, one must think himself qualitatively nondifferent from the Supreme.
[Next the protective prayer must be recited: the Narayan Kavaca prayer. (12-34)]
After finishing this dedication, one must offer a prayer to the eight-armed Lord Viñëu, who sits on the shoulders of Garuòadeva. One also has to think of the fish incarnation, Vämana, Kürma, Nåsiàha, Varäha. Paraçuräma, Rämacandra (the elder brother of Lakñmaëa). Nara-Näräyaëa, Dattätreya (an empowered incarnation), Kapila, Sanat-kumära, Hayagréva, Näradadeva (the incarnation of a devotee), Dhanvantari, Åñabhadeva, Yajïa, Balaräma, Vyäsadeva, Buddhadeva and Keçava. One should also think of Govinda, the master of Våndävana. And one should think of Näräyaëa, the master of the spiritual sky. One should think of Madhusüdana, Tridhämä, Mädhava, Håñékeça, Padmanäbha, Janärdana, Dämodara and Viçveçvara, as well as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kåñëa Himself. After offering prayers to the Lord’s personal expansions known as the sväàça and çaktyäveça-avatäras, one should pray to the weapons of Lord Näräyaëa, such as the Sudarçana, gadä, çaìkha, khaòga and bow.
[Visvarupa then explains the protective affects of having applied this armour, and in doing so he tells the story of the effect of Kausika’s bones on Citraratha. (35-40) Sukadeva Gosvami’s then describes further effect of applying the armour or hearing about it with faith and veneration.
Indradeva, after applying the mantra, won supremacy thoughout the universe. (41-42)] After explaining this process, Çukadeva Gosvämé told Mahäräja Parékñit how Viçvarüpa, the brother of Våträsura, described the glories of the Näräyaëa-kavaca to Indra.
1. The living entity is subordinate to the Lord. When a fearful situation arises, one should meditate upon the Lord and seek His protection. (12) One should also seek the shelter of the Lord’s incarnations, His paraphrenalia, and His devotees (who are all non-different from Him) while executing one’s duties in Krsna’s service. (17, 30-33)
2. Psuedo religions by the scores are created during Kali-yuga. This confuses innocent people who become unable to discern the actual religious principle: acting for Krsna’s pleasure. (19)
3. For any mantra to be effective and for it to be effective for one’s advancement in spiritual life one must receive it in a bonafide sampradaya. (42)
Chapter Nine, Appearance of the demon Vrtrasura
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: As described in this chapter, Indra, the King of heaven, killed Viçvarüpa, and therefore Viçvarüpa’s father performed a yajïa to kill Indra. When Våträsura appeared from that yajïa, the demigods, in fear, sought shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and glorified Him.
Summary by Srila Prabhupada[Adjustments to the summary have been added within [ ]
and verse numbers within ( )]
Because of affection for the demons, Viçvarüpa secretly supplied them the remnants of yajïa. When Indra learned about this, he beheaded Viçvarüpa, but he later regretted killing Viçvarüpa because Viçvarüpa was a brähmaëa. Although competent to neutralize the sinful reactions for killing a brähmaëa, Indra did not do so. Instead he accepted the reactions. Later, he distributed these reactions among the land, water, trees and women in general. Since the land accepted one fourth of the sinful reactions, a portion of the land turned into desert. The trees were also given one fourth of the sinful reactions, and therefore they drip sap, which is prohibited for drinking. Because women accepted one fourth of the sinful reactions, they are untouchable during their menstrual period. Since water was also infested with sinful reactions, when bubbles appear in water it cannot be used for any purpose. (1-10)
After Viçvarüpa was killed, his father, Tvañöä, performed a sacrifice to kill King Indra. Unfortunately, if mantras are chanted irregularly, they yield an opposite result. This happened when Tvañöä performed this yajïa. While performing the sacrifice to kill Indra. Tvañöä chanted a mantra to increase Indra’s enemies, but because he chanted the mantra wrong, the sacrifice produced an asura named Våträsura, of whom Indra was the enemy. When Våträsura was generated from the sacrifice, his fierce features made the whole world afraid, and his personal effulgence diminished even the power of the demigods. (11-20)
Finding no other means of protection, the demigods began to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the enjoyer of all the results of sacrifice, who is supreme throughout the entire universe. The demigods all worshiped Him because ultimately no one but Him can protect a living entity from fear and danger. Seeking shelter of a demigod instead of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead is compared to trying to cross the ocean by grasping the tail of a dog. A dog can swim, but that does not mean that one can cross the ocean by grasping a dog’s tail. (21-27)
Being pleased with the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead [appeared, (28-30), and the demigods continue to glorfy the Lord (31-39). They then requested the Lord to incarnate and save them from Vrtrasura (40-45). The Lord replied to the demigods and] advised them to approach Dadhéci to beg him for the bones of his own body. Dadhéci would comply with the request of the demigods, and with the help of his bones Våträsura could be killed. (46-55)
1. The process of learning of that which is beyond human perception is to hear from authorities. (1)
2. One in difficulty should seek the shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead whom is the original cause, whom everyone fears and whom grants fearlessness. That Lord is the shelter of everyone. It is only thinking oneself as separate from the Lord and thinking of ourselves as God that disallows us from seeing Him, understanding Him, and being sheltered by Him. (21-27)
3. Inexperienced living entities generally do not know what bendiction to ask from the unlimited Lord for they don’t truly know Him or their actual relationship with Him. (31-33) Only to those who are pure of heart and whose minds are fixed in His service does the Lord fully reveal Himself. Only such living entities can understand the Lord’s (and His devotees’) transcendental position, neutrality, favoritism, and apparently contradictory activities. (34-36) He is naturally beyond intellectual understanding, for He is the all-pervading Lord upon whom everything rests.(38-39) A devotee who has even once tasted the pure service of the Lord experiences the highest bliss. He feels himself as the servant of everyone and would never give up the Lord’s service. (39)
6. The pure, akama devotees agree to suffer all that happens to them, while the sakama devotees whose material desire still remain immediately pray to the Lord to mitigate their difficulties. A pure devotee knows that there is no need to ask the all-knowing Lord to fulfill his material necessities. (40-43) When the materialistic devotees become helpless, they surrender and become almost pure devotees. (44) But Lord Krsna actually becomes purchased by those pure devotees who desire only His service and nothing material in exchange for that service. (45)
7. Even devotees who offer prayers to the personality of Godhead mixed with their own desires will become purified and eligible return back to Godhead. Yet the Lord regrets His devotees’ request for material benediction and not pure devotional service. (47-48) Krsna does not necessarily give devotees the material benediction for which they ask. (49-50) A devotee will not even hesitate to give up his own body for an appropriate cause. (51-55)
Chapter Ten, The Battle Between the Demigods and Våträsura
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: As described in this chapter, after Indra obtained the body of Dadhéci, a thunderbolt was prepared from Dadhéci’s bones, and a fight took place between Våträsura and the demigods.
Srila Prabhupada’s summary of this Chapter
Section A: 1-14
Following the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the demigods approached Dadhéci Muni and begged for his body. Dadhéci Muni, just to hear from the demigods about the principles of religion, jokingly refused to relinquish his body, but for higher purposes he thereafter agreed to give it up, for after death the body is usually eaten by low animals like dogs and jackals. Dadhéci Muni first merged his gross body made of five elements into the original stock of five elements and then engaged his soul at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus he gave up his gross body. With the help of Viçvakarmä, the demigods then prepared a thunderbolt from Dadhéci’s bones. Armed with the thunderbolt weapon, they prepared themselves to fight and got up on the backs of elephants.
At the end of Satya-yuga and the beginning of Tretä-yuga. a great fight took place between the demigods and the asuras. Unable to tolerate the effulgence of the demigods, the asuras fled the battle. leaving Våträsura, their commander in chief, to fight for himself. (15-30)Våträsura, however, seeing the demons fleeing, instructed them in the importance of fighting and dying in the battlefield. One who is victorious in battle gains material possessions, and one who dies in the battlefield attains a residence at once in the celestial heavens. In either way, the fighter benefits. (31-33)
1. A devotee laments the unhappiness of others and feels joy at their joy. Seeing the dangerous and miserable position materialists, he therefore dedicates his life to their welfare through preaching throughout the world. He gives up his own comfortable circumstances for others (5-9), and thus direct his life towards pleasing Krsna. Such pure souls will go back to Godhead without even perceiving the pain of death. (10-12) Everyone should be ready to sacrifice his life in that way and even die performing such glorious deeds. (32)
Chapter Eleven, The Transcendental Qualities of Våträsura
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: This chapter describes Våträsura’s great qualities.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
1-12: When the prominent commanders of the demons fled, not hearing Våträsura’s advice. Våträsura condemned them all as cowards. Speaking very bravely, he stood alone to face the demigods. When the demigods saw Våträsura’s attitude, they were so afraid that they practically fainted, and Våträsura began trampling them down. Unable to tolerate this, Indra, the King of the demigods, threw his club at Våträsura, but Våträsura was such a great hero that he easily caught the club with his left hand and used it to beat Indra’s elephant. Struck by the blow of Våträsura, the elephant was pushed back fourteen yards and fell, with Indra on its back.
Section B: 13-17, 18-27
King Indra had first accepted Viçvarüpa as his priest and thereafter killed him. Reminding Indra of his heinous activities (13-17), Våträsura, [after evoking Indra to slay him with the thunderbolt so he can go to the spiritual world], said, “If one is a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viñëu, and depends on Lord Viñëu in every respect, then victory, opulence and peace of mind are all inevitably available. Such a person has nothing for which to aspire in the three worlds. The Supreme Lord is so kind that He especially favors such a devotee by not giving him opulence that will hamper his devotional service. Therefore I wish to give up everything for the service of the Lord. I wish always to chant the glories of the Lord and engage in His service. Let me become unattached to my worldly family and make friendships with the devotees of the Lord. I do not desire to be promoted to the higher planetary systems, even to Dhruvaloka or Brahmaloka, nor do I desire an unconquerable position within this material world. I have no need for such things.”
1. Pure devotees, regardless of their situation, do not fear death. Due to their having received the dust of the feet of a vaisnava upon their head, they know they will go back to Godhead. (18-20) The concern of such great souls is to fix their mind upon Krsna at the time of their death. (21)
2. Both materialistic devotees and pure devotees attain their desires. Krsna never bestows upon his unalloyed devotee the benefits of the material world, for those cause pride, emnity, anxiety, etc. A pure devotee-preacher’s possessions, however, come from Krsna, for Krsna knows he will use what he has in His service. (22-23)
3. Pure devotees do have desires. They first long to serve the servants of the Lord, beginning with, one’s spiritual master. Under his direction, they engage their body, mind and words in Krsna’s service and make their life successful. (24) They will neither desire nor trade anything for the Lord’s service, for they desire only to serve Him and the servants of His servants in the association of devotees. (25) They always yearn to associate personally with the Lord and render service unto Him. Nothing else satisfies them. (27) Such a pure and unalloyed devotee accepts whatever position he finds himself in as due to his karma, and he simply seeks friendship in the association of pious and enlightened devotees. He prays to maintain no material attachments and to remain only attached to Him. (28)
Chapter Twelve, Våträsura’s Glorious Death
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: This chapter describes how Indra, the King of heaven, killed Våträsura despite great reluctance.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
After Våträsura finished speaking, he released his trident against King Indra with great anger, but Indra, using his thunderbolt, which was many times more powerful than the trident, broke the trident to pieces and cut off one of Våträsura’s arms. Nevertheless, Våträsura used his remaining arm to strike Indra with an iron mace, making the thunderbolt fall from Indra’s hand. Indra, being very ashamed of this, did not pick up the thunderbolt from the ground, but Våträsura encouraged King Indra to pick it up and fight. Våträsura then spoke to King Indra as follows, instructing him very well. (1-6)
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead,” he said, “is the cause of victory and defeat. Not knowing that the Supreme Lord is the cause of all causes, fools and rascals try to take credit for victory or defeat themselves, but everything is actually under the control of the Lord. No one but Him has any independence. The puruña (the enjoyer) and prakåti (the enjoyed) are under the control of the Lord, for it is by His supervision that everything works systematically. Not seeing the hand of the Supreme in every action, a fool considers himself the ruler and controller of everything. When one understands, however, that the real controller is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is freed from the relativities of the world, such as distress, happiness, fear and impurity.” (7-17) [Indra heard the words of Vrtrasura and recognized him as a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He thus glorified his devotional consciousness. (18-22)] Thus Indra and Våträsura not only fought, but also engaged in philosophical discourses. Then they began to fight again. (23)
This time Indra was more powerful, and he severed Våträsura’s remaining arm. Våträsura then assumed a gigantic form and swallowed King Indra, but Indra, being protected by the talisman known as Näräyaëa-kavaca, was able to protect himself even within Våträsura’s body. Thus he emerged from Våträsura’s abdomen and severed the demon’s head from his body with his powerful thunderbolt. Severing the demon’s head took one complete year to accomplish. (24-35)
1. The mood of a devotee while working: No one is indepedent. One should work to implement Krsna’s will and not be concerned with victory and defeat. One’s only concern should be to sincere to our duty so our activities may be recognized by Kåñëa. Success or failure is in Krsna’s hands. All actions of both ourselves and others should be seen as instrumental for the Lord’s dealings. We are only dependent upon Him. Such vision of detachment from the actions of the modes of nature is liberating. Such a Krsna conscious person receives all as being the mercy of the Lord and thus remains steady in all circumstances. (7-17)
2. Only a devotee, due to his strong spiritual attachment and desires, is able to be materially so detached. To attain this consciousness, one must take shelter of a pure devotee and mold his character according to his direction. (18-22) Such an exalted devotee succeeds in completing his duty and also goes back to Godhead. (35).
Chapter Thirteen, King Indra Afflicted by Sinful Reaction
TSrila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: This chapter describes Indra’s fear at having killed a brähmaëa (Våträsura), and it also describes how he fled and was saved by the grace of Lord Viñëu.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
When all the demigods requested Indra to kill Våträsura, he refused because Våträsura was a brähmaëa. The demigods, however, encouraged Indra not to fear killing him because Indra was protected by the Näräyaëa-kavaca, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Lord Näräyaëa. (1-5, 7) Even by a glimpse of the chanting of Näräyaëa’s name, one becomes free from all the sinful reactions of killing a woman, a cow or a brähmaëa. (8-9) The demigods advised Indra to perform an açvamedha sacrifice, by which Näräyaëa would be pleased, for the performer of such a sacrifice is not implicated in sinful reactions even if he kills the entire universe. (6)
Following this instruction from the demigods, King Indra fought Våträsura, but when Våträsura was killed, everyone was satisfied but King Indra, who knew Våträsura’s position. This is the nature of a great personality. Even if a great personality acquires some opulence, he is always ashamed and regretful if he acquires it illegally. Indra could understand that he was certainly entangled by sinful reactions for killing a brähmaëa. Indeed, he could see sinful reaction personified following him, and thus he fled here and there in fear, thinking of how to rid himself of his sins. He went to Mänasa-sarovara, and there, under the protection of the goddess of fortune, he meditated for one thousand years. During this time, Nahuña reigned over the heavenly planets as the representative of Indra. Unfortunately, however, he was attracted by the beauty of Indra’s wife, Çacédevé, and because of his sinful desire he had to accept the body of a serpent in his next life. Indra later performed a great sacrifice with the help of exalted brähmaëas and saints. In this way he was released from the reactions of his sinful killing of a brähmaëa. (10-23)
1. One’s outer birth does not determine whether or not one is a devotees. Vrtrasura, for example, although born in a demonic family, went to Vaikuntha after his death. He was already a brahmana, for he was a vaisnava. (3)
2. By chanting the holy name of Narayana every sinful person can become free from all sinful reactions, including those accrued by killing a brahmana. Yet, one cannot intentionally commit sins and then chant to free himself from the reactions. Such an atitude is most condmened. Such purposefully devised atonement cannot relieve the performer of the sinful act. (Ajamila committed sinful acts and was freed by chanting the holy name of Narayana. But Indra knowingly sinned with the expressed purpose of later atoning. This is an offense and he thus had to suffer extreme reactions for his killing Vrtrasura.) (8-15)
3. By reading, hearing, repeating, and understanding the narration of Vrtrasura and Indra, one gets great benefits, including relief from all sinful reactions. (22-23)
Chapter Fourteen, King Citraketu’s Lamentation
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: In this Fourteenth Chapter, Parékñit Mahäräja asks his spiritual master, Çukadeva Gosvämé, how such a demon as Våträsura could become an exalted devotee. In this connection the previous life of Våträsura is discussed. This involves the story of Citraketu and how he was victimized by lamentation because of the death of his son.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
Among many millions of living entities, the number of human beings is extremely small, and among human beings who are actually religious, only some are eager to be liberated from material existence. Among many thousands of people who desire relief from material existence, one is freed from the association of unwanted persons or is relieved of material contamination. And among many millions of such liberated persons, one may become a devotee of Lord Näräyaëa. Therefore such devotees are extremely rare. Since bhakti, devotional service, is not ordinary, Parékñit Mahäräja was astonished that an asura could rise to the exalted position of a devotee. Being doubtful, Parékñit Mahäräja inquired from Çukadeva Gosvämé, who then described Våträsura with reference to his previous birth as Citraketu, the King of Çürasena. (1-9)
Citraketu, who had no sons, got an opportunity to meet the great sage Aìgirä. When Aìgirä inquired from the King about his welfare, the King expressed his moroseness, and therefore by the grace of the great sage, the King’s first wife, Kåtadyuti, gave birth to a son, who was the cause of both happiness and lamentation. (10-31)
Upon the birth of this son, the King and all the residents of the palace were very happy. The co-wives of Kåtadyuti, however, were envious, and later they administered poison to the child. Citraketu was overwhelmed by shock at his son’s death. Then Närada Muni and Aìgirä went to see him. (32-61)
1. Most living entities have irreligious material desires born of passion and ignorance. Yet, in and of itself, neither religiosity nor being situated in goodness qualifies one for pure devotional service. In addition, even liberated souls are generally contaminated by impersonal philosophy. Only those whose hearts are completely clean can become pure devotees, thus an exalted devotee of the Lord is extremely rare. (1-7)
2. In ignorance, people criticize the Creator, God, or Providence for reverses that occur in their lives. Actually though, the fault lies with the conditioned soul as he receives the reactions to his fruitive activities under the subtle laws of nature. (54) Only through full devotional surrender can one surpass his karma and become happy. (55-56)
Chapter Fifteen, The Saints Närada and Aìgirä Instruct King Citraketu
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: In this chapter, Aìgirä Åñi, along with Närada, consoles Citraketu as far as possible. Aìgirä and Närada Åñi came to relieve the King from excessive lamentation by instructing him about the spiritual significance of life.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
The great saints Aìgirä and Närada explained that the relationship between father and son is not factual; it is simply a representation of the illusory energy. The relationship did not exist before, nor will it stay in the future. By the arrangement of time, the relationship exists only in the present. One should not lament for temporary relationships. The entire cosmic manifestation is temporary; although not unreal, it is not factual. By the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, everything created in the material world is transient. By a temporary arrangement, a father begets a child, or a living entity becomes the child of a so-called father. This temporary arrangement is made by the Supreme Lord. Neither the father nor the son exists independently. (1-8)
The King listened to the great sages and he was relieved from his false lamentation. , and then he inquired about their identity. (9-16)
The great sages presented who they were and instructed that all sufferings are due to the bodily conception of life. When one understands his spiritual identity and surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme spiritual person, one becomes actually happy. When one searches for happiness in matter, one must certainly lament for bodily relationships. Self-realization means spiritual realization of one’s relationship with Kåñëa. Such realization ends one’s miserable material life. (17-26) (Narada then gave Citaketu a mantra which chanted would allow him to see Lord Sankarshan face to face within seven nights.) (27-28)
This philosophy expressed within the Chapter is basic jnana, knowledge of the difference between spirit and matter and why the soul should not get entangled within matter.
1. The eternal soul is different than his body made of matter. He should thus remain unentangled from matter. All bodily relationships are temporary. (1-2) The bodily concept of life must be given up for one to experience happiness and make further spiritual progress. We should always remember that misery is the endemic condition of material life. (3) We should never lament, as all relationships are temprary and are ultimately controlled by the Lord. We should thus render pure devotional service unto Him and fully depend upon Him. We should act only to develop our Krsna consciousness and not not create material plans that will ultimately cause frustration. (4) All material situations are temporary, like a dream. We should thus not lament for the dreamlike occurances of this world. (5) Rather, one should consult the Bhagavad-gita for the proper direction for action. (6) All that occurs is our karma. We should not identifying with the temporary and neglect the eternal. (7-8)
2. Brahmana devotees traverse the earth giving knowledge and removing the ignorance of conditioned souls, who generally have no more knowledge than an animal. These souls are liberated and understand the subtle coverings of the soul. (9,15) To receive knowledge, one must approach such a soul and accept him as one’s spiritual master. Rather than desiring to attain material benefits, one should desire to become free from having to rot within matter. (16) One should aspire to live in the association of advanced devotees and engage in the service of the Lord through the paramparä system. Thus one should serve the mission of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu through the instructions of the great Gosvämés of Våndävana. This is called täìdera caraëa sevi. (17)
3. All within matter is temporary, like a dream, and we are placed within specific, temporary situations due to our karma, which entangles us in further karma. Rather than becoming entangled within such “dreams,” one should serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Through mental indenfication with the temporary, we suffer the miseries of the body. Thus the eternal soul is forced to struggle for existence within the material world. (23-24) One should understand his eternal nature and not lament for the temporary. Only Krsna’s service is eternal. (26)
Chapter Sixteen, King Citraketu Meets the Supreme Lord
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: As related in this chapter, Citraketu was able to talk with his dead son and hear from him the truth of life. When Citraketu was appeased, the great sage Närada gave him a mantra, and by chanting this mantra Citraketu found shelter at the lotus feet of Saìkarñaëa.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
The living entity is eternal. Thus he has neither birth nor death (na hanyate hanyamäne çarére). According to the reactions of one’s fruitive activities, one takes birth in various species of life among the birds, beasts, trees, human beings, demigods and so on, thus rotating through various bodies. For a certain period of time, one receives a particular type of body as a son or father in a false relationship. All our relationships in this material world with friends, relatives or enemies consist of duality, in which one feels happy and distressed on the basis of illusion. The living entity is actually a spiritual soul who is part and parcel of God and has nothing to do with relationships in the world of duality. Therefore Närada Muni advised Citraketu not to lament for his so-called dead son. (1-11)
After hearing instructions from their dead child, Citraketu and his wife could understand that all relationships in this material world are causes of misery. The queens who had administered poison to the son of Kåtadyuti were very much ashamed. They atoned for the sinful act of killing a child and gave up their aspiration to have sons. (12-16)
Thereafter. Närada Muni chanted prayers to Näräyaëa, who exists as catur-vyüha, and instructed Citraketu about the Supreme Lord, who creates, maintains and annihilates everything and who is the master of the material nature. After instructing King Citraketu in this way, he returned to Brahmaloka. (17-26)
These instructions about the Absolute Truth are called the mahä-vidyä. After being initiated by Närada Muni, King Citraketu chanted the mahä-vidyä, and after one week he attained the presence of Lord Saìkarñaëa, who was surrounded by the four Kumäras. The Lord was nicely dressed in bluish garments, with a helmet and ornaments of gold. His face appeared very happy. (27-32)
In the presence of Lord Saìkarñaëa, Citraketu offered his obeisances and began to offer prayers. In his prayers, Citraketu said that millions of universes rest in the pores of Saìkarñaëa, who is limitless, having no beginning and end. The Lord is well known to the devotees for His eternity. The difference between worshiping the Lord and worshiping the demigods is that the worshiper of the Lord also becomes eternal, whereas whatever benedictions one can get from the demigods are impermanent. Unless one becomes a devotee, one cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (33-48)
After Citraketu finished his prayers, the unlimited Supreme Lord explained knowledge of Himself to Citraketu [and then disappeared from that place as Citraketu looked on]. (49-65)
1. Essential summary of the instructions of Narada and the dead son to Maharaja Citraketu (1-11): The soul is eternal, is not his body, and has no relationships in the temporary material world. All occuring in this world is foreign to the soul and is his karma. One should therefore not lament any material situation. If one is fortune, one will meet a devotee of the Lord who can dispel one’s illusion. One should therefore serve the Lord regardless of the material circumstances.
The eternal soul enters a machine of material energy, his body, and he never in fact becomes the son of the father and mother that produced his body. (4) All these relationships are temporary and both their existence and dissipation are dictated by the modes of material nature. (5) The soul that inhabits a son’s body can in fact be the cause of suffering, as this is all arranged by the material nature according to our karma. If a living entity is fortunate, he comes in touch with a devotee who reforms his entire life to enable him to go back to Godhead. In every birth one gets a father and mother, but only rarely does one attain the fortune of getting a bona fide spiritual master. (6) The relationship we have with our own body, what to speak of with the bodies of our family members is temporary, and we therefore shouldn’t lament. (7 ) Only illusion convinces us believe that our material relationships are factual, (8) for the living entity, different from his body, has neither beginning nor end and never takes birth nor dies. We are eternal, as is the Lord, but as we are infinitesimal, we tend towards becoming covered by illusion. The living entity, however, due to his free will, is responsible for all that happens to him. (9) He is unaffected by both friends and enemies. (10) One should thus remain aloof, neutral, and personally unaffected by the actions of the modes of nature. To become completely neutral, indifferent to material activities, we should simply seek shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Person and continue one’s service to Him. (11)
2. Lesson from the sinful act performed by the Queens of Maharaja Citraketu (14-16): Those who have performed abominable activities before coming to Krsna consciousness should chant Hare Krsna. They will be freed from the reactions from their sins by chanting, but they should not sin again.
3. Essential summary of the Maha-vidya instructions given by Narada to Maharaja Citraketu (17-26): One should learn from his spiritual master of the unlimitedly great qualities of the all-blissful Lord and of his own subordinate, dependent, and miserable position. One should thus only desire His satisfaction and service. The Lord is extremely kind to His devotees. Knowing this, one should give up one’s affection for matter and serve the Lord.
One should offer prayers and obeisances to the Lord. One should glorify His qualities as one has heard and realized them from his spiritual master. By offering his prayers, he should not desire anything but the satisfaction of serving the all-blissful Lord. (17-19) The Lord is the greatest, the ever-blissful supreme controller, the source of brahman and the resting place of the creation after annihilation. The living entities, on the other hand, are always dependent upon Him and are miserable due to being under the three-fold miseries of material existence. All occurs within the world by the empowerment of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (20-24) The devotees serve the Lord with great devotion, and, although He is the Supreme Person, He is very kind to the devotees. No one is competent to serve the Lord, but even if a devotee is not competent, the merciful Lord accepts the humble attempt of the devotee. (25) Knowing these as true one should give up his affection for matter and engage himself in Krsna’s service. (26)
4. Essential summary when Maharaja Citraketu recited the Maha-vidya and Lord Sankarsana appears (27-32): A devotee is renounced and can have spiritual but no material desires. One thus becomes increasingly advanced by dedicating his life to devotional practices.
One can only take up bhakti yoga when one is awakened to renunciation and the actual nature of the material world. If one becomes renounced from matter, one must then take instructions in increasing his Krsna consciousness. Bhakti and renunciation are actually parallel. (27) A pure devotee cares not for material benefits which come easily as side benefits from his performance of bhakti-yoga. (28) A devotee desires only to go back to Godhead. Krsna gives the devotee whatever material goods needed. Those material opulences of his are not actual material, and those opulences help his spiritual advancement. (29) In addition to offering prayers to the Lord, one should become purified by regularly seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the temple. That will help one increasingly make progress in Kåñëa consciousness. (31) One should use his abilities to offer prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead by composing first-class poetry or engaging his talents in the service of the Lord. (32) One must be a pure devotee to properly glorify the Lord. The words or songs of a person not fixed in Vaiñëava behavior, not strictly following the rules and regulations and chanting the Hare Kåñëa mantra should not be accepted by pure devotees.
5. We have divided the prayers of Maharaja Citraketu to Lord Sankarsana (33-48) into three sections. Here is an essential summary of each section:
a. The Lord is unlimited and is the Creator. Yet, He is conquered by the affectionate service of His devotees. One should therefore worship the Lord regardless of his purity. (33-39)
The Lord, being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, conquers His devotees and evokes their affectionate service to him. The devotees, on the other hand, conquer Him by their affectionate, fully devotional surrender. (34) The Lord is the only creator, and those who create in this world do so by His potency. (35) The Lord is the cause of all causes, and all that exists rests upon Him. (36) He is unlimited, and therefore called Ananta. (37) Only the Lord, Krsna, should therefore be worshiped. One should worship Him even if one has material desires; one shouldn’t worship the demigods, for by worshiping Krsna one will become purified. (38-39)
b. One should worship Krsna through Bhagavat-dharma: acting for Krsna’s pleasure in devotional surrender. (40-41)
How should one worship Krsna? One has to take to Bhagavata-dharma as taught by the mahajanas, the pure devotees. Such fortunate souls who take to bhagavat-dharma seeks to increase Krsna’s pleasure and preach the bhagavat-dharma principles: (40) following the orders given by the Supreme Lord as stated in Bhagavad-gétä: sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja. Everyone must surrender to God. That is the pure conception of religion. Whatever God orders constitutes religion (dharmaà tu säkñäd bhagavat-praëétam). (41)
c. One should only practice bhagavat-dharma. One should chant Hare Krsna and worship the Deity and thus become purified by acting for Krsna’s pleasure. (42-45)
All other religious practices are a waste of time. One should surrender to Krsna, for He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the teachings of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. Devotees follow bhagavat-dharma because they are eager to please Krsna. (42-43) To offset the contaminations of Kali-yuga, everyone can remove all contaminations by chanting Hare Krsna and seeing and serving the Deity. (44) One can thus become purified and see the Lord face to face. (45) Those who are sinful can never see or understand the Lord, who is the supreme director and maintainer of all the universes. Thus such people become atheists due to their impiety.
6. We have divided Lord Sankarsana’s response to Maharaja Citraketu (49-65) into four parts. Here is an essential summary and a summary of each part:
a. One can experience the Lord and have knowledge of Him only by His mercy and after one is purified. (49-50)
One can only see the Lord by the mercy of the devotees of the Lord. Only when one becomes qualified–spiritually saturated by transcendental service as instructed by one’s spiritual master—will the transcendental name, form, quality, pastimes, and knowledge of the Lord be revealed. (50)
b. The Lord is the Absolute Truth, the source of both reality and illusion, and He yet stays within the hearts of everyone as Supersoul. We should constantly chant Hare Krsna and remove all our ignorance. (51-54)
The essence of that knowledge is as follows: the Lord is the Absolute Truth and is the source of both reality and illusion. He, as Supersoul, guides the living entity even in his conditioned position. When one is free from ignorance, he will realize the Lord’s forms as transcendental and that the Holy name of the Lord is non different from the Lord. (51) The Lord is within both the living entity and the material energy. Both are His energies. (52) The Lord is transcendental: the creator of and unaffected by all conditions of material consciousness. Our only duty is to remember the supreme director of all—including the illusory energy—Kåñëa. For us to do this, the çästra advises to constantly chant the holy name of the Lord—Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare. (53-54)
c. We are fully dependent on the Lord, and our independent desires to enjoy simply bring us misery. (55-58)
The living entity’s ability to enjoy comes from his being the Lord’s part and parcel. His enjoyment also comes by the mercy of the Lord. (55) The living entity is thus an individual apart from the Supersoul, and he is able to perceive individually because of his individuality. (56) The living entity desires and attempts to enjoy, but he receives just the opposite result. This is due to his ceasing to identify as Krsna’s servant and his developing a separate interest. Thus thinking of himself as the Lord, he is conditioned and must face birth and death. (57) One can, especially if one has taken birth in India, understand these points and attain the highest goal. (58)
d. We are parts and parcels of the Lord and we are meant to serve Him. We should renounce our indpendent mentality for devotional service. (59-64)
One should consider that engaging in fruitive activities brings the opposite of that which he desires. One should therefore engage in devotional service and achieve the actual goal of his life. (59-62) The living entity wishing to achieve perfection must observe the Lord and the living entity as being one in quality while different in quantity, as the whole is simultaneously different and non-different from it’s part. (63) One will become perfect if he follows this conclusion. (64)
Chapter 17: Parvati Curses Citraketu
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: The Seventeenth Chapter is summarized as follows. This chapter describes Citraketu’s receiving the body of an asura, or demon, because of joking with Lord Çiva.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
After personally talking with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, King Citraketu enjoyed life in his airplane with the women of the Vidyädhara planet. Engaging in the congregational chanting of the glories of the Lord, he began flying his plane and traveling in outer space. One day while traveling like this, he wandered into the bowers of Sumeru Mountain, where he came upon Lord Çiva embracing Pärvaté, surrounded by an assembly of Siddhas, Cäraëas and great sages. Seeing Lord Çiva in that situation, Citraketu laughed very loudly, (1-10) but Pärvaté became very angry at him and cursed him. Because of this curse, Citraketu later appeared as the demon Våträsura. (11-15)
Citraketu, however, was not at all afraid of Pärvaté’s curse [. He accepted it,] and thus he spoke as follows: “Everyone in human society enjoys happiness and distress according to his past deeds and in this way travels in the material world. Therefore no one is responsible for his happiness and distress. One is controlled by the influence of material nature in the material world, yet one thinks himself the doer of everything. In this material world, which is made of the external energy of the Supreme Lord, one is sometimes cursed and sometimes favored, and thus he sometimes enjoys in the upper planetary systems and sometimes suffers in the lower planets, but all these situations are the same because they are within this material world. None of these positions has any factual existence, for all of them are temporary. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate controller because the material world is created, maintained and annihilated under His control while He nonetheless remains neutral to these different transformations of the material world in time and space. The material, external energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is in charge of this material world. The Lord helps the world by creating situations for the living entities within it.” [He then requested Parvati to pardon him for his words. He then boarded his airplane and left. ] (16-25)
When Citraketu spoke in this way, all the members in the great assembly in which Lord Çiva and Pärvaté were present were astonished. Then Lord Çiva began speaking about the devotees of the Lord. A devotee is neutral in all conditions of life, whether in the heavenly planets or hellish planets, whether liberated from the material world or conditioned by it, and whether blessed with happiness or subjected to distress. These are all merely dualities created by the external energy. Being influenced by the external energy, the living entity accepts a gross and subtle material body, and in this illusory position he apparently suffers miseries, although everyone is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. The so-called demigods consider themselves independent lords, and in this way they are misled from understanding that all living entities are part of the Supreme. This chapter concludes by glorifying the devotee and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (26-35) [Parvati’s understand, Citraketu powerful position, Citraketu’s next birth as Vrtrasura, and the glorious effects of hearing and reciting this narration comprise the final verses of the chapter. (37-41)]
1. Lord creates by which he accomplishes many purposes. In this pastime, He simultaneously arranged for His devotee to soon return to the spiritual world, taught that a devotee’s advancement can be tested by how detached he is from a spirit to enjoy, especially with women, taught that a devotee should set a good example for others, regardless of how exhalted he is, for others may either follow or criticize, and taught that a devotee should be always humble and not exhibit harsh behavior in his dealings with other devotees due to pride. (1-10)
2. Pride in unsuitable within a devotee, and it will prohibit his attaining advanced devotional service. If a devotee does have some pride, Krsna, either directly or through an agent, will arrange for its removal. In addition, a pure Vaiñëava should be very careful to engage in his specific duty without criticizing others. Otherwise, if one tends to criticize others, he may commit the great offense of criticizing a Vaiñëava. (11-15)
3. When something unfavorable occurs to a devotee, he should react humbly, accepting all that befalls him as the mercy of the Lord and due to his past misdeeds. (17) He views his suffering as being due to his karma. He doesn’t think that it is due to either oneself or others that one enjoys or suffers within this world. (18) One foolishly thinks himself or friends or others are the cause of his happiness and distress. (19) Actually, because the material world is constantly changing there is no lasting meaning to either happiness or distress. All situations are miserable, due to their temperalness. None have eternal effects. (20) Nor is the Lord himself, although He is the ultimate controller, place the living in happiness or distress. The Lord is detached from the material world (21-22) although He is the creator of all the ingrediants for our material life. He remains equal to all. (23)
He therefore never accuses anyone, but, rather, becomes increasingly attached to the Supreme personality of Godhead because of his being purified by his suffering. A devotee should be tolerant of the happiness and distress that befalls him, understanding that they come according to one’s karma, not blame others, and attempt to advance in Krsna consciousness. (16-25)
4. How great are the Vaisnavas, for they are unlimitedly tolerant, and satsified being the servants of the servants of Lord Hari. They are uninterested in any material happiness. They are awarded opulent qualities by their Lord, such as humility, respectfulness, mildness, fearlessness, determined, satisfied and undistrubed in all conditions, for they rise above all distress by constantly chanting the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra. The devotee and the Lord are on the same level because the only interest of devotees is to service the Lord, whom all are dependent upon and is only manifest and knowable through pure devotion. (26-35)
5. Although powerful due to the Lord’s protection, devotees are humble and ever tolerant, even when they are wronged. They remain respectful, especially to superiors. Devotees never loose their advancement in bhakti, regardless of their future births. (36-39)
Chapter Eighteen, Diti Vows to Kill King Indra
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: This chapter gives the history of Diti, the wife of Kaçyapa, and how she followed a vow to have a son who would kill Indra. It also describes how Indra attempted to foil her plan by cutting to pieces the son within her womb.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
In relation to Tvañöä and his descendants, there is a description of the dynasty of the Ädityas (sons of Aditi) and other demigods. Påçni, the wife of Aditi’s fifth son named Savitä, had three daughters—Sävitré, Vyähåti and Trayé—and very exalted sons named Agnihotra, Paçu, Soma, Cäturmäsya and the five Mahäyajïas. Siddhi, the wife of Bhaga, had three sons, named Mahimä, Vibhu and Prabhu, and she also had one daughter, whose name was Äçé. Dhätä had four wives—Kuhü, Sinévälé, Räkä and Anumati—who had four sons, named Säyam, Darça, Prätaù and Pürëamäsa respectively. Kriyä, the wife of Vidhätä, gave birth to the five Puréñyas, who are representatives of five kinds of fire-gods. Bhågu, the mind-born son of Brahmä, took his birth again from Carñaëé, the wife of Varuëa, and the great sage Välméki appeared from Varuëa’s semen. Agastya and Vasiñöha were two sons of Varuëa and Mitra. Upon seeing the beauty of Urvaçé, Mitra and Varuëa discharged semen, which they kept in an earthen pot. From that pot, Agastya and Vasiñöha appeared. Mitra had a wife named Revaté, who gave birth to three sons—Utsarga, Ariñöa and Pippala. Aditi had twelve sons, of whom Indra was the eleventh. Indra’s wife was named Paulomé (Çacédevé). She gave birth to three sons—Jayanta, Åñabha and Méòhuña. By His own powers, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as Vämanadeva. From His wife, whose name was Kérti, appeared a son named Båhatçloka. Båhatçloka’s first son was known as Saubhaga. This is a description of the sons of Aditi. A description of Äditya Urukrama, who is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will be offered in the Eighth Canto. (1-10)
The demons born of Diti are also described in this chapter. In the dynasty of Diti appeared the great saintly devotee Prahläda and also Bali, Prahläda’s grandson. Hiraëyakaçipu and Hiraëyäkña were the first sons of Diti. Hiraëyakaçipu and his wife, whose name was Kayädhu, had four sons—Saàhläda, Anuhläda, Hläda and Prahläda. They also had one daughter, whose name was Siàhikä. In association with the demon Vipracit, Siàhikä bore a son named Rähu, whose head was severed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kåti, the wife of Saàhläda, bore a son named Païcajana. Hläda’s wife, whose name was Dhamani, gave birth to two sons—Vätäpi and Ilvala. Ilvala put Vätäpi into the form of a ram and gave him to Agastya to eat. Anuhläda, in the womb of his wife, Süryä, begot two sons, named Bäñkala and Mahiña. Prahläda’s son was known as Virocana, and his grandson was known as Bali Mahäräja. Bali Mahäräja had one hundred sons, of whom Bäëa was the eldest. (11-18)
After describing the dynasty of the Ädityas and the other demigods, Çukadeva Gosvämé describes Diti’s sons known as the Maruts and how they were elevated to the position of demigods. Just to help Indra, Lord Viñëu had killed Hiraëyäkña and Hiraëyakaçipu. Because of this, Diti was very envious, and she was eager to have a son who could kill Indra. By her service, she enchanted Kaçyapa Muni in order to beg from him a greater son to do this. In corroboration of the Vedic injunction vidväàsam api karñati, Kaçyapa Muni was attracted to his beautiful wife and promised to grant her any request. When, however, she requested a son who would kill Indra, he condemned himself, and he advised his wife Diti to follow the Vaiñëava ritualistic ceremonies to purify herself. (19-55)
When Diti, following the instructions of Kaçyapa, engaged in devotional service, Indra could understand her purpose, and he began observing all her activities. One day, Indra had the opportunity to see her deviating from devotional service. Thus he entered her womb and cut her son into forty-nine parts. In this way the forty-nine kinds of air known as the Maruts appeared, but because Diti had performed the Vaiñëava ritualistic ceremonies, all the sons became Vaiñëavas. (56-78)
1. Regardless of one’s birth or qualities at birth, one’s qualities can be changed from demonic to divine through devotional service. (19- 22)
2. Regardless of one’s advancement in spiritual life, one must be careful not to fall victim to sexual attraction. Woman has especially been created to increase the material attachment of a man.
One should therefore avoid the company of women as far as possible. Yet, if husband and wife are attached to one another for advancement in Kåñëa consciousness, their relationship of cooperation is very effective for such advancement. Especilly in Kali-yuga, marraige is based on the capacity for sexual enjoyment which causes on to glide toward hell, so we should therefore only remain married based on Krsna conscious principles. One should therefore be very careful in dealing between man and woman, for bodily consciousness is strong unless one is spiritually advanced. (22, 30, 33-34, 40-42)
3. Regardless of one’s motive, following the principles of devotional service cleanse one’s heart. Protection as well as fulfillment of one’s desires occurs as secondary results of devotional service to Krsna. One should thus try to understand the Lord’s reciprocation with His pure devotee if He is so kind to a motivated devotee. “If an intelligent man serves the most dear Lord, who gives Himself to His devotees, how can he desire material happiness, which is available even in hell?” (43, 56-78)
Chapter Nineteen, Performing the Puàsavana Ritualistic Ceremony
Srila Prabhupada’s “one sentence” summary of the chapter: This chapter explains how Diti, Kaçyapa Muni’s wife, executed Kaçyapa Muni’s instructions on devotional service.
Srila Prabhupada’s Chapter Summary
During the first day of the bright fortnight of the moon in the month of Agrahäyaëa (November–December), every woman, following in the footsteps of Diti and following the instructions of her own husband, should begin this puàsavana-vrata. In the morning, after washing her teeth, bathing and thus becoming purified, she should hear about the birth mystery of the Maruts. Then, covering her body with a white dress and being properly ornamented, before breakfast she should worship Lord Viñëu and mother Lakñmé, the goddess of fortune, Lord Viñëu’s wife, by glorifying Lord Viñëu for His mercy, patience, prowess, ability, greatness and other glories and for how He can bestow all mystic benedictions. While offering the Lord all paraphernalia for worship, such as ornaments, a sacred thread, scents, nice flowers, incense and water for bathing and washing His feet, hands and mouth, one should invite the Lord with this mantra: (1-7)
oà namo bhagavate mahä-puruñäya mahänubhäväya mahävibhütipataye saha mahä-vibhütibhir balim upaharämi.
Then one should offer twelve oblations in the fire while chanting this mantra: oà namo bhagavate mahä-puruñäya mahävibhüti-pataye svähä. One should offer obeisances while chanting this mantra ten times. Then one should chant the Lakñmé-Näräyaëa mantra. If either a pregnant woman or her husband regularly discharges this devotional service, both of them will receive the result. (8-20)
After continuing this process for one full year, the chaste wife should fast on the pürëimä, the full-moon day, of Kärttika. On the following day, the husband should worship the Lord as before and then observe a festival by cooking nice food and distributing prasäda to the brähmaëas. Then, with the permission of the brähmaëas, the husband and wife should take prasäda. This chapter ends by glorifying the results of the puàsavana function. (21-28)
1. The previous chapter described the pumsavavana vrata, which is regulated devotional service to Visnu. This vrata is a process by which husband and wife worship Sri Sri Laksmi-Narayana. The chapter describes in detail the prayers, the paraphrenalia, and the process by which the devotees worships.
a. One should glorify the Lord and His sakti, Laksmi devi, and worship the Lord with all paraphrenalia and mantras that are described in this chapter. (15)
b. The Lord, who is full of six opulences, is the best enjoyer, and is the most powerful. One should offer obeisances to the Lord, the husband of mother Lakñmé, and who is accompanied by many associates.
The Lord is the Supreme Lord and the Supersoul of all living entities. Laksmidevi and all others serve the Lord. (6-14)
c. While worshiping, one through devotion should be humble in mind and offer obeisances as one chants the mantras. (8)
d. The wife should accept her husband as the representative of the Supreme Person and should worship him with unalloyed devotion by offering him prasäda. The husband, being very pleased with his wife, should engage himself in the affairs of his family. Thus this vrate established the spiritual bases for the union between husband and wife. If either the husband or the wife perform this process the result will be enjoyed by both. The wife, even if unable to perform the vrata, attains the results if she is chaste and sincere. (15-18)
2. One should take shelter of Sri Sri Laksmi Narayana to satisfy one’s needs and desires. Even on with material ambition, one desiring material opulence, should worship Lord Visnu along with Laksmidevi in this fashion, for the Lord is pleased by such worship. The worship can be performed without exerting one’self. It is better to be plain and simple and with respectful obeisances offer to the Lord whatever one can secure. Actually, the Lord desires offerings saturated with devotion and surrender, not opulences. The Lord is completely able to bless the devotee with all opulences.
One who understands that the Lord along with Laksmidevi is within everyone’s heart will be purified. In addition, worshipers will be endowed with the opulence of Lord Viñëu. (2,4-5,9,14)
3. The Lord is non-different from His sakti, Laksmi-devi, for the Lord exhibits His potency through His saktis. It is thus dangerous for one to keep Lakñmé devi, riches, in one’s home without Lord Viñëu. Without the Lord’s service, Laksmi devi turns into illusion. (6-7)
4. Both husband and wife should not think themselves as the Supreme center of the universe, but, rather, understand and act as servants of the Supreme, even while satisfying their material ambitions. (19-20)
5. The Lord is All-powerful and yet He relishes and even requests specific services from His devotee. He depends upon His devotee and this a most intimate understanding of the Lord. (5)