Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Srimad Bhagavatam is called the “king of all spiritual books” (Grantha Raja) for good reason. Within this triguna-free, transcendental treatise, the amala-purana, which showcases the absolutely selfless, divine love of Srimati Radharani, one can find all the sweet, majestic and beautiful truths about the sadhana and sadhya (daily practice and perfection) of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.
In his most compassionate and wonderful shastra, Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja summarizes the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the six Goswamis of Vrindavana by mentioning the same Bhagavatam verses that they used to substantiate their sublime instructions. To emphasize the importance of these particular verses for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, the same Bhagavatam verse is often mentioned two, three or more times in the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrta.
This series of posts presents these verses, along with selected tikas of our acharyas and the compiler. We will cover the beautiful truths, tattvas, of Krishna, Radha, Vaisnavas, Sri Guru, Bhakti Sadhana, Nama, Prema and more.
Human Means Helping Others
One intensely hot summer day in Vraja, Sri Krishna voiced His loving appreciation and gratitude for the beautiful, luxuriant trees of Sri Vrindavan, saying:
“O Sridama, Subala, Vishala, Vrshabha, and Ojasvi! Just see how these trees have completely dedicated their lives for the benefit of others by freely offering their leaves, flowers and fruits, their shade, roots, bark, wood, and their fragrance, sap, ashes, pulp and shoots. Anyone who asks anything from a tree never goes away disappointed.”
Then Bhagavan Sri Krishna addressed all humanity saying:
etavaj -janma -saphalyam
dehinam -iha -dehishu
pranair -arthair -dhiya -vaca
shreya -acaranam -sada
“Human life will be successful if one always helps others with one’s life, wealth, intelligence and words (prana-artha-dhiya-vaca).” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.33-35)
Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:
Here Sri Krishna makes the point that helping always others produces success in life. If one cannot give one’s life, then give wealth, if not wealth, then intelligence and if not intelligence, then words.
Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:
One should use one’s life to serve others.
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das comments:
There are two kinds of actions one can perform, shreyas and preyas, or acts that give ultimate or immediate benefit. Unfortunately, most everyone is working very hard to get money and enjoy.
But here the Bhagavata directs us to act for permanent benefit, shreya -acaranam -sada, by using our life, money, intelligence and words to HELP OTHERS!
Vishnu -Purana (III.12.45) says:
yad -eveha -paratra -ca
karmana -manasa -vaca
tad -eva -mati -man -bhajet
“By one’s work, thoughts and words, an intelligent person must perform actions that will help all living entities in this life and the next.”
To encourage us to help others, the Srimad Bhagavatam recounts the story of a sage who donated his whole body, mind, words and BONES to benefit the devatas who were harassed by the atheists.
Following the order of Bhagavan Sri Hari, the devatas begged Dadhici Muni for his body. Dadhici Muni, however, just to hear about dharma from the devatas, jokingly refused to give his body. But then Dadhici donated his body to Indra who made a thunderbolt from Dadhici’s bones to vanquish Vrtrasura.
During this incident, Dadhici Muni instructs Indra, the other devatas, and all of us, “O devatas! One who has no compassion for suffering humanity (bhuta-daya) and does not sacrifice one’s impermanent body for the higher causes of dharma or eternal glory is certainly most lamentable.
“A person who does not help others by one’s body, relatives and wealth, which are perishable, is in a miserable, difficult situation.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.10.8-10).
We humbly encourage everyone to please think about these teachings, and start today helping a needy person by giving money, food, clothing; or by speaking kindly, remind them of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and encourage them to sing Krishna’s divine names.
In these times of doubt, fear, prejudice and hate let us all become more tolerant, loving, kind and helping. Sarve sukhino bhavantu: “May everyone be happy!”
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!