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 Caitanya 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.

This post will present two Bhagavatam verses which best display Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s unique transcendental qualities of unexcelled beauty and unfathomable compassion. Acaryas tell that Vyasadeva directed his students to recite these two verses to Sri Shukadev who had run away into the forest to escape the bondage of samsara.

Upon hearing these astonishing verses, Shukadev become so overwhelmingly attracted and amazed that he abandoned his absorption in impersonal Brahman. He returned to his father’s ashram and heard the Srimad Bhagavatam from Vyasadeva. As a result, Shukadeva became great devotee of Radha and Krishna.

When Sri Nityananda Prabhu heard the venu-gita verse describing Sri Krishna’s gorgeous, beautiful divine form, He uttered “Ha Krishna!” and fainted, manifesting the eight ecstatic symptoms in His body. (Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.4.9)

Sri Pandit Baba said the following verse spoken by the gopis, whose matchless love for Krishna gives them the greatest perception, is the best verse describing Sri Krishna’s exquisite natural beauty. We humbly suggest that all devotees should learn these two most important verses for constant remembrance.

Krishna: Reality the Beautiful

barhapidam -nata-vara-vapuh, -karnayoh –karnikaram
bibhrad -vasah -kanaka-kapisham, -vaijayantim -ca -malam

randhran -venor -adhara-sudhaya, -purayan -gopa-vrndair
vrndaranyam -sva-pada –ramanam, pravishad -gita-kirtih

“Shyamasundara is entering the forest of Vrndavana accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends. In Krishna’s turban there is a peacock feather; over Krishna’s ears, a yellow karnikara flower; on Krishna’s body, a yellow dhoti glitters like gold; and around Krishna’s neck, extending down to Krishna’s knees, is a heart-stealing garland strung with five kinds of fragrant forest flowers.

Krishna’s beautiful dress is like that of an expert dancer on a stage, and the nectar of Krishna’s lips flows through the holes of Krishna’s flute. Singing Krishna’s glories, the cowherd boys follow from behind. In this way, this Vrndavana, which is more charming than Vaikuntha, has become even more beautiful by the impressions of Sri Krishna’s lotus feet, which are marked with the conch, disc and other symbols.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.5)

Sri Sanatana Goswami tika

The Vraja gopis are the best analysts of the glories of Krishna’s flute, which they frequently praise for its captivating power. More than anything else, the sound of Krishna’s flute most fully expresses the essence of Krishna’s sweetness (madhurya). This form of Krishna with attractive forest dress is the one which disturbed the gopis’ minds. Venugopal played the flute with a special bhava, which enchanted Him as well as the gopis.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika

Sri Krishna’s pearl necklace and gold armbands are not mentioned because of the overwhelming attractiveness of Krishna’s forest ornaments. The phrase “filled the holes of the flute with the nectar of His lips” indicates that the deep sound of Krishna’s flute would be as attractive, pleasing and satisfying as the nectar of Krishna’s lips. Vrindadevi cleaned and decorated the forest specially with the intention of stimulating Krishna for intimate pastimes with the Vraja gopis.

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika

Sometimes Krishna wore one karnikara flower on the left ear and sometimes on the right ear to express the intoxication of His youth. Krishna purposefully dressed in an artful way to display His youthful charms in order to incite romantic desires within the gopis. Krishna’s flute song fully exhibits its powers by conquering the Vraja-gopis with Cupid.

The Limit of Compassion

“Krishna is so merciful that He gave Putana rakshasi the position of mother. You will never find in any country, at any time, in any grantha, any shastra, such a merciful Lord as Krishna. This is the message of Srimad Bhagavatam.” (Sri Gaur Govinda Swami)

“Upon hearing the following verse, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, an eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, became very serious. He began to throw his hands and feet left and right. He began to roll on his bed, tearing off his silk clothing and the silk sheets. He was pulling out his beautifully curled and decorated hair.

He began to cry, ‘Of whom should I take shelter but that most magnanimous Sri Krishna? Where should I take refuge, without such a great master.’ With this upon his lips, he was rolling on the floor in ecstasy.” (Sri Swami B.R. Sridhar)

aho -baki –yam,- stana-kala-kutam
jigham –sayapaya, -yad -apy -asadhvi
lebhe -gatim dhatry, -ucitam tato ’nyam
kam -va -dayalum, saranam -vrajema

Lamenting in separation from Sri Krishna, Uddhava sighed, “Aho, how wonderful it is! Although the Putana-witch came to kill Krishna with her poison-smeared breasts, Krishna granted her the position of a nurse in Goloka Vrndavana! To whom else but this merciful Krishna, who grants a good destination even to someone who simply dresses like a devotee, should I take shelter?” (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.2.23)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada

Even though Putana, who feigned the sentiments of a mother, gave Krishna poison to kill Him, she attained a position in Goloka similar to the nurses of Krishna named Ambika and Kalimba. Though Putana only had the dress of a devotee, she attained love suitable to a devotee. Though she hated Krishna, Krishna made her a special example. This incident shows Krishna’s quality of giving liberation and bhakti to even those who hate him.

Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada tika

Here is an example of the extreme mercy of Bhagavan, even to His enemy. Krishna may assume the form of a baby or a shape other than that of a human being, but it doesn’t make the slightest difference; Krishna is always the same Supreme Godhead. This lila shows that Krishna accepts the least qualification of a living entity and awards one the highest reward. Therefore, who but Sri Krishna can be the ultimate shelter?”

Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji tika

“Whose heart will not be filled with hope after hearing how merciful Govinda redeems the fallen by kindly rewarding a witch who came to kill Him? Then what can we say of the destination of spontaneous and sincere devotees.”

Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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 Caitanya 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.

Srimad Bhagavatam is the Rasika Essence of Vedanta

In Varanasi, for two months, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Sri Sanatana Goswami in all the truths of Krishna bhakti, shikaila-bhakti-siddhanta. (Caitanya-caritamrta 2.25.3)

While glorifying the Bhagavatam, Mahaprabhu said, “Srila Vyasadeva, the author of the Vedanta, has personally explained the sutras of Vedanta in the Srimad Bhagavatam.” (Caitanya-caritamrta 2.25.142)

Mahaprabhu then quoted key verses to establish the unique position of Srimad Bhagavatam.

sarva-veda-itihasanam
saram-saram-samuddhrtam

Mahaprabhu said, “The quintessence of all Veda and histories is collected in Bhagavatam.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.41: Caitanya -caritamrta 2.25.145)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.41): “Vyasa affectionately fed the Bhagavatam, the essence of the essence of the Vedas, which is like butter appearing from churning yogurt, to his son Shukadeva. This indicates that his effort of churning the Vedas was successful. And Shukadeva, though the best of the self-realized souls, ate that butter of the Bhagavata with great greed because of its wonderful taste.”

Continuing, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu cites the Twelfth Canto to show the supreme power and effect of the Srimad Bhagavatam.

sarva-vedanta-saram-hi
sri-bhagavatam-ishyate

tad-rasamrita-trptasya
nanyatra- syad –ratih- kvacit

“Srimad Bhagavatam is the essence of all Vedanta philosophy. One who has felt satisfaction from tasting the rasa amrita of Bhagavatam will not be attracted to anything else.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 12.13.15)

Just see the astonishing effect of tasting the mellow beauty, sweetness and charm of the Srimad Bhagavatam! The word ratih means attraction, attachment and love. The fabulous taste and experience of the Bhagavatam makes one lose interest in anything else but Radha and Krishna, and Their eternal loving service in the bowers of Vrndavana.

Srimati Radhika, in the delirium of mahabhava in separation from Her Priyatam Shyam, reveals the unlimited power of Bhagavata shravan.

Srimati Radharani said, “To hear about the pastimes that Krishna regularly performs is nectar for the ears. For those who relish just a single drop of that nectar, even once, their dedication to material duality is ruined. Many such persons have suddenly given up their wretched homes and families and, themselves becoming wretched, traveled here to Vrndavana to wander about like birds, begging for their living.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.18)

Commenting on this verse, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada says, “In this verse Srimati Radharani is saying, ‘Just hearing about Krishna’s pastimes is nectar for the ears. Even one drop of this nectar completely destroys the propensities of mutual friendship between men and women.

‘If a wife hears Krishna lila, she will immediately give up affection for her husband. And so to the husband will give up affection for his wife. If a mother hears about Krishna, she loses all affection for her children. The same is also true for a child in connection with his mother and father. Thus, by this mutual rejection they all become totally ruined.’

‘Just by hearing about Krishna they immediately give up their homes and families, including even their parents and sisters-in-law who then suffer with no other means of support, and without even enough money for the next day’s food.’

‘Alas! Alas! Even if we disregard that their wives and children may die, even they themselves fail to become happy. They are penniless after leaving their families, due to having forgotten to tie up even a few coins in their cloth, because of the agitation of their minds while leaving.’

But it may be questioned, “How do they maintain their lives?”

Radha answers, ‘Like birds, they live by begging, just collecting small amounts of wheat and other grains, rather than taking substantial charity from one person. Or they come begging here in Vrndavana, the place of suffering, and suffer even more in our association.’

But someone may object, “Krishna lila is like a poisonous mixture of sugarcane juice and powdered seeds of the dhatura plant.”

To this, Radha replies, ‘For this reason Krishna has accepted the role of the Supreme thinking, “Just like the gopis, I will make all people fall into the ocean of suffering.”

‘Indeed, seeing others’ suffering is Krishna’s only happiness. As a result, Krishna must bear the consequence of giving such misery to others, not Vyasa and other sages.’

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada concludes his amazing commentary, “As we can see there are thousands of implications in this verse. Through condemnation Radha is indirectly praising Krishna, and thus establishing the superexcellence of shuddha-bhakti.”

Srimati Radharani ki jai! Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada ki jai!

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 Caitanya 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.

Srimad Bhagavatam is the Tastiest Fruit of Vedas 

nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
shuka-mukhad amrita-drava-samyutam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah

“O refined ones of sensitive taste! O fortunate souls! From the mouth of Shukadeva, constantly drink the Bhagavatam, which is the luscious fruit fallen from the tree of the Vedas. This fruit is immortal liquid, the essence of sweetness and it includes all types of liberation.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.3)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:

This verse highlights the sweetness of the Bhagavatam. The Vedas (nigama) are a kalpataru (wish-fulfilling tree) because they satisfy humans desires for dharma, artha, kama, and moksha.

Srimad Bhagavatam is called the galitam -phalam, which means fully ripened, sweet fruit. This fruit remains intact and undamaged because it is handed down personally from guru to disciple beginning with Narayana-Brahma-Narada-Vyasa-Shukadeva and so on. This indicates the necessity to drink the rasa (pibita rasam) of Srimad Bhagavatam through guru-parampara and not merely by one’s own intellect.

Alayam: Refers to laya, the eighth sattvika-bhava called pralaya, fainting. One should drink the rasa of Bhagavatam until one faints. And upon returning to consciousness, one will drink more (muhur: continuously) and faint again because one cannot give up drinking. Or it means the more you drink the more you relish. Aho! This is most surprising.

Rasika: This refers only to Krishna bhaktas, who by drinking the Srimad Bhagavatam develop rati (bhava) which becomes their sthayi-rati. Then they can taste the rasa of Bhagavatam.

Bhavukah: refers to persons who perform actions for tasting the beautiful. It indicates persons who appreciate Bhagavan Sri Krishna—who is rasa personified.

The Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7) says, raso -vai –sah, rasam- hy -evayam –labdhanandi -bhavati: Bhagavan Sri Krishna is rasa; by realizing Sri Krishna one attains bliss. Both Gita and Bhagavatam proclaim Krishna to be rasa.

Bhuvi indicates Vraja-bhumi. And bhavukah and rasikah indicate Krishna’s dear gopis. O dear relishers of Krishna rasa, drink the sweetness of the rasa arising from Krishna’s form as the Bhagavatam.

Pibata -bhagavatam -rasam -alayam can mean “relish rasa up to the point of embracing (alayam) Krishna.” Krishna rasa is indestructible (amrita) and flows away quickly from the mind and eye (drava). Therefore, drink that indestructible nectar in the form of Krishna’s lips.

In that case, nigama-kalpa-taror -galitam -phalam means “raganuga-bhakti is the fully ripened fruit (galitam) on the tree of the Vedas, because it follows the sentiments of the gopis.” This is an acceptable meaning because the Brhad-vamana Purana says the Vedas personified practiced raganuga bhakti to become Vraja gopis, and then drank the sweet rasa of Krishna’s lips. This very secret meaning can be seen in the Shruti Stuti chaper 87 of the Tenth Canto.

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada ki jai!

Srila Prabhupada tika: With great respect and attention, one should receive the lessons of the Srimad Bhagavatam. This verse definitely states that spiritual rasa can be experienced in the Srimad Bhagavatam due to its being the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. By submissively hearing this transcendental literature, one can attain the full pleasure of one’s heart’s desire.

Comments Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das:  One acharya told us, “You should keep drinking the Bhagavat rasa until you drop!” Of course, intoxication is prohibited for Krishna bhaktas, but one can drink the rasa of Bhagavatam until one faints, alayam.

There is mystery and magic here. The Bhagavat is full of words, shabdha brahman, transcendental sound vibration. Yet Shukadev tells us that the Bhagavatam is actually liquid, rasa amrit, to be drunk through our ears until we drown in it, pralaya

Indeed, a paradox appearing as an irresistible offer to all seekers of love divine. So my friends, just remember that, ‘by hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam one can attain the full pleasure of one’s heart’s desire.’

Srimad Bhagavatam rasa amritam ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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 Caitanya 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.

GLORIES OF SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM

dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyah vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmiilanam
srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ‘tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.2)

“A sincere devotee can immediately capture Bhagavan Sri Krishna in the heart just by hearing Bhagavatam or even desiring to hear. This does not happen with any other spiritual book. The Srimad Bhagavatam, which is manifest by Sri Krishna Himself, presents the eternal spiritual reality. This transcendental truth, which makes one’s life auspicious and free from all material miseries, can be understood by those without selfish intentions. Only the Srimad Bhagavatam teaches the way to attain pure love of God, Krishna prema, devoid of all material goals and liberation.

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika: Since Bhagavatam is the essence of all scripture, it shows what is beneficial and unbeneficial for the jiva. This verse clearly establishes that the Srimad Bhagavatam gives bliss to all its listeners and helps everyone achieve the highest objective, Krishna prema.

That prema arises in the devotees, since Sri Krishna is brought under control only by prema. Pranaya-rashanaya dhrtanghri-padmah: Krishna’s lotus feet are tied by the ropes of prema to the devotee. Krishna enters the heart from the moment one begins listening even if one has no faith. And if one hears with faith then how much more quickly one will develop Krishna prema.

Since Krishna becomes supremely blissful by being trapped in a heart filled with prema, this also indicates that Krishna is happy and filled with prema when the devotees hear Bhagavatam. This result is not achieved by any other scripture or other practices (kim-va-paraih).

Krishna prema is understood by those without selfishness. And even the selfish will lose their selfishness by hearing Srimad Bhagavatam. This permanent object (vastavam vastu) that Srimad Bhagavatam gives one includes Sri Krishna’s transcendental name, form, qualities, divine abode, devotees and bhakti.

Hearing Srimad Bhagavatam brings one auspiciousness (shivadam) in the form of becoming an associate of Sri Krishna with prema, and it gives release from the three-fold miseries or liberation (tapa-trayonmulanam) as the unsought result.

Pure bhakti-yoga, which this verse advocates, is called parama or supreme, because bhakti is the best process in that it gives all types of material happiness, liberation and prema.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: This opening verse of Srimad Bhagavatam is mentioned thrice in Caitanya-caritamrta (1.1.91;2.24.100;2.25.149). The Srimad Bhagavatam is so merciful and powerful that it benedicts the faithless with faith and the selfish with pure love, divine Krishna prema just by reading it or even desiring to read it.

This verse says Srimad Bhagavatam will not cheat you like everything else in this cheating age of Kali. Sri Krishna is Bhagavan as the ultimate loving, caring, giving and compassionate form of Godhead.

Fifty centuries ago, Sri Krishna simultaneously left this world and appeared in the transcendental form of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Now anyone just for the price of giving up envy can avail oneself to all the love, care and compassion of Sri Krishna just by reading Srimad Bhagavatam.

Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai!  Jai Jai Sri Radhe!