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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srimad Bhagavatam is known as the “king of all spiritual books” (Grantha Raja) for good reason. Within this divinely immaculate, tri-guna-free, spiritual sastra, the amalapurana, one will find all the sweet, majestic and beautiful truths about the sadhana and sadhya (daily practices and final goal) of GaudiyaVaisnavism.

In the most wonderful sastra, Sri CaitanyaCaritamrita, Sri Krishna DasaKaviraja has mercifully summarized the teachings of CaitanyaMahaprabhu and the six Goswamis of Vrindavana. To prove these truths, he cites key Bhagavata verses throughout his treatise, which the Goswamis themselves have also discussed in their voluminous works.

To highlight its importance for all devotees of Sri Caitanyadeva and Radha-GovindaYugala, the same Bhagavatam verse is quoted once, twice or even four times in the Sri CaitanyaCaritamrta.

With the grace of Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, the “Beautiful Truths of Bhagavata” series will focus on these Bhagavatam verses which clearly reveal the absolute truth about Sri Krishna, Sri Radha, Sri Guru, the Vaisnavas, Bhakti Sadhana, Sri Harinama and Krishna Prema.

* BEAUTIFUL TRUTHS OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM

By citing key verses and selected commentaries, this post discusses the identify, power and uniquely supreme position of the SrimadBhagavatam, the crown jewel of all transcendental tomes. Sincere sadhakas should learn and reflect upon these verses.

Absorbing, and implementing these truths will strengthen your faith, expand your joy, and double your enthusiasm to love, serve and respect all the humble servants of Sri SriRadha and Krishna.

Srimad Bhagavatam Maha Purana ki jai!

Why Bhagavata Is the Best Scripture?

dharmaḥ -projjhita-kaitavo ’tra, paramo -nirmatsarāṇāṁ -satāṁ
vedyaṁ –vāstavam- atra- vastu, śivadaṁ -tāpa-trayon-mūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate- mahā-muni, kṛte -kiṁ -vā –parair- īśvaraḥ
sadyo- hṛdyava-rudhyate ’tra, kṛtibhiḥ- śuśrū-ṣubhis- tat-kṣaṇāt

“Bhagavan Sri Krishna becomes immediately captured in the heart of anyone who hears the Srimad Bhagavatam. This does not happen with other spiritual books. The Bhāgavatam alone, manifested by the Sri Krishna Himself, presents the true and permanent objective of human life which can be understood by unselfish persons.

“The Srimad Bhagavatam bestows auspiciousness everywhere and frees one from the miseries of material existence. Only the Bhagavata teaches the process of attaining that highest objective of life which is completely devoid of all material goals and liberation.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.2; Caitanya Caritamrita. 1.1.191, 2.24.100, 2.25.149)

Sri VisvanathaCakravartipadatika:

By illustrating what is beneficial and unbeneficial for the jīva, the Bhagavata gives bliss to all the listeners and enables everyone to fully achieve the highest objective of human life. Simply by hearing/reading the Bhagavata, Sri Krishna (īśvaraḥ), the shelter of everything, is immediately captured (avarudhyate) in one’s heart.

Even without faith, as soon as one hears Bhagavata, Sri Krishna enters the heart. Besides that, Sri Krishna becomes very happy and filled with prema when one hears the Bhagavata. Repetition of the Sanskrit word atra (line 1 & 3) stresses that this benefit is not attained by any other scripture or other spiritual practice (kiṁ –vā- paraiḥ).

What happens when one understands the teachings of the Bhagavata? It gives the topmost auspiciousness (śivadam) by making one an eternal premibhakta of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, and liberating one from the material world. Sri VisvanathaCakravartipadaki jai! Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai!

Bhagavata is the Rasa Nectar Essence of Vedanta

sarva-vedānta-sāraṁ -hi, śrīmad-bhāgavatam- iṣyate
tad-rasāmṛta-tṛptasyā, nānyatra- syād- ratiḥ- kvacit

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is accepted as the essence of all Vedanta. One who experiences satisfaction from tasting the nectar sweet rasas of the Bhagavata is never attracted to any other literature.

(Srimad Bhagavatam 12.13.15/ Caitanya Caritamrita 2.25.146)

Sri JivaGoswami tika: Bhāgavatam is the form of pure rasa, the fruit on the desire tree situated in Goloka Vrndavana. (Krama Sandarbha 1.1.4-4)

Ten Subjects Make the Bhagavata a MahaPurana

atra- sargo- visargaś- ca, sthānaṁ –poṣaṇam-ūtayaḥ
manvantare-śānukathā, nirodho –muktir- āśrayaḥ

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes ten subjects:

(1) Sarga: Creation.

(2) Visarga: Secondary creation.

(3) Sthāna: Proctection.

(4) Poṣaṇa: Mercy of Bhagavan Visnu/Krishna

(5) Ūti: Material activity.

(6) Manvantara: Conduct of the Manus.

(7) Iśānukathā: Lilas of Bhagavan’s various descents.

(8) Nirodha: Destruction of the universe.

(9) Mukti: Liberation.

(10) Āśraya: Shelter of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Comment: Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the one and only ultimate shelter of everything. The topics of Bhagavan Sri Krishna are primary, giving shelter to all others. (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.1.2/Caitanya Caritamrita Ādi 2.91)

jayati jana-nivāso, devakī-janma-vādo
yadu-vara-pariṣat- svair, dorbhir- asyann -adharmam
sthira-cara-vṛjina-ghnaḥ, su-smita-śrī-mukhena
vraja-pura-vanitānāṁ, vardhayan- kāma-devam

“Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the ultimate resort of all living entities. Sri Krishna is known as Devakinandana and Yasodananda. Sri Krishna is the guide of the Yadu dynasty. With His powerful arms, Sri Krishna destroys all impious men and everything that is inauspicious. Sri Krishna’s blissful smiling face always increases the amorous desires of the Vrajagopis. May Sri Krishna be happy and completely glorious.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.90.48/Caitanya Caritamrita Mad 13.79)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:

If someone says, ‘Alas! Alas! What misfortune that Krishna did not continue to manifest His intimate pastimes down to the present time.’ To console such persons, Suka Muni composed this beautiful verse to conclude Krishna’s lilas.

The phrase jana-nivasa means that Syamasundara Sri Krishna and all His intimate associates in nara-lila are living right now on the earth planet. The word jayati, “Krishna is eternally victorious”, is in present tense, which means that Sri Krishna is eternally present in the divine dhama of Vrndavana; in His divine names; and in the recitation of His glories.

The phrase kāma-devam means that Krishna is the brilliantly effulgent transcendental embodiment of spiritual desire and amorous love. With His blissful smiling face Sri Krishna forever increases the divine amorous desires (vardhayan- kāma-devam) of the damsels of Vraja and the cultured ladies of Mathurā and Dvārakā, who are completely attracted to Krishna.

Thus, with this verse, Suka Muni establishes that all of Krishna’s lilas described in the Tenth Canto i.e. Vraja, Mathurā and Dvārakā are all eternal!

Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Seeing Krishna lilas with prema locana ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Let’s look at a pastime of Lord Gauranga from Caitanya-caritamrta. The story is about how Sivananda Sena, Lord Gauranga’s eternal associate, personally cared for and a loved a stray dog traveling with him on a yatra to Jagannatha Puri. The dog ran ahead to Puri, met Mahaprabhu, got the mercy and went to the spiritual sky.

Now let us compare Sivananda Sena’s liberal compassionate world view, which includes the welfare of a dog, with the modern men of this world. As you all know in the modern world we live in, most people don’t even care for the guy next door. They think “you live or die, let me live.” It’s a sad state of affairs but it’s a fact.

This Caitanya-caritamrta chapter contains many verses and pages describing Sivananda Sena’s lila with a lowly dirty dog. It’s all about love—pure love of dog. In America they have an interesting phrase which Srila Prabhupada liked, “Love me, love my dog.” This phrase means, if I love my friend, then I should love his brother, all his relatives, and everyone connected to him, even his pet dog. Here Sivananda Sena is practically showing that if you love Bhagavan, you love Bhagavan’s dog also!

That’s why Srila Prabhupada said Krishna consciousness is a perfect paradigm, the ideal world view. A Krishna devotee is truly an all-embracing, all-encompassing wholistic individual. Of course, the Krishna consciousness world view includes the happiness and welfare of all human beings on the planet. But unlike other world views or religious perspectives, Krishna consciousness also includes the happiness and welfare of dogs, cats, birds, squirrels, ants, whales, deer, trees, plants, and every living entity, along with care for the earth, air, water, ether and hearts of all human beings.

The Krishna conscious person cares about everyone’s happiness, welfare, comfort and peace of mind; and also the purity, harmony, balance, preservation and future of one and all and everything! Isn’t this the most all embracing, all-inclusive, love based, God-centered, wholistic and unified field world view conceivable? Certainly it is. We say, “Let everyone and everything be happy.” Moreover our scriptures say, vishvam purna sukhayate…”Let the whole universe be happy.”

The whole universe means the universe and everything in it. Let brother sky move purely. Let mother earth be happy. Don’t pollute mother earth. Let the sacred rivers and waters be happy, pure and flow freely. Don’t put dams up on the rivers. It is a great offense to the rivers. Rivers are meant to flow to their husband. The rivers are the wives of the ocean. The ocean is their husband. So you should never stop the flow of a woman’s love to her husband or prevent a woman from meeting her husband. As it is a pious activity to bring separated people together, it is a grave sinful activity to prevent people from meeting each other that are meant to meet.

So when one is Krishna conscious then everything is perfectly adjusted. The earth is happy, the air is happy, and the water and oceans are happy—thriving in the love light of the pure devotee’s heart. When devotees walk on the earth, mother Earth becomes thrilled. And when Sri Caitanya traversed the land, mother Earth felt so thrilled that her grass stood on end in ecstatic rapture. When Krishna walks the earth, not only does the grass stand straight in jubilation or exaltation but flowers bloom instantly. Lotus flowers! Wherever Krishna walks, mother Earth says, “O! Krishna’s feet are so soft and tender with many beautiful marks and radiant toenails; such a loving touch and caress.” Bhumi Mata feels so thrilled from the core of her heart and she responds by blossoming forth flowers at every step that Krishna takes.

If there is a Krishna devotee in charge of the government, then guaranteed there will be pure air, pure water, pure land, pure food, pure behavior, pure environment, and most importantly pure minds, hearts and dealings. All will experience peace, happiness and fulfillment in loving and realizing God. Pure dealings means love, appreciation, generosity, peace, harmony, health and joy. All will live happily. All will eat sufficiently. All will prosper. All will be fulfilled—thy kingdom come, thy will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. There will truly be the kingdom of God on earth. Sometimes we see phrases like ‘Heaven on earth,’ but it is only a phrase, a reality no one has ever seen.

This story of Sivananda Sena illustrates the Krishna conception and its practical application. It really happened and can happen today. He really loved the dog so much that he spent his own hard earned money on a stray dog. He even paid the tax for the dog to cross the river. Because he knew that if the dog associates with Vaisnavas, he will greatly benefit. If the dog moves with the devotees, he will hear sankirtana and wag his tail and dance along in his own way. Unknowingly just by hearing harinama sankirtana, the dog’s mind will become purified. He will get the remnants from the Vaisnavas. And by that the dog will become a human being in his next life. Just see the incredible power of Krishna love.

A loving devotee wants to help and give Krishna’s love to everyone and everything he contacts. Let everyone be benefited. Let everyone improve. Let everyone rise. Let everyone grow. No stifling. No suffocation. No destruction. No degradation. No diminishing. Let everyone expand. Let everyone grow, love freely, be happy and fulfilled. Let everyone thrive and prosper. This is the beautiful heart and the vision of a devotee who loves and lives in the Krishna conscious world view.

Sivananda Sena is opening our tightly close-fisted hearts, and softening our very stiff brains so that we can understand what is the Krishna conception. Because without hearing about Krishna conscious behavior and without seeing examples of it, we will never know what it is. We say Krishna consciousness! Ok, what is it is? Is it a phrase, a jargon, or a product we market? What is Krsna consciousness? Where is it found or seen? How is it applied? What does it mean? How is it expressed? How is it felt? How does it interface with the world? And how does it impact on others, as they say? So this story is marvelous and it has a miraculous ending.

This loved and cared for dog ran to Puri and met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu even before Sivananda Sena arrived. Like His devotee Sivananda, Sriman Mahaprabhu also extended his love and care to that dog by hand-feeding it coconut pulp. The dog ate, chanted and danced near the Lord. Then amazingly the next day, the dog went to the spiritual world. In the Chaitanya Caritamrta, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja said by receiving the love and care of a Vaisnava and Lord Gauranga that dog got his siddha-deha, spiritual body, and attained the perfection of life. This is the result of a devotee’s true love.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Gauranga Mahaprabhu ki jai!

Sivananda Sena ki jai!

Saubhagyavan Bhakta Dog ki jai!