By: Mahanidhi Swami
The Srimad Bhagavatam is the sweet liquid that Srila Vyasadeva extracted from all the transcendental Vedic scriptures. He nourished his divine son Shukadeva Goswami with that liquid. And upon realizing the ambrosial essence of the Bhagavata within his pure heart, Sri Shuka Muni concentrated it into a nectar called a rasayana.
The Tenth Canto, which is the smiling sweet face of Shyamasundara, is that rasayana. How is this? A material rasayana is an ayurvedic medicine that rejuvenates one’s body, and fills one with the nectar taste of robust health and mental satisfaction. The Tenth Canto is a spiritual rasayana which does all these things and much more as you will learn below.
Now let’s hear from Sri Chaitanyadeva and our Gaudiya rasika acharyas about the amazing power and benefits of hearing and reading the Srimad Bhagavatam. And how much more do all these glories apply to the Tenth Canto!
In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.226), Srila Rupa Goswamipada says that of the 64 limbs of sadhana-bhakti, relishing the Srimad Bhagavatam is one of five most important and powerful limbs; and also a part of pancha-anga bhakti (sankirtana, sadhu sanga, Thakuraji seva, Vraja vasa). Later in verse 240, Sri Rupa specifically singles out and glorifies the Tenth Canto as the most significant and important of all the twelve cantos. Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada stresses the special position of the Tenth Canto by stating, “One will achieve Krishna prema by hearing it.”
On several occasions, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu glorified the Srimad Bhagavatam, so that all His followers past and present would realize its topmost absolute importance. Now let’s hear Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Goswamipada, Sri Jiva Goswamipada, Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada, and my Gurudeva exalt the Srimad Bhagavatam:
Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu said:
Krishna-tulya bhaagavata, vibhu sarvaashraya, prati-shloke prati-akshare, naanaa artha kaya
“Srimad Bhagavatam is as great as Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself, the supreme shelter of everything. In each and every verse and syllable of Srimad Bhagavatam, there are multi-faceted meanings, for it is as infinite as Krishna.” (Cc. 2.24.318)
In the next quote Lord Gauranga explains how the Srimad Bhagavatam is the transcendental body of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and it is full of pure love of God:
premamaya bhaagavata, Krishnera sri anga,
taahaate kahena yata, gopya Krishneranga
“The Srimad Bhagavatam is saturated with Krishna prema. The Srimad Bhagavatam is non-different from the beautiful body of Krishna and is a part of Krishna Himself, for it describes Krishna’s confidential pastimes with His intimate associates like Sri Radha and the Vraja-gopis.” (Cb. Antya 3.516)
In this last quote, Prema-Purusottama Gauranga establishes the Srimad Bhagavatam’s preeminent position over all other Vedic shastras and spiritual scriptures:
pade pade bhaagavata, prema-rasa-maya,
shuniyaa dravila ati, tomaara hrdaya
“Every single line of Srimad Bhagavatam is full of prema-rasa, ecstatic divine raptures. By hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam, your heart will melt.” (Cb. 2.9.91)
In the Preface to Krishna book, Gurudeva Srila Prabhupada says that love of Godhead will fructify by reading [or hearing] this one book, Krishna, which contains only the Tenth Canto pastimes of Bhagavan. In the 90th chapter of Krishna Book, Srila Prabhupada describes the wonderful benefits of the Tenth Canto. He said, “The transcendental pastimes of Sri Krishna [in the Tenth Canto] are so powerful that simply by hearing, reading and memorizing this book, Krishna, one is sure to be transferred to the spiritual world.”
We will conclude our discussion by explaining why it is so necessary and important for serious sadhakas to focus and concentrate their Bhagavata studies on hearing, reading and meditating upon the sublime rasa-filled teachings of the TENTH CANTO.
In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.226), Srila Rupa Goswamipada says that of the 64 limbs of sadhana-bhakti, relishing the Srimad Bhagavatam is one of five most important and powerful limbs; and also a part of pancha-anga bhakti (harinama sankirtana, sadhu sanga, Thakuraji seva, Vraja vasa). Later in verse 240, Sri Rupa specifically singles out and praises the Tenth Canto as the most significant and important of all the twelve cantos. Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada stresses the special position of the Tenth Canto by stating, “One will achieve Krishna prema by hearing it.”
While finishing his glorification of the Srimad Bhagavatam and the pancha-anga bhakti in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Goswamipada says (1.2.244): “These five limbs or practices (pancha-anga-bhakti) have the inconceivable power to manifest both bhaava and Sri Krishna Himself at the same time.”
In other words, even a brief association with these five supremely powerful angas of vaidhi-sadhana bhakti [such as hearing Tenth Canto] can arouse bhaava in bhakti-sadhakas, provided that one’s practice of these is free from offenses in the form of the ten nama-aparadhas and the offenses in Thakurji archana, Deity worship.
Sri Jiva Goswamipada gives a very encouraging illumination of this section of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: “The Srimad Bhagavatam [especially the Tenth Canto] is exclusively devoted to and full of the sweet taste of bhakti-rasa for Bhagavan Sri Krishna alone and nothing else. Anyone who hears Srimad Bhagavatam will attain pure rasa-filled bhakti, which in turn will destroy all one’s fears, diseases, material desires and false attachments. Srimad Bhagavatam is the rasa-svarupa of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Among all the scriptures existing on this planet, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and only the Srimad Bhagavatam, contains the highest bliss. Srimad Bhagavatam is totally transcendental, pure and uncontaminated with any tinge of the three modes of material nature, ignorance, passion or goodness.”
Watch our web site mnsaudio.com for a soon to be released free download CD with this title “Tenth Canto Nectar”. We call it that because by repeatedly hearing the “Tenth Canto Nectar”, we guarantee you will become completely rejuvenated and thrilled with the joy of transcendence, feeling the rapture of Radha-Krishna’s pure love flooding your entire being.
Grantha Raja Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!