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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.

Vrajavasis’ Astonishing Prema

aho -bhagyam -aho -bhagyam
nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam
yan-mitram -paramanandam
purnam-brahma -sanatanam

Aho! How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because Krishna gives them prema, which is the highest bliss, eternal and complete.(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.32)

Sri Sanatana Goswami tika:

Krishna acts for the benefit of the Vraja-vasis not just in certain situations but always. And Krishna not only delivers the Vrajavasis from fear but also gives them the highest varieties of ecstasy. Thus Krishna is the source of their intense happiness, and they consider Krishna their dearmost friend.

Were Krishna merely Bhagavan, their love for Krishna would be severely restricted. But Krishna, at once, is both the Supreme Absolute Truth and the dear friend of the residents of Nanda’s cowherd village. (Brhad Bhagavatamrtam 3.7.98)

Sri Jiva Goswami tika:

Oh (aho)! Brahmaji is astonished over the inconceivable good of the Vrajavasis. He repeats the phrase to show their extreme good fortune and indicate his still greater astonishment.

Anandam hints at the shruti which says vigyanam -anandam -brahma: parabrahman Sri Krishna is knowledge and bliss. (Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad 3.9.32)

Other forms of Bhagavan also give prema. But bliss personified, Sri Krishna gives prema to the Vrajavasis. This is to be known from the shruti alone. Parama combined with ananda means extraordinary sweetness.

There is something else which is astonishing: this bliss is eternal. Someone may have a little amount of bliss, but that is not eternal. These cowherds have eternal bliss.

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:

After praising the ragatmika vatsalya-prema (deep spontaneous parental affection) of the Vrajavasis, Brahmaji glorified those with ragatmika sakhya-prema (mitram), relishing intimate relationships with Sri Krishna.

As a friend (mitra), Sri Krishna is not a temporary friend; Krishna is the eternal friend (sanatana) of Sridama and others (yat).

All the inhabitants of Vrndavana ruled by Nanda Maharaja (nanda –gopa- vrajaukasam) down to the birds and beasts were indescribably fortunate because they became the friend of parama -anandam -brahma –sanatanam Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Therefore, the Vrajavasis give the topmost bliss to Krishna, and receive the topmost bliss in return. Witnessing this exchange of supreme, selfless love, Brahmaji repeats the phrase aho bhagyam twice to indicate His extreme bliss and astonishment.

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada ki jai!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das comments:

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu quotes this verse from Brahma Stuti while enlightening Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya about the Personality of God (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.6.149). In Vraja Vilas Stava (42), Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami glorifies the cowherds of Vrndavana:

“I worship the best of cowherds, who have attained the greatest happiness that can be achieved in the entire universe. The Vrajavasis are protected by Krishna with more love than He feels for millions of universes. The Vrajavasis are always eager to protect even the particles of dust falling from the edges of Krishna’s beautiful lotus-toenails.”

Although the Vrajavasis directly witness Krishna’s unlimited power when He kills demons, their conception of Krishna as Nanda’s son is not even slightly slackened. Their unbounded love for Krishna simply increases.

Brahmaj repeats “aho bhagyam, aho bhagyam” to highlight the incredible good fortune of Sri Krishna’s cowherd clan in Vrndavana. Thus we continually pray for a particle of mercy dust from the beautiful lotus feet of Nanda Baba. And for time eternal, we will worship the sacred dust of the cowherds, the cows and the transcendental land of Vrndavana!

Vrndavana dham 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.

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, immaculate and divine spiritual shastra, the amala purana, one will 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 all the teachings of the six Goswamis of Vrindavana along with the key Bhagavatam verses which prove and substantiate these beautiful truths, and which the Goswamis themselves quoted in their own shastras. The same Bhagavatam verse is sometimes quoted once or twice or even four times within the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita to highlight its importance for all devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Govinda Yugala.

With the grace of Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, we will quote some of these important Srimad Bhagavatam verses from the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita to present the beautiful truths of Gaudiya Vaisnavism regarding Sri Krishna, Sri Radha, Bhakti Sadhana, Sri Harinama, Krishna Prema, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas.

I. * THE BEAUTIFUL TRUTH OF SRI GURU

We will begin by describing the basis, beginning point, and the fundamental truths of Krishna bhakti regarding the identity, position and relationship of the sadhaka (the jivatma) with Bhagavan Sri Krishna which is called sambandha tattva.

Sambandha-tattva means the absolute truth regarding the mutual relationship between the Sri Krishna, the jiva and maya, the external material energy. Sambandha means the relationship, bonding and exchanges that culminate in ultimate love, Krishna prema. Included within the category of sambandha-tattva are the beautiful truths i.e. tattvas of Guru, Vaisnava, Bhagavat (SB), Sri Krishna, Gaura, Nityananda, Shakti, and Jiva.

Why does Sri Rupa Gosvami say bhakti bhajana proper begins with surrender to the spiritual master, adau guru pada ashraya? (Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.2.74) Why, because the benevolent master is the essential contact, connecting point and eternal link between me and God, Bhagavan and the jiva. The beautiful truth about Sri Guru is the substratum of all other spiritual truths.

Thus we now present some of the key Srimad Bhagavatam verses illuminating the truth of Sri Guru. It is suggested that all sincere sadhakas learn and reflect upon these verses. By doing so one will deepen his/her faith, devotional taste and realization, and also  increase one’s enthusiasm to serve Sri Krishna and Sri Guru more and more.

1. Sri Guru is One with Sri Krishna

ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyāsūyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.27

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “O Uddhava! You should know the ācārya, Śrī Gurudeva, to be My very self. You should never disrespect him in any way, be envious of him, or judge him to be an ordinary man, because within Śrī Guru are all the devatas.”

Tika Srila Prabhupada: “Sri Guru is like a parent. Without the attentive service of his parents a child cannot grow to manhood. Similarly, without the care of Sri Guru one cannot rise to the plane of transcendental service.

“In the Vāyu Purāṇa an ācārya is defined as one who knows the import of all the Vedic literatures, abides by their rules and regulations, and teaches his disciples to act in the same way. Only out of His immense compassion does Bhagavan Sri Krishna reveal Himself as the spiritual master. Therefore in the dealings of an ācārya there are no activities but the transcendental loving service to Sri Krishna.

“The spiritual master is known to be a direct manifestation of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and a genuine representative of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. A disciple should always respect Sri Guru as a manifestation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”

“Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī confirms that one should always think of Sri Guru in terms of his intimate relationship with Mukunda Sri Krishna [nikunja yuno rati keli siddhyai...]. Sri Jiva Goswamipada says (Bhakti Sandarbha 213), ‘The disciple should see Sri Guru as one with Bhagavan Sri Krishna in terms of his being very dear Sri Krishna but not identical with Bhagavan all respect.

“In all the ancient bhakti shastras and in the bhajans of Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura and Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Guru is always considered to be either one of the confidential associates of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī or a manifested representation of Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu.” (Chaitanya Caritamrita. 1.1.46 pur.)

2. Accept Sri Guru as Your Life & Soul

bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād, īśād apetasya viparyayo ’smṛtiḥ
tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ, bhaktyaikayeśaṁ guru-devatātmā
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37, (4x in Caitanya Caritamrita)

“The jivas adverse to Bhagavan Sri Krishna are bewildered and full of fear due to misidentifying with their temporary material bodies because of absorption in Krishna’s maya i.e. the external, illusory energy. Therefore, an intelligent person, after accepting Sri Guru as his master and very self (guru devatātmā), must worship Parameshvara Bhagavan Sri Krishna with one-pointed devotion (aikantiki bhakti).”

Tika Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: “Krishna bhaktas should not fear bondage in saṁsāra because as soon as one starts bhakti bhajana fear is naturally destroyed. Non-devotees, however, will always be bound by fear and samsara because they falsely identify with their material body and senses.

“Sri Brahmaji says, ’O Krishna! Until people become Your devotees, their material attachments and desires are thieves, their homes are prisons, and their affectionate feelings for their family members are iron chains binding their feet.’ (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.36)

“That fear of saṁsāra takes two forms: foolishness and forgetfulness. Foolishness means thinking, “I am this body, bas!” And forgetfulness means not knowing or forgetting one is actually an eternal spiritual being, a jivatma.

“The forgetful ones never ask questions concerning their past or future. They never ask, “Who am I? What should I do? What was I before? What will I be after?” The word ataḥ in line one of this verse means that the wise, after gaining intelligence by the mercy of Gurudeva’s lotus feet, should fully worship (bhajet) Bhagavan Sri Krishna with pure bhakti devoid of other desires and devoid of karma or jñāna. Such a wise soul considers Sri Guru to be as dear as Bhagavan Sri Krishna and as dear as the self. “

3. Sri Krishna Appears Before Our Eyes as Sri Guru and Internally as the Paramatma, Antaryami

naivopayanty apacitiṁ kavayas taveśa, brahmāyuṣāpi kṛtam ṛddha-mudaḥ smarantaḥ
yo ’ntar bahis tanu-bhṛtām aśubhaṁ vidhunvann, ācārya-caittya-vapuṣā sva-gatiṁ vyanakti
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.6

“Sri Uddhava said, ‘O Parameshvara Sri Krishna! Intelligent devotees attain the pinnacle of bliss whenever they remember all that You have done for them. And even if they had the lifespan of Sri Brahmaji, they could never pay off their debt to You. For You so kindly appear in two features—externally as the acharya Sri Guru and internally as Paramātma (Antaryami)—to destroy their misfortune and show the way to You [Krishna prema].”

Tika Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: “To this Sri Krishna replies, ‘O Uddhavaji! Because I give all benedictions only to persons who worship Me, such bestowals are not unconditional. Rather they are conditional.’

Uddhava: ‘Hey Bhagavan! This is not so. Whatever worship the devotees perform is actually given by You alone. You are the supreme unconditional giver of benedictions. People can never repay their debt even by serving You for thousands of Brahmā’s lifetimes.

‘When Your devotees remember what You have done for them, their bliss increases. What have you done? You appear externally as the mantra-guru and śikṣā-guru to give them mantra diksha and bhakti shiksha. And You appear internally as Paramātmā to give them the intelligence to attain You, dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te. (Bhagavad Gita 10.10).

‘And it is You alone that make Your devotees worship You, and You reveal to them the goal of becoming Your eternal loving associate.’”

4. Qualifications of Real Disciple

amāny amatsaro dakṣo nirmamo dṛḍha-sauhṛdaḥ
asatvaro ’rtha-jijñāsur anasūyur amogha-vāk
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10.6

“A disciple of the Guru should be free from false pride and never consider him/herself to be the doer. The disciple should be active, expert, never lazy, and free from the false conception of “I and mine.” The disciple should have feelings of loving friendship toward Sri Guru, and be patient in attaining the goal, without becoming overwhelmed by material passion. The disciple must eagerly inquire about the Absolute Truth, be free from envy, and always avoid useless talk.”

Tika Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: “The true disciple should be devoid of possessiveness (nimamaḥ), and have firm affection Sri Guru and Sri Krishna. The disciple should not be hasty [madly passionate] in attaining his desired goal (asatvaraḥ) of Krishna prema.”

Sri Guru tattva ki jai! Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

 

Please also see other articles from “Beautiful Truths of Bhagavata”  002, 003, 004, 005, 006.

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!

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

* Sri Krishna is the Main Topic of Bhagavatam

janmad -yasya –yaton -vayad –itaratash, carthesh -vabhigyah –svarat
-tene -brahma –hrda -ya –adi –kavaye, -muhyanti -yat -surayah
tejo -vari-mrdam -yatha -vinimayo, -yatra -tri-sargo ’mrsha,
dhamna -svena -sada -nirasta-kuhakam, -satyam param dhimahi (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1/Caitanya Caritamrita, 3 times)

“One should meditate upon the Supreme Truth, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, as the source of all manifestations. Krishna is both present in and aloof from everything in existence. Krishna is completely independent and omniscient. Krishna manifested the wisdom of Veda in the heart of Brahma, the primeval rishi. Just as sun’s rays are mistaken for water (in a mirage), Krishna deludes the greatest devatas by making the temporarily manifest material world seem real. Sri Krishna Himself, however, is forever free from all illusion because Krishna eternally exists in the divine realm.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1)

BBT Tika of Srila Prabhupada:

“Acharyas like Sri Jiva Goswami, Sri Sanatana Goswami, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada and Vallabhacharya made elaborate commentaries on Bhagavatam. Serious students should go through them to better relish the transcendental messages.”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: PLEASE NOTE how in the very beginning of Bhagavatam, published in 1962, Srila Prabhupada directs his disciples to study the tikas of both the Gaudiya and Vallabha Sampradayas. Srila Prabhupada is not only appreciating other great Vaisnavas, “in print” he is ordering his disciples to study their sacred words. One may wonder if such a broad-minded, devotional attitude still prevails.

Srila Prabhupada continues: “[In his tika on this verse] Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada explains that the very first word of the Srimad Bhagavatam “janmaady” indicates the “adi-rasa”, the madhurya-rasa (divine amorous love) found in the transcendental realm of Goloka Vrndavana. In modern civilization, amorous enjoyment is the focal point for all activities.

“However, its real and true form is only experienced in the spiritual world in the Absolute Truth. Without knowing about the actual spiritual form of amorous pleasure, everyone has accepted its material counterpart as the all in all. This Srimad Bhagavatam will gradually elevate the reader to the highest perfectional stage of transcendence.”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: Srila Prabhupada ki jai! What an amazing, straight to the point commentary by His Divine Grace! Sitting in the shade of the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Jiva Goswami in Seva Kunj, Srila Prabhupada, with the blessings of Sri Sri Radha Damodar Jiu, translated and commented on the First Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam from 1959-1964.

Like all Gaudiya acharyas, Srila Prabhupada knows that the whole purpose of the 18,000 verse Bhagavatam is to reveal the eternal truth and glories of Srimati Radharani’s nirmal –vishuddha -vraja –prema and madhurya-rati for Rasikashekar Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Forever we remain grateful to Srila Prabhupada for teaching us through his KRSNA BOOK, Nectar of Devotion, Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, and this opening verse of Srimad Bhagavatam that the goal of human life is to attain the “adi-rasa” (janmaady yasya), which means the eternal prema seva of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in Vrndavana.

“Jaya Radha Madhava, Kunja Bihari, Gopijanavallabha, Girivaradhari” ki jai!

Indeed, true to their beautiful rasika drshti kon, angle of vision, our Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas show how the Bhagavatam starts off with a BANG!

Radha-Govinda Yugala’s divine madhura-rati, the “adi-rasa”, and Their eternally blissful Vraja nikunja-lilas are indicated in the very FIRST WORD OF THE BHAGAVATAM!

Out of his infinite kindness, Srila Prabhupada in his very first commentary on the Bhagavatam has revealed to the sensitive reader the real rasik essence of the Bhagavata which proclaims the supreme position of Radha-Govinda Yugala and Their uniquely blissful “adi-rasa” in Vraja Dhama!

Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Adi-rasa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

There is an amazing relationship between the destruction of karma in bhakti bhajan, and the first six children of Mother Devaki who were brutally murdered at birth by the asuric King Kamsa.

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada explains:

“First, I want to ask, ‘how is it possible that before the advent of Balarama and Devakinandan Sri Krishna, that six material children appeared in the divine womb of Bhagavan’s mother Devaki, who is Sri Krishna’s internal spiritual energy, chit -shakti?’

“The answer is that just as unlimited material universes exist within Sri Krishna without affecting or contaminating Him, mat-sthāni -sarva-bhūtāni, na -cāhaṁ -teṣv -avasthitaḥ (Bhagavat Gita 9.4); similarly, six material children could exist within Devaki without contaminating her.

“The conjunction of material and spiritual in Krishna’s pastimes is there to illustrate the methodical nature of bhakti. While devotees perform sadhana -bhakti in the form of hearing and chanting about Krishna, they also enjoy the six material sense objects (form, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought) which is a secondary effect of bhakti.

But at the time of “enjoying” these objects, the devotee cries out pitifully, ‘O Krishna! Because of this enjoyment I will fall into the dark well of material existence. Please help me!’

“When a devotee repents like this and shows fear of material enjoyment, gradually the tendency to enjoy matter subsides. Then pure bhakti in the form of hearing and chanting Krishna’s names, glorifying His transcendental forms, qualities and pastimes, and serving Sri Hari in various ways becomes prominent.

“Finally, Sri Krishna Himself, the ocean of all wonderful, transcendent beautiful forms and qualities, will appear within the devotee just as He did with His devotee Devakimata.

“By nature, bhakti is shuddha-sattva, pure goodness, and thus it can directly manifest Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The Sruti says: bhaktir evainam darshayati, “Devotion makes Krishna give His darshan.”

“As it is said in the lila of Krishna’s advent that Marici (a bygone demon) appeared from the mind, Marici can be considered the incarnation of the mind. And Marici’s six children (who appeared in Devaki’s womb) represent the six objects of the senses: sound, touch, form, taste, smell, and thought.

Since Devaki possesses the power to make Bhagavan Sri Krishna appear, she can be considered the incarnation of bhakti. Kamsa can be considered the incarnation of fear, as it is often said “out of fear of Kamsa.”

Just as fear of the material world removes the six sense objects from the womb of bhakti, so Kamsa destroyed the six children of Devaki. Krishna-prema, which is characterized by intense service to Sri Krishna, necessarily appears in the womb of bhakti after the desire for sense objects is extinguished.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.8, Sarartha Darshini tika), Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada ki jai!

Thus concludes part of one of our new series discussing bhakti, karma and falldown in spiritual life. Subsequent posts will answer questions like, “Is repentance part of bhakti?” “Are devotees suffering due to their karma?” “Why do devotees fall down from the all-purifying and blissful path of devotional bhajan?” “Who’s arranging a devotee’s life, one’s self, one’s karma, or is it all Krishna’s personal will and jurisdiction?”

Srimad Bhagavatam Maha Purana ki jai! Gaudiya Vaisnava rasik janas ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Jai Jai Sri Shyam! Jai Jai Sri Vrndavana Dhama!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srimad Bhagavatam is called the “king of all spiritual books” (Grantha Raja) for good reason. Within this triguna-free, immaculate and divine spiritual shastra, the amala-purana, one will 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 all the teachings of the six Goswamis of Vrindavana by quoting the key Bhagavatam verses which the Goswamis themselves used to prove and substantiate these beautiful truths.

To highlight its importance for all devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-GovindaYugala, the same Bhagavatam verse is often quoted three or more times in Caitanya Caritamrita.

With the grace of Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, this series will focus on these super important Bhagavatam verses and commentaries in order to present the beautiful truths or tattvas of Gaudiya Vaisnavism i.e. Sri Krishna, Sri Radha, Bhakti Sadhana, Sri Harinama, Krishna Prema, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas.

Beautiful Truths

THE VAISNAVAS

* Devotees Are Superior to Brahmins
viprād -dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād,-aravinda-nābha,
pādāravinda-vimukhāt-śva, pacaṁ-variṣṭham
manye -tad-arpita-mano,-vacane-hitārtha-
prāṇaṁ-punāti-sa-kulaṁ,- natu-bhūrimānaḥ (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.10)
Sri Prahlada said, I consider a dog-eater who has dedicated everything—his mind, words, activities, wealth and life—to Bhagavan Sri Krishna superior to a brāhmaṇa having all the twelve qualities of brahmin averse to Bhagavan. The dog-eater purifies his whole family, whereas the so-called respectable person does not.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartitika: One should consider the absence or presence of bhakti. The dog-eater who has offered his mind, actions (īhitam), wealth (artha), words and life to Sri Krishna is far superior to a born brahmin endowed with the good qualities of knowledge, mind and sense control, shyness, tolerance, lack of envy, determination and peace.
How is the dog-eater devotee superior? He purifies his whole family whereas a venerable Brahmin without Krishna bhakti cannot purify himself, what to speak of his family.

* Devotee Helps Others
etāvaj-janma-sāphalyaṁ, dehinām-iha-dehiṣu,
prāṇair-arthair-dhiyā-vācā, śreya-ācaraṇaṁ-sadā (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.35)
It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with one’s life, wealth, intelligence and words.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Words means giving good instructions to free one from samsara.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti tika: One should use one’s life to serve others.

* A Nama Sadhaka Is Topmost
aho-bata-śva-paco, ’to garīyān,
yaj-jihvāgre- vartate,- nāma-tubhyam
tepus -tapas –te,- juhuvuḥ -sasnurāryā,
brahmānūcur-nāma, gṛṇanti -ye -te   (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.33.7)
How astonishing! The outcaste who chants Your name with even the tip of his tongue becomes a guru (gariyan)! All those who chant your name are most respectable, and they have already performed all types of austerities, yagyas, sacrifices, bathing (tirtha-snanas) and Vedic study (brahma-anucuh.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartitika: This is most astonishing (aho-bata)! The outcaste who chants just one name of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the best guru (gariyān). He becomes a qualified diksha guru empowered to teach and give mantra to others.

Srila Prabhupada tika: If one has the pure mentality of only chanting the holy name to please Bhagavan Sri Krishna, then even a low born person is purified and quite competent to deliver others (as Guru), even though he or she was born in a family not following Vedic rules and regulations.

* The Perfect Devotee King
sa –vai- manaḥ- kṛṣṇa, -padāravindayor,
vacāṁsi-vaikuṇṭha,-guṇā-nuvarṇane
karau- harer- mandira,-mārjanādiṣu,
śrutiṁ- cakārācyuta, -sat-kathodaye

mukunda-liṅgālaya,-darśanedṛśau,
tad-bhṛtya-gātra, -sparśe -’ṅga-saṅgamam
ghrāṇaṁ -ca -tat-pāda,-saroja-saurabhe,
śrīmat-tulasyā,- rasanāṁ -tad-arpite

pādau–hareḥ-kṣetra, -padānu-sarpaṇe,
śiro-hṛṣīkeśa,-padābhivandane
kāmaṁ -ca- dāsyen,-atukāma-kāmyayā,
yathottama-śloka, -janāśray-āratiḥ (Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.18-20)

King Ambarisha attained bhava or love for Bhagavan by using his mind, senses and whole body in favorably serving Bhagavan Sri Krishna by meditating upon Krishna’s lotus feet, glorifying Bhagavan Sri Krishna, cleaning Hari’s mandira, hearing Sri Acyuta -katha, taking Thakuraji -Mukunda’s- darshana, visiting Sri Hari’s lila-sthalis like Mathurā and Vṛndāvana.

Touching and embracing Vaisnavas, smelling Thakuraji’s maha oil perfumes and flowers, tasting Sri Krishna’s maha-tulasi, bowing down to Sri Hrshikesh and His bhaktas, and by engaging all his desires in selflessly serving Bhagavan Sri Krishna under the shelter of loving devotees fully attached glorifying Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartitika: These verses describe the kings’ sādhana for attaining Krishna prema. King Ambarish performed all these wonderful devotional acts with the sole desire to attain love divine devoid of material desire as seen in Prahlāda and other pure Vaisnavas.

Srila Prabhupada: This verse shows that IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO TRAIN ONESELF without guidance from the spiritual master. The first business of a devotee is to accept a bona fide spiritual master who can train him to engage his various senses in rendering transcendental service to Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Vaisnava Tattva ki jai! Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

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!