Srila Prabhupada lived and breathed the Bhagavatam. And out of his love and compassion, he distributed its nectarean teachings throughout the world.
His Divine Grace spent the last fifteen years of his life translating, writing commentaries, and constantly speaking on the most fulfilling philosophy of the Bhagavatam. In the middle of the night at 1 a.m., Srila Prabhupada would rise and start translating the Sanskrit slokas of the Bhagavatam into English. Then he would write his commentaries after consulting the comments of Sridhara Swami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami and Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
Srila Prabhupada introduced daily Sanskrit verse recitation and classes on the Srimad Bhagavatam in each of the 108 Radha-Krishna temples he established. At any time of the day in some country around the globe, Krishna devotees are sitting together in some ISKCON temple to hear the Bhagavata philosophy in their local languages of English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Japanese, Chinese, Swahili, Telegu and many others. ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta Book Trust has published and distributed millions of copies of Srimad Bhagavatam in over fifty languages to benefit the world.
Srila Rupa Gosvami says hearing the Bhagavatam (bhagavata-sravana) is one limb of panca-anga bhakti, the five most powerful means of attaining Krishna-prema. Realizing this, Srila Prabhupada published the KRSNA book, a translation and commentary on the entire Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, as one of his first books in 1969.
Indeed, Srila Prabhupada was so fond of the Tenth Canto that he instituted the daily reading of his KRSNA book in every ISKCON temple. Each night before sleeping, all the ashram devotees would sit together, honor hot milk prasadam and listen to the KRSNA book.
O what joy! And what satisfaction we all felt just by hearing the action-packed tales of Sri Krishna, the sweet Lord of Vrndavana! Afterwards, everyone would fall asleep and have happy dreams, the sweetest dreams in creation.
Srila Prabhupada introduced such a simple and sublime formula for attaining spiritual perfection. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to KRSNA book!
In the Preface to KRSNA book, Srila Prabhupada writes, “We therefore request everyone to take advantage of this great transcendental literary work. One will find that by reading one page after another, an immense treasure of knowledge in art, science, literature, philosophy and religion will be revealed, and ultimately, by reading this one book, KRSNA, love of Godhead will fructify.”
Good fortune brought a KRSNA book into my hands in 1974, and it was love at first reading. The pastimes of Radha-Krishna purely presented Prabhupada melted our hearts and attracted our wayward minds to the peerless path of bhakti. Enchanted by this transcendental prankster named Krishna, we innocently began a relationship with Krishna through the pages of the Tenth Canto.
Little did we know that forty years later we would still be following that beautiful blue boy and His glorious golden girlfriend, and worshiping that Divine Couple and Their eternal pastimes so beautifully portrayed in the Tenth Canto. We simply cannot read enough about Radha-Krishna. All other topics, hackneyed news and books seem pale and unattractive compared to the colorful emotional panorama of Krishna’s variegated lilas portrayed in the Bhagavata.
The Tenth Canto is one big gushing fountain of sweet nectar that spins the mind and sends the heart on wings to the lotus feet of Radha-Syama. Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai!
Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada wrote commentaries on the entire Srimad Bhagavatam which he titled “Sarartha Darshini”, which means to see (darshana) the essential (sara) object (artha). It also means to understand and realize the essence of everything, namely Sri Krishna, His loving service and the attainment of Krishna’s eternal, blissful abode named Sri Vrindavana.
The Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana describes Sarartha Darshini: “This book reveals the most confidential meanings of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and gives immense pleasure to the Vaisnavas. With unparalleled genius, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura imparts a deep understanding of the sweet mellows of shuddha bhakti.
“In his commentaries, Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada reveals his own internal mood and how to extract the sublime mellows of the Bhagavata. It is my [Sri Haridas Dasji] conviction that of the 130 different tikas on the Srimad Bhagavatam, those of Sri Sanatana Gosvami and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura are the best!”
In the following passage, Srila Prabhupada mentions the incredible benefit one will receive by reading Krishna’s pastimes in the Tenth Canto. Surely anyone who reads Sarartha Darshini will also attain the same wonderful result. Srila Prabhupada: “Krishna pastimes are so powerful that simply by hearing, reading and memorizing this book, KRSNA, one is sure to be transferred to the spiritual world!“ (KRSNA ch. 90)
O devotees, please read more about Radha-Krishna, remember more and tell others. Get absorbed and go crazy over Krishna katha! May everyone become completely attached to Radha-Syama, and enter the eternally blissful abode of madhurya-lila—VRINDAVANA!
Grantha Raja Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai!
Krishna’s Smiling Face Tenth Canto ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!