Glories of Srimad Bhagwatam

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Unlike the experience that we have in this material creation where a difference exists between the name, form, activities and so forth of the living entities; in the spiritual realm, which is completely apart from the gross and subtle coverings of the material nature, the name, forms, qualities and pastimes of the Lord and his associates are on the absolute plan such that there is no difference between the name and the possessor of the name and the activities performed by that personality. Although inconceivable for the tiny intelligence of the human beings, this is the truth in the spiritual world. It is also a fact that when the Lord appears in the material world, in any of his numerous manifestations, he remains forever untouched by the modes of material nature and situated in his supreme transcendental position, with his divine activities being conducted with the assistance of his yogamaya or internal potency even though externally they may seem to be under the external energy of the Lord.

One such divine manifestation of the Lord is the Srimad Bahgwatam. Full with descriptions of the various wondrous pastimes of the Lord and his devotees and the instructions of the Lord, this great literature, is a direct manifestation of Sri Krishna, mercifully present before us for the benefit of one and all.

Although all the Vedas are meant to realise the Supreme absolute truth and to understand loving devotional service to be the ultimate goal of life, yet they do not disclose this directly and rather give elaborate descriptions about dharma, artha, kaam and moksha. It was for this reason that even though he had composed the Vedas, the upanishads, puranas, mahabharat and various other branches of the Vedas, Srila Vyas dev, who is himself the incarnation of the Lord, did not feel satisfaction in his heart. Not being able to ascertain the reason for his dissatisfaction, he enquired from his spiritual master Srila Narad Muni, who then instructed him to write about the glories and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Thereafter, the Srimad Bhagwatam was written by Srila Vyas dev, although it is eternally existent being non different from the Lord himself, and it had first been taught in this material world to Brahmaji by the Lord himself in four nutshell verses known as the Chatuh shloki Bhagwatam. Upon thus describing the transcendental activities of the Lord and his devotees for the benefit of one and all, Srila Vyas dev felt fully satisfied and thus it has been mentioned in the Srimad Bhagwatam:

nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayam
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ

O expert and thoughtful men, relish Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.

This Srimad Bhagwatam is the mature fruit of the desire tree of the Vedas for it gives the highest understanding of transcendental love for the Lord. The entire Bhagwatam is composed of stories of the loving relations between the Lord and his various devotees in all the different rasas or mellows, culminating ultimately in the love of the Gopis as described in the tenth canto. The super excellent position of Srimad Bhagwatam has been established by Sri Chaitnaya Mahaprabhu himself as stated in the Sri Chaitanya matta manjusha composed by Srila Vishwanath Chakrawarty thakur:

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam
ramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhu-vargena va kalpita
srimad bhagavatam pramanam amalam prema pum-artho mahan
sri-caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is worshipped along with His transcendental abode Vrndavana. The most pleasing form of worship for the Lord is that which was performed by the gopis of Vrndavana. Srimad Bhagavatam is the spotless authority on everything and pure love of Godhead is the ultimate goal of life for all men. These statements, for which we have the highest regard, are the opinion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srimad Bhagwatam is Amala Puran, the spotless literature, for it is the incarnation of Sri Krishna himself. When parikshit maharaj, after having heard of his imminent death, gave up his kingdom and went to the banks of the ganges to fast, he enquired form the assembled great personalities about the duty of one who is about to leave the body. In that assembly there were many great sages who were of different opinions but when they saw Srila Suka dev goswami enter that assembly, they all got up respectfully and offered him obeisances, thus unanimously accepting him as the most qualified authority to answer the questions of the King. The King then welcomed the great sage Srila Suka dev goswami and enquired from him about the duty of one who is about to leave. Srila Suka dev goswami then elaborately explained how concentrating one’s mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the only duty of each and every living entity, regardless of whether the jiva is to leave the body now or after a long period of time. What ensued thereafter at the banks of the ganges was a transcendental dialogue between two great personalities, in which Srila Suka dev Goswami narrated the Srimad Bhagwatam to Srila Parikshit Maharaj in the seven days leading up to his departure from this world.

This blessed discussion commenced on the Shukla navami tithi in the month of Bhadrapad and ended on the Purnima tithi in the same month, which was yesterday. It was the first Bhagwat Saptah and Srila Suka dev goswami the first one to narrate Srimad Bhagwatam to Srila Parikshit maharaj in this way. Although there are many speakers on the Srimad Bhagwatam in today’s day and time and many Bhagwat Saptahs, it is essential to make sure that the spirit of Bhagwatam is kept the same as it was when Srila Suka dev goswami spoke and Srila Parikshit Maharaj heard him. Srila Parikshit maharaj, the main listener, had relinquished all bodily comforts, food, water and sleep and was listening with great faith and devotion. On the other hand, the speaker Srila Suka dev goswami was completely detached, not even caring to wear a piece of cloth to cover himself. He was completely immersed in transcendental love of Godhead and was well versed in all the scriptures. The discussions on the topics of the Lord continued for seven days and nights without any pause, and at the end Srila Parikshit Maharaj ascended to the Spiritual World. Therefore, in order to get the complete benefit of studying the Srimad Bhagwatam, one must do so under the guidance of a Spiritual master as qualified as Sri Suka dev Goswami and one must himself be as sincere and faithful as Parikshit Mahraj, and if all these prerequisites are met, it is guaranteed that one shall achieve the ultimate goal of Life by giving aural reception to the best of all literatures Srimad Bhagwatma.