Chapter 3_Bhagavatam

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Chapter 3_Bhagavatam

  1. 1. Ch.3 Bhagavatam Answers to the First Questions
  2. 2. <ul><li>In text 2.11, the one Absolute Truth (jnanam advayam) was categorized according to an ascending order of realization as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman , Paramātmā or Bhagavān .” (1.2.11) </li></ul><ul><li>In 1.2.28-29 it is explained by Suta Gosvami that the Bhagavan feature, Vasudeva Krishna, is to be known by all the Vedas. </li></ul><ul><li>Realization of the Personality of the Absolute is complete realization of the Absolute. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Outline of Chapter 3 <ul><li>1-5: Describing in further Detail the Three Purusas </li></ul><ul><li>6-27: Naming and describing 22 Avataras; answering the fourth and fifth questions. </li></ul><ul><li>28: Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead </li></ul><ul><li>29: The Phala-Sruti-the Fruit of hearing about these incarnation </li></ul>
  4. 4. Chapter 3 Outline Cont… <ul><li>30-39: Progressing from Matter Upward to Brahman, Paramatma, and finally Bhagavan </li></ul><ul><li>30-31: A start-Seeing Spirit in Matter </li></ul><ul><li>32-34: Seeing All as Spirit </li></ul><ul><li>35-39: Knowing Paramatma and Bhagavan </li></ul><ul><li>40-44: Glorification of Srimad Bhagavatam; Suta Gosvami answer 6 th question </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ One who is factually convinced of this opulence and mystic power of Mine engages in unalloyed devotional service; of this there is no doubt.” BG 10.7 </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>“ The highest summit of spiritual perfection is knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unless one is firmly convinced of the different opulence's of the Supreme Lord, he cannot engage in devotional service. Generally people know that God is great, but they do not know in detail how God is great… All this particular knowledge is required in order to increase one's interest in the loving devotional service of the Lord. One should not neglect to understand fully how great Kṛṣṇa is, for by knowing the greatness of Kṛṣṇa one will be able to be fixed in sincere devotional service. ” Purport BG 10.7 </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Avatars <ul><li>The word 'avatara' means 'one who descends' (from Sanskrit avatarati ) and in this case the word specifically refers to one who descends from the spiritual sky. </li></ul><ul><li>There are six kinds of incarnations: (1) the purusa-avataras, (2) the lila-avataras, (3) the guna-avataras, (4) the manvantara-avataras, (5) the yuga-avataras, and (6) the saktyavesa-avataras. </li></ul>
  8. 8. 1.3.1-5 (The Purusa Avatars)
  9. 10. The Maha-Vishnu <ul><li>MAHA VISNU lies on the Causal Ocean which appears in one corner of the spiritual world. He manifests the mahat tattva (or the sum total of material energy). It is into this mahat tattva that He exhales all of the seedlike universes through the pores of His skin. These seedlike universes then expand as the different material elements form coverings around them. Each of the coverings is ten times thicker than the previous covering and form a shell-like covering. When Maha Visnu impregnates the living entities by His glance into the material nature it begins to manifest its various energies. </li></ul>
  10. 12. The Garbhodakasayi Vishnu <ul><li>When the universes have thus developed in the womb of material nature, Maha Visnu expands as GARBHODAKASAYI VISNU, Who enters into each universe with the living entities of that particular universe and thus activates each universe by His presence. He lies down on Ananta Sesa who lies on the Garbha ocean, which is the perspiration from the Lord's body and half fills the universe. From His navel comes a lotus bud which is the total form of the living entities' fruitive activity. The lotus grows dissipating the darkness of the universe. </li></ul>
  11. 13. <ul><li>On top of the lotus Brahma, the first living being appears. Situated on the lotus, Brahma could not understand anything. He began entering the stem and climbed down to find its origin. Not finding anything, Brahma again returned to the top of the lotus where he heard the word ta-pa (austerity). Hearing the sound Brahma underwent penance for one thousand celestial years; (6x30x12x1000 earthly years). Being very pleased with Brahma's tapasya, the Lord manifested the Vaikuntha planets to him. Seeing Vaikuntha, Brahma became very happy and bowed to the Lord. Being very pleased with Brahma the Lord shakes his hand and reveals how to create the universe. </li></ul>
  12. 16. Ksirodakasayi Vishnu <ul><li>To maintain the universe Garbhodakasayi Visnu expands as KSIRODAKASAYI VISNU, Who is the all-pervading Supersoul (Paramatma). By His entering into every atom He maintains the whole universe. His abode is Svetadvipa, an island in the ocean of milk. </li></ul>
  13. 17. Functions of the Supersoul <ul><li>There are two birds living inside the tree. One bird is trying to enjoy the fruits of the tree while the other bird is just witnessing his friend. The tree represents the material body and it has two primary conscious entities existing there. One is the individual soul who is trying to enjoy the material world (the fruits of the tree); the other is the Supersoul who is witnessing the activities of the soul. </li></ul>
  14. 18. Functions of the Supersoul cont… <ul><li>The Supersoul is something like an interface between matter and spirit. The soul has no independent power to make things happen; meaning we can't at will just make something happen. We are depending on so many factors is it not? Basically all the soul can do is desire. The Supersoul (the witness) sanctions the desire and material nature supplies it. Therefore, although we are not aware of all the desires we have had in this life and previous ones, the supersoul is very much aware, and sanctions those desire in combination with our karma (what we deserve). </li></ul>
  15. 19. Functions of the Supersoul cont… <ul><li>&quot;The sun, fire, sky, air, demigods, moon, evening, day, night, directions, water, land and Supersoul Himself all witness the activities of the living entity.&quot; Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.42 </li></ul>
  16. 20. <ul><li>&quot;The members of some religious sects, especially Christians, do not believe in the reactions of karma . We once had a discussion with a learned Christian professor who argued that although people are generally punished after the witnesses of their misdeeds are examined, where are the witnesses responsible for one's suffering the reactions of past karma ? To such a person the answer by the Yamadūtas is given here. A conditioned soul thinks that he is working stealthily and that no one can see his sinful activities, but we can understand from the śāstras that there are many witnesses, including the sun, fire, sky, air, moon, demigods, evening, day, night, directions, water, land and the Supersoul Himself, who sits with the individual soul within his heart. Where is the dearth of witnesses? The witnesses and the Supreme Lord both exist, and therefore so many living entities are elevated to higher planetary systems or degraded to lower planetary systems, including the hellish planets [according to their karma].&quot;purport to 6.1.42 </li></ul>
  17. 21. Functions of the Supersoul cont… <ul><li>&quot;I am situated in everyone's heart as the Supersoul and from me comes remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness.&quot; Gita 15.15 </li></ul>
  18. 22. <ul><li>&quot;The Supreme Lord is situated as Paramatma in everyone's heart, and it is from Him that all activities are initiated. The living entity forgets everything of his past life, but he has to act according to the direction of the Supreme Lord, who is witness to all his work. Therefore he begins his work according to his past deeds. Required knowledge is supplied to him, and remembrance is given to him, and he forgets, also, about his past life. Thus, the Lord is not only all-pervading; He is also localized in every individual heart. He awards the different fruitive results.&quot; purpot to Gita 15.15 </li></ul>
  19. 23. Functions of the Supersoul cont… <ul><li>&quot;The Supreme Lord is situated in everyones's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wandering of all living entities who are seated as on a machine made of the material energy.&quot; 18.61 </li></ul>
  20. 24. <ul><li>&quot;The Supreme Personality of Godhead, or He Himself, Krsna, the localized Supersoul, sits in the heart directing the living being. After changing bodies, the living entity forgets his past deeds, but the Supersoul, as the knower of the past, present and future, remains the witness of all his activities. Therefore all the activities of living entities are directed by this Supersoul. The living entity gets what he deserves and is carried by the material body which is created in the material energy under the direction of the Supersoul.&quot; purport 18.61 </li></ul>
  21. 25. Functions of the Supersoul… <ul><li>&quot;Being the Absolute Personality of Godhead, He is present in everyone's heart. He is equally kind to everyone.&quot; 1.9.21 He is Paramātmā , or the Supersoul, present in everyone as the supreme guidance, and therefore He is already the chariot driver and counsel of all living beings. When He, therefore, exhibits Himself as chariot driver of Arjuna , there is no change in His exalted position. </li></ul>
  22. 26. What happens to the Supersoul at the time of Liberation of the soul? <ul><li>The Supreme Lord, in His localized aspect of Paramātmā , is also described in the Vedas themselves. The following verse appears in the Vedas (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.12.3 ): tāvad eṣa samprasādo 'smāc charīrāt samutthāya param ́ jyoti - rūpam ́ sampadya svena rūpeṇābhiniṣpadyate sa uttamah ̣ puruṣah ̣ . &quot;The Supersoul coming out of the body enters the impersonal brahmajyoti; then in His form He remains in His spiritual identity. That Supreme is called the Supreme Personality.&quot; Gita 15.18 </li></ul>
  23. 27. Naming and Describing 22 Avataras Answering the fourth and firth questions of the Sages
  24. 28. The Kumaras
  25. 29. Varahadeva
  26. 30. Narada Muni
  27. 31. Nara-Narayan Rsi
  28. 32. Lord Kapiladeva
  29. 33. Dattatreya Muni
  30. 34. King Rsabhadeva
  31. 35. King Prthu Maharaj
  32. 36. Matsyadeva
  33. 37. Kurma-Avatar
  34. 38. Dhavantari
  35. 39. Mohini-Murti
  36. 40. Nrsimhadeva
  37. 41. Vamanadeva
  38. 42. Parasurama
  39. 43. Vyasadeva
  40. 44. Lord Rama
  41. 45. Balaram Krishna
  42. 46. Buddha
  43. 47. Kalki
  44. 48. Innumerable Incarnations <ul><li>“ O brāhmaṇas, the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable, like rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water.” 1.2.26 </li></ul><ul><li>“ All the ṛṣis, Manus, demigods and descendants of Manu , who are especially powerful, are plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord. This also includes the Prajāpatis.” 1.2.27 ; </li></ul><ul><li>“ Those who are comparatively less powerful are called vibhūti , and those who are comparatively more powerful are called āveśa incarnations. </li></ul>
  45. 49. Krishna The Source of All Incarnations The Relationship of Krishna to the other Avatars and Krishna’s Superlative Position
  46. 50. Krishna: Source of All Incarnations <ul><li>“ All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.” 1.2.28 </li></ul>
  47. 51. Rasaraj: The King of Rasa <ul><li>“ Though the forms of Vishnu and Krishna are non-different according to the statements of the scripture, Krishna’s form is shown to be superior because of His rasas, which are endowed with the highest type of prema. The very nature of His rasas shows Krishna’s form to be superior.” Bhakti-Rasamrita-Sindhu 1.2.59 </li></ul>
  48. 53. Krishna Form: Highest Form of Rasa <ul><li>“ So all the different incarnations of the Lord indirectly or directly manifested different features, but Lord Kṛṣṇa , the primeval Lord, exhibited the complete features of Godhead, and thus it is confirmed that He is the source of all other incarnations. And the most extraordinary feature exhibited by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was His internal energetic manifestation of His pastimes with the cowherd girls. His pastimes with the gopīs are all displays of transcendental existence, bliss and knowledge, although these are manifested apparently as sex love. The specific attraction of His pastimes with the gopīs should never be misunderstood. The Bhāgavatam relates these transcendental pastimes in the Tenth Canto. And in order to reach the position to understand the transcendental nature of Lord Kṛṣṇa 's pastimes with the gopīs, the Bhāgavatam promotes the student gradually in nine other cantos.” prpt. 1.3.28 </li></ul>
  49. 56. Krishna Possess All Qualities in Full <ul><li>(1) beautiful features of the entire body; (2) marked with all auspicious characteristics; (3) extremely pleasing; (4) effulgent; (5) strong; (6) ever youthful; (7) wonderful linguist; (8) truthful; (9) talks pleasingly; (10) fluent; (11) highly learned; (12) highly intelligent; (13) a genius; (14) artistic; (15) extremely clever; (16) expert; (17) grateful; (18) firmly determined; (19) an expert judge of time and circumstances; (20) sees and speaks on the authority of Vedas, or scriptures; (21) pure; (22) self-controlled; (23) steadfast; (24) forbearing; (25) forgiving; (26) grave; (27) self-satisfied; (28) possessing equilibrium; (29) magnanimous; (30) religious; (31) heroic; (32) compassionate; (33) respectful; (34) gentle; (35) liberal; (36) shy; (37) the protector of surrendered souls; (38) happy; (39) the well-wisher of devotees; (40) controlled by love; (41) all-auspicious; (42) most powerful; (43) all-famous; (44) popular; (45) partial to devotees; (46) very attractive to all women; (47) all-worshipable; (48) all-opulent; (49) all-honorable; (50) the supreme controller. (Jivas can possess these fifty in minute way). </li></ul>
  50. 57. Krishna Possess All Qualities in Full <ul><li>Besides all of the above-mentioned fifty qualities, Lord Kṛṣṇa possesses five more, which are sometimes partially manifested in the persons of Lord Brahmā or Lord Śiva . These transcendental qualities are as follows: (51) changeless; (52) all-cognizant; (53) ever fresh; (54) sac-cid- ānanda (possessing an eternal blissful body); (55) possessing all mystic perfections. </li></ul>
  51. 58. Krishna Possess All Qualities in Full <ul><li>Kṛṣṇa also possesses five other qualities, which are manifest in the body of Nārāyaṇa , and they are listed as follows. (56) He has inconceivable potency. (57) Uncountable universes generate from His body. (58) He is the original source of all incarnations. (59) He is the giver of salvation to the enemies whom He kills. (60) He is the attractor of liberated souls. All these transcendental qualities are manifest wonderfully in the personal feature of Lord Kṛṣṇa . </li></ul>
  52. 59. Krishna Possess All Qualities in Full <ul><li>Besides these sixty transcendental qualities, Kṛṣṇa has four more, which are not manifest even in the Nārāyaṇa form of Godhead, what to speak of the demigods or living entities. They are as follows. (61) He is the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes (especially His childhood pastimes). (62) He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead. (63) He can attract all living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute. (64) He has a wonderful excellence of beauty which cannot be rivaled anywhere in the creation. </li></ul>
  53. 60. Phala-Sruti-Fruit of Hearing <ul><li>“Whoever carefully recites the mysterious appearances of the Lord, with devotion in the morning and in the evening, gets relief from all miseries of life.” 1.3.29 </li></ul>
  54. 61. First Steps in God Realization <ul><li>Text 30-39: Progressing from Matter-Upward to Brahman, Paramatma, and Finally Bhagavan </li></ul><ul><li>Text 30-31: A Start-Seeing Spirit in Matter </li></ul><ul><li>“ The conception of the virāt ̣ universal form of the Lord, as appearing in the material world, is imaginary. It is to enable the less intelligent [and neophytes] to adjust to the idea of the Lord's having form. But factually the Lord has no material form.” SB 1.3.30 </li></ul>
  55. 62. <ul><li>“ The conception of the Lord known as the viśva-rūpa or the virāṭ-rūpa is particularly not mentioned along with the various incarnations of the Lord because all the incarnations of the Lord mentioned above are transcendental and there is not a tinge of materialism in their bodies. There is no difference between the body and self as there is in the conditioned soul. The virāṭ-rūpa is conceived for those who are just neophyte worshipers.” Prpt. </li></ul>
  56. 63. <ul><li>Just as living entities identify with their material body so also the jivas imagine that Krishna has a material body. Both thoughts are products of illusion. Suta gives an example: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Clouds and dust are carried by the air, but less intelligent persons say that the sky is cloudy and the air is dirty. Similarly, they also implant material bodily conceptions on the spirit self.” SB 1.3.31 </li></ul>
  57. 64. Next Stage in God-Realization <ul><li>Text 32-34: Seeing All as Spirit </li></ul><ul><li>Suta now describes the next step in spiritual understanding: materialist to spiritual impersonalist. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Beyond this gross conception of form is another, subtle conception of form which is without formal shape and is unseen, unheard and unmanifest. The living being has his form beyond this subtlety, otherwise he could not have repeated births.” SB 13.32 </li></ul>
  58. 65. Higher Stages of Advancement <ul><li>“Whenever a person experiences, by self-realization, that both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the pure self, at that time he sees himself as well as the Lord.” SB 1.3.33 </li></ul><ul><li>“If the illusory energy subsides and the living entity becomes fully enriched with knowledge by the grace of the Lord, then he becomes at once enlightened with self-realization and thus becomes situated in his own glory.” SB 1.3.34 </li></ul>
  59. 66. Seeing the Internal in the “External” <ul><li>“ He can turn the external energy into internal by His will. Therefore by His grace the external energy, which is employed in illusioning those living beings who want to have it, subsides by the will of the Lord in terms of repentance and penance for the conditioned soul. And the very same energy then acts to help the purified living being make progress on the path of self-realization.” Prpt. to 1.3.33 </li></ul>
  60. 73. Knowing Paramatma and Bhagavan <ul><li>“ Thus learned men describe the births and activities of the unborn and inactive, which is undiscoverable even in the Vedic literatures. He is the Lord of the heart. The Lord, whose activities are always spotless, is the master of the six senses and is fully omnipotent with six opulences. He creates the manifested universes, maintains them and annihilates them without being in the least affected. He is within every living being and is always independent.” SB 1.3.35-36 </li></ul>
  61. 74. Realizing the Nature of Krishna <ul><li>“ One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” Gita 4.9 </li></ul>
  62. 75. Disqualification for this Knowledge <ul><li>“The foolish with a poor fund of knowledge cannot know the transcendental nature of the forms, names and activities of the Lord, who is playing like an actor in a drama. Nor can they express such things, neither in their speculations nor in their words.” SB 1.3.37 </li></ul>
  63. 76. Qualification for this Knowledge <ul><li>“ Only those who render unreserved, uninterrupted, favorable service unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa , who carries the wheel of the chariot in His hand, can know the creator of the universe in His full glory, power and transcendence.” SB 1.3.38 </li></ul>
  64. 77. “ To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.” Gita 10.10
  65. 78. Perfect Question/ Perfect Answers <ul><li>“ Only by making such inquiries in this world can one be successful and perfectly cognizant, for such inquiries invoke transcendental ecstatic love unto the Personality of Godhead, who is the proprietor of all the universes, and guarantee cent-percent immunity from the dreadful repetition of birth and death.” SB 1.3.39 </li></ul><ul><li>Suta glorifies the sages’ questions because they give rise to his speaking the Bhagavatam, which has so much spiritual potency. </li></ul><ul><li>Why is the Bhagavatam potent? </li></ul>
  66. 79. Glorification of Srimad-Bhagavatam Text 40-44 Suta Gosvami Answers Question Six
  67. 80. Bhagavatam is Krishna! <ul><li>“ This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful and all-perfect.” 1.3.40 </li></ul><ul><li>Bhagavata means “of Bhagavata” or “of the Lord” </li></ul><ul><li>There are two “of the Lord” the book and the person bhagavatas. </li></ul><ul><li>We benefit by associating with the book bhagavata by hearing it from the person bhagavata. </li></ul>
  68. 81. <ul><li>“ Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu declared that Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam is the spotless sound representation of all Vedic knowledge and history. There are selected histories of great devotees who are in direct contact with the Personality of Godhead. Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam is the literary incarnation of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and is therefore nondifferent from Him. Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam should be worshiped as respectfully as we worship the Lord. Thereby we can derive the ultimate blessings of the Lord through its careful and patient study. As God is all light, all bliss and all perfection, so also is Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam . We can have all the transcendental light of the Supreme Brahman , Śrī Kṛṣṇa , from the recitation of Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam , provided it is received through the medium of the transparent spiritual master. Lord Caitanya 's private secretary Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī advised all intending visitors who came to see the Lord at Purī to make a study of the Bhāgavatam from the person Bhāgavatam Person Bhāgavatam is the self-realized bona fide spiritual master, and through him only can one understand the lessons of Bhāgavatam in order to receive the desired result. One can derive from the study of the Bhāgavatam all benefits that are possible to be derived from the personal presence of the Lord. It carries with it all the transcendental blessings of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa that we can expect from His personal contact.” Prpt. 1.3.40 </li></ul>
  69. 82. Bhagavatam is Received in Parampara <ul><li>Suta then describes the disciplic succession through which he has himself heard the Bhagavatam: </li></ul><ul><li>““ Śrī Vyāsadeva delivered it to his son, who is the most respected among the self-realized, after extracting the cream of all Vedic literatures and histories of the universe. Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva, in his turn delivered the Bhāgavatam to the great Emperor Parīkṣit , who sat surrounded by sages on the bank of the Ganges, awaiting death without taking food or drink.” 1.3.41-42 </li></ul>
  70. 83. Bhagavatam: The Cream of Vedic Knowledge <ul><li>“ It is compared to the cream of the milk. Vedic literature is like the milk ocean of knowledge. Cream or butter is the most palatable essence of milk, and so also is Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam , for it contains all palatable, instructive and authentic versions of different activities of the Lord and His devotees…In the Bhagavad- gītā the Lord says that the purpose of all the Vedas is to know Him (Lord Kṛṣṇa ), and Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam is Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself in the form of recorded knowledge. Therefore, it is the cream of all the Vedas, and it contains all historical facts of all times in relation with Śrī Kṛṣṇa . It is factually the essence of all histories.” Prpt. Text 41 </li></ul>
  71. 84. Answering the 6 th question of the Sages <ul><li>Question: “Since Sri Krishna, the Absolute Truth, the master of all mystic powers, has departed for His own abode, please tell us to whom the religious principles have gone for shelter.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Answer: “This Bhāgavata Purāṇa is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purāṇa .” 1.3.43 </li></ul>
  72. 85. <ul><li>“ This Bhagavata Purana is as brilliant as the sun…Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this purana.” </li></ul>
  73. 86. <ul><li>“ In the Kali - yuga the population is just a royal edition of the animals. They have nothing to do with spiritual knowledge or godly religious life. They are so blind that they cannot see anything beyond the jurisdiction of the subtle mind, intelligence or ego, but they are very much proud of their advancement in knowledge, science and material prosperity. They can risk their lives to become a dog or hog just after leaving the present body, for they have completely lost sight of the ultimate aim of life. The Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared before us just a little prior to the beginning of Kali - yuga , and He returned to His eternal home practically at the commencement of Kali - yuga . While He was present, He exhibited everything by His different activities. He spoke the Bhagavad- gītā specifically and eradicated all pretentious principles of religiosity. And prior to His departure from this material world, He empowered Śrī Vyāsadeva through Nārada to compile the messages of the Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam , and thus both the Bhagavad- gītā and the Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam are like torchbearers for the blind people of this age. In other words, if men in this age of Kali want to see the real light of life, they must take to these two books only, and their aim of life will be fulfilled. Bhagavad- gītā is the preliminary study of the Bhāgavatam . And Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam is the summum bonum of life, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa personified. We must therefore accept Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam as the direct representation of Lord Kṛṣṇa . One who can see Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam can see also Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in person. They are identical.” Prpt 1.3.43 </li></ul>
  74. 87. Suta tells how he heard the Bhagavatam <ul><li>“ O learned brāhmaṇas, when Śukadeva Gosvāmī recited Bhāgavatam there [in the presence of Emperor Parīkṣit ], I heard him with rapt attention, and thus, by his mercy, I learned the Bhāgavatam from that great and powerful sage. Now I shall try to make you hear the very same thing as I learned it from him and as I have realized it.” 1.3.44 </li></ul>
  75. 88. How to receive Bhagavatam <ul><li>“ One can certainly see directly the presence of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the pages of Bhāgavatam if one has heard it from a self-realized great soul like Śukadeva Gosvāmī. One cannot, however, learn Bhāgavatam from a bogus hired reciter whose aim of life is to earn some money out of such recitation and employ the earning in sex indulgence. No one can learn Śrīmad - Bhāgavatam who is associated with persons engaged in sex life. That is the secret of learning Bhāgavatam Nor can one learn Bhāgavatam from one who interprets the text by his mundane scholarship. One has to learn Bhāgavatam from the representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and no one else, if one at all wants to see Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the pages. That is the process, and there is no alternative. Sūta Gosvāmī is a bona fide representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī because he wants to present the message which he received from the great learned brāhmaṇa . Śukadeva Gosvāmī presented Bhāgavatam as he heard it from his great father, and so also Sūta Gosvāmī is presenting Bhāgavatam as he had heard it from Śukadeva Gosvāmī.” Prpt 1.3.44 </li></ul>
  76. 89. Favorable Disposition while Hearing <ul><li>“ Simple hearing is not all; one must realize the text with proper attention. The word niviṣṭa means that Sūta Gosvāmī drank the juice of Bhāgavatam through his ears. That is the real process of receiving Bhāgavatam . One should hear with rapt attention from the real person, and then he can at once realize the presence of Lord Kṛṣṇa in every page. The secret of knowing Bhāgavatam is mentioned here. No one can give rapt attention who is not pure in mind. No one can be pure in mind who is not pure in action. No one can be pure in action who is not pure in eating, sleeping, fearing and mating. But somehow or other if someone hears with rapt attention from the right person, at the very beginning one can assuredly see Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in person in the pages of Bhāgavatam .” 1.3.44 </li></ul>
  77. 90. All glories to Prabhupada Greatest Distributor of Bhagavatam’s Glories

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