Essence of Srimad-Bhagavatam

January 13, 2007: Kona, Hawaii
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

First of all, I offer my heartfelt dandavat pranama unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja; and the same unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.

I am very happy that so many devotees have come from various places in the world, such as mainland America and Australia. I am also happy that my dear son Gaurasundara, who had lost all hope of living but was somehow saved, has come to this festival. My blessings are for him that he can very soon move, sing songs as before, and help me in various ways.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja used to travel everywhere as I do now. In a couple of years he started centers in the midst of oceans, on top of hills and in all countries. He very miraculously translated Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and many other books. Not only in America, but in England, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and all other countries – everywhere he preached the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In his last days, he took my hand in his hand and, weeping, he told me, “I have gathered so many disciples from all over the world, but I could not train them fully, due to their disqualification. So please help them, and give my samadhi.” For this reason, I am traveling here and there, preaching the same message that he preached.

He has preached the mission of our guru-parampara, his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Rupa Gosvami. He has accepted this guru-parampara as his own. He has not told anything new; rather he gave the same message as Srila Rupa Gosvami, but in the English language. In a couple of years Pujyapada Srila Swami Maharaja performed such a miracle and he created a r evolution in the religious world. By his order, I am also coming to tell the same message – the message of Srila Rupa Gosvami.

At that time he considered, “My devotees are not qualified." Now, however, they have become qualified, and I am preaching the same serious and deep message of love and affection. I am even describing the mood of the gopis, but this is not different from his teaching. He has written everything in his books. I am preaching only his mission – the mission that he wanted – throughout the world again
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Now, listen very attentively, for I am going to tell you some confidential knowledge.

At the end of the universal destruction (maha-pralaya), there was water everywhere. From the navel of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, a lotus came out. The lotus flower was above the water, on a stem, and Brahma was created there.

Brahma wanted to see the source of this lotus. He looked up and down, but he cou ld not discover it. He then sat on the lotus and began to think, “What should I do? I don’t know what to do.”

At once, a sound came from the water: “Tapa tapa.” Tapa means austerity. Brahma then began to perform austerities in samadhi (trance). After about one thousand celestial years, Lord Narayana appeared in his trance and told him, “I am very happy. Now, you may take a boon.” Brahma replied, “I know Your wish is that I create this world. I fear, however, that when I do so, I will be influenced by false ego and think, ‘I am the independent creator of this world.’ O Lord, I beg that this misconception does not come in my heart.”

Lord Narayana told him, “You should hear this:

sri-bhagavan uvaca
jnanam parama-guhyam me
yad vijnana-samanvitam
sarahasyam tad-angam ca
grhana gaditam maya

[The Personality of Godhead said: Knowledge about Me as described in the scriptures is very confidential, and it has to be realized in conjunction with devotional service. The necessary paraphernalia for that process is being explained by Me. You may take it up carefully. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 2.9.31)]

The Lord said, “You should hear, and then by My mercy, realize what you have heard. One cannot understand and realize My words unless I bestow My mercy upon him. I am giving this knowledge (jnana), which is parama-guhyam (extremely confidential), along with transcendental realization (vijnana)."

This most confidential knowledge is the the prema-bhakti situated in the gopis’ heart, and it can extend even up to the heart of Srimati Radhika. Her madanakya-mahabhava embodies knowledge of all established truths (tattva-jnana) and prema-bhakti, service to Sri Krsna to the extreme extent.

The word sa-rahasyam in this verse means prema-bhakti, confidential devotional service, and tad-anga refers to the process by which this is realized. *[See endnote 1]

sri-prahlada uvaca
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam

[Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.5.23)]

Moreover:

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, h ear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura, Vrndavana or the birthplace of Mahaprabhu and worship the Deity with faith and veneration.

sakala-sadhana-srestha ei panca anga
krsna-prema janmaya ei pancera alpa sanga

["These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a slight performance of these five awakens love for Krsna. (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.129)]

The Supreme Lord told Brahma, “I am giving you this knowledge (tattva-jnana), and by My mercy you should accept it."

yavan aham yatha-bhavo
yad-rupa-guna-karmakah
tathaiva tattva-vijnanam
astu te mad-anugrahat

[All of Me, namely My actual eternal form and My transcendental existence, complexion, qualities and activities – let these be awakened within your heart by factual realization, out of My causeless mercy. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.30)]

Yavan aham means "the way I am." Yavan aham yad -rupa-guna-karmakah: The original Supreme Lord is Sri Krsna Himself. His name, Krsna, is very attractive. He is affectionate to his devotees. His pastimes (karmakah) are sweet. For example, although He is unlimited in length and breadth, Mother Yasoda bound him and He was controlled by her love. Still higher is His pastime of rasa-lila, His topmost activity which He performed throughout the entirety of one night of Brahma. Rasa-lila could not have taken place in only one ordinary night, so Sri Krsna prolonged it. The five chapters of Srimad-Bhagavatam in relation to Krsna's pastimes with the gopis – Brahmara-gita, Gopi-gita, Venu-gita, Pranaya-gita and Yugala-gita – are its five life-airs.

Thus, the Lord told Brahma, “By My special mercy you should know these truths.”

rte 'rtham yat pratiyeta
na pratiyeta catmani
tad vidyad atmano mayam
yathabhaso yatha tamah

[“O Brahma, whatever appears to be of any value, if it is without relation to Me, it has no reality. Know it as My illusory energy, that reflection which appears to be in darkness.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.34)]

The word artha (value) in this verse refers to Sri Krsna and His sweet pastimes and attributes. Rte artham means, “Where My form or abode is not present" and na pratiyeta catmani means "outside of Goloka Vrndavana and outside of He who has created this world." Tad vidyad atmano mayam means "know that to be My illusory energy."

Yathabhaso means "just as the reflection." There are two kinds of maya – spiritual and material. The infinitesimal living entity has manifest from the tatastha-sakti, Sri Krsna's marginal energy, which is between the spiritual and material worlds. We are all infinitesimal living beings, the separated parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord.

Tamah refers to the darkness of this world, wherein there i s a conception of false relationships. We think, “He is my brother, he is my son, she is my wife,” etc. We are attached. We are attached to this body, thinking, “I am this body and they are my relatives.” This is darkness.

Go to Sri Gurudeva, and he will teach you how to be free. This, in essence, is Catuh-sloki Bhagavatam.

You should know that this Catuh-sloki is the condensed form (sutra) of the entire 12 Cantos and 18,000 verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Moreover, the essence of all the Vedas are in these Catuh-sloki verses.

There are four divisions of Veda. First, there was only one Veda, called Atharva-veda. Brahma gave this knowledge to Srila Vyasadeva, and he divided it into four – Rg, Sama, Yajuh and Atharva – according to subject.

The essence of the first mantra of the Rg-Veda is in the first verse of Catuh-sloki (yavan aham). The essence of the first verse of the Sama-veda is in the sec ond verse of Catuh-sloki. The essence of the first verse of the Yajur-veda is in the fourth verse, and the essence of the first verse of Atharva-veda is in the third verse of Catuh-sloki. All the Vedas are present there.

After dividing the Vedas into four, Srila Vyasadeva wrote the essence of that as Brahma-sutra or Vedanta-sutra. After this he wrote Mahabharata and all the Puranas, but he was not satisfied at all. He was thinking, “What to do. What to do? Although I have compiled and written so many scriptures, I am not satisfied. Why am I not satisfied?”

In the meantime Brahma told Sri Narada Rsi, “I am giving you this Catuh-sloki. You should give it to Vyasa and he should expand it.” Narada then came to Vyasa and said, “Oh, I see that you are not peaceful; you are restless. Why are you so worried?”

Srila Vyasadeva replied, “Gurudeva, I have a disease. You are the doctor, so you should feel my pu lse and decide the nature of my disease. What have I done wrong that I am not satisfied?”

Narada replied, “I know the disease. In the Vedas, in Brahma-sutra and in Mahabharata – even though there is Bhagavad-gita within the Mahabharata – you have not given prominence to Sri Krsna’s sweet pastimes. You have stressed only dharma (religiosity) artha (economic development) kama (sense gratification) and moksa (liberation).

"Have you written that Krsna is the original source of all other manifestations of God? Have you told about Mother Yasoda, and explained that although Krsna is unborn, He has come from her womb? Have you told about how the gopis have controlled Him?”

Have you written that Krsna told the gopis this verse?

na paraye ’ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

[“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.32.22)”]

Sri Krsna told the gopis, “Even within the entire lifetime of Brahma (trillions of years) or the demigods (millions of years), I do not have the ability to repay you. Kindly be pleased by your own sweet behavior. I am always indebted to you.”

Sri Narada continued, “Have you written Brahmara-gita?

Srila Vyasadeva replied, “No.”

Narada said, “At once enter into bhakti samadhi-yoga (mystic trance).

bhakti-yogena manasi
samyak pranihite 'male
apasyat purusam purnam
mayam ca tad-apasrayam

["Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service [bhakti-yoga] without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.4)]

Srila Vyasadeva went into samadhi, and there he saw all the sweet pastimes of Krsna, from beginning to end. He saw how Krsna took birth and performed many pastimes like rasa-lila, and then he wrote it down for the welfare of all souls in this world who are bound by maya. He composed Srimad-Bhagavatam and taught it to his own son, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, who was detached from the world.

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami was thus the first speaker and preacher of Srimad-Bhagavatam. We will gradually discuss all the topics therein.

You should know that human life is very short. Old age is pursuing you, and very soon it will come. Only in this human form, which Krsna has mercifully given you, can we realize the soul a nd the Supersoul. This body is nothing but a bag of urine, blood and other unwanted things. In forms other than the human form one cannot perform service to Krsna. One cannot follow the instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami and receive sadhu-sanga.

You are very fortunate, and especially that you have come to the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami. In this regard Srimad-Bhagavatam states:

nr-deham adyam su-labham su-durlabham
plavan su-kalpam guru-karnadharam
mayanukulena nabhasvateritam
puman bhavabdhià na taret sa atma-ha

[“The human body, which can award all benefit in life, is automatically obtained by the laws of nature, although it is a very rare achievement. This human body can be compared to a perfectly constructed boat having the spiritual master as the captain and the instructions of the Personality of Godhead as favorable winds impelling it on its course. Considering all these advantages , a human being who does not utilize his human life to cross the ocean of material existence must be considered the killer of his own soul. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 11.20.17)]

In this human body, you may receive the association of a very qualified guru who will not fall down. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja gave his association, I am also coming, and from time to time my devotees are coming. I am inviting you all to Navadvipa parikrama. [*See Endnote 2] If you have no money problem, you must come there.

Association of self-realized souls (sadhu-sanga) and everything else you need to progress in devotional service to Sri Krsna comes automatically in this human life. If you do not realize this, you are a self-killer. You will be involved in jnana (mental theories and speculation), yoga (physical exercises performed with the idea that this will give spiritual upliftment), tapasya (austerities) and other such endeavors. Avoid these things and come to the pra ctice of bhakti.

We are giving the essence of the Srimad-Bhagavatam here. You should hear it, and then become like Prahlada Maharaja, Narada Rsi, and the devotees in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu(,) like Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda and the Gosvamis. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami practiced bhakti-yoga in the following manner:

sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasani-krtau
nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau catyanta-dinau ca yau
radha-krsna-guna-smrter madhurimanandena sammohitau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

[“I worship the Six Gosvamis, who passed all their time in chanting the holy names, singing songs, and offering dandavat-pranama, thereby humbly fulfilling their vow to complete a fixed number daily. In this way they utilized their valuable lives and conquered over eating and sleeping. Always seeing themselves as completely worthless, they became enchanted in divine rapt ure by remembering Sri Radha-Krsna’s sweet qualities. (Sri Sad-Gosvamy-astakam, verse 6)]

They were never overcome by sleep. They were always writing books, remembering Krsna, chanting His holy names and offering at least 1008 obeisances to Vaisnavas and all of Krsna and Mahaprabhu’s pastime places.

he radhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-suno kutah
sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vane kutah
ghosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri jiva-gopalakau

[“I offer my prayers to the Six Gosvamis, who were always calling out, “He Radhe! O Queen of Vrndavana! Where are You? He Lalite! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are You? Are You seated beneath the kalpa-vrksa trees of Sri Govardhana Hill? Or are You roaming in the forests along the soft banks of the Kalindi?” They were always lamenting, overwhelmed and burning in feelings of great separation as they wandered throughout all Vraja-mandala.” (Sad-Gosvamy-astaka, verse 8)]

We should follow in their line. Don’t waste your time simply being attached to your households, making money and thinking about how to be materially happy. Give up all these endeavors. You will attain all this in any life – in the lives of snakes, pigs, hogs and other forms of life. In this life, try to do bhajana like the Lord's great devotees, and be happy. My heartly blessings are with you.

Gaura premanande.

[*Endnote 1 – "Now, taking this same verse and applying the meaning to the special realization given to Caitanya Mahaprabhu through Ramananda Raya: "jnana" is krsna-tattva jnana and "vijnana" is radha-tattva jnana. Here, prema-tattva is "rahasyam" and "tad-angam" is Radha-krsna vilas-tattva (the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna). This was given by Raya Ramananda to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All this was discussed in their conversation." (Srila Narayana Maharaja's lecture in Australia, April 28, 2005)

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