For the benefit of those who do not know about spiritual life full with Vedic
wisdom, Srila Vyasadeva wrote down what he saw in his trance. First he wrote the
four essential verses (catuh-sloki) of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Lord Narayana had
spoken it to Brahma, Brahma then spoke it to Narada, and then Narada elaborated
upon it. Narada told it to Vyasa with elaboration, and instructed Vyasadeva,
You should elaborate upon it further. Vyasadeva then wrote Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Those who do not know the topics in Srimad-Bhagavatam are ignorant. What
Vyasadeva saw in his trance, he wrote down for them:
[The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can
be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass
of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this
Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth. (Srimad-Bhagavatam,
Then he called his son, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, and taught Srimad-Bhagavatam to
him. Sukadeva Gosvami was detached from worldly things from birth.
Pariksit Maharaja was a very powerful King, who can check the influence of Kali
(the Age of quarrel and hypocracy). Somehow he was cursed by a brahmanas son
who declared: After seven days you will be bitten by a very poisonous snake and
die. Besides being a powerful king, Pariksit Maharaja was a very pious and
religious person. A person like him could never insult a devotee, but He did so
by the wish of Krsna, by the influence of Krsnas spiritual potency called
Pariksit Maharaja was so fortunate that Krsna saved him when he was attacked by
a dangerous weapon in the womb of his mother. Now, Krsna wanted that the
Srimad-Bhagavatam should come through him. Krsna wanted that this glorious epic
be on his head. Thus, to give him this glory, Yogamaya made him insult a
The brahmanas son declared, After seven days, a snake will come and bite you
and you will die. When he heard about the curse, Pariksit Maharja at once gave
up his entire kingdom and all possessions. Not drinking water, passing urine,
bathing, or doing anything else, he went to the bank of the Ganges and sat
In the meantime, in order to see his glorious passing from this world, all the
great sages and exalted saints came from all over the world, like Narada, Vyasa,
Gautama, Vaisistha and others. There were no telephones in those days, 5,000
years ago, and no internet, but they knew about the curse and came at once.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami also came, and everyone present honored him. He was a
beautiful youth and quite naked. As he was on his way to see Maharaja Pariksit,
some foolish ladies and boys surrounded him and followed him, thinking, He is a
mad person. They threw dust on his body, and village boys threw stones at his
body. When he arrived, all those in the exalted assembly stood up and honored
him, and the foolish boys fled.
Pariksit Maharaja asked Sukadeva Gosvami, What is the aim and object of our
lives? How can one be happy? Please tell me. What should one do if he just about
to die? And, regarding those who are going to die tomorrow, in a year, after ten
years, one hundred years, or two-hundred years what should they do?
These were Maharaja Pariksits two main questions, and he asked many other
questions as well. What Pariksit Maharaja asked and what Srila Sukadeva Gosvami
answered is called Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Why did Krsna appear in this world? There is not only one reason, but so many
One reason is as follows: So many kings in Treta-yuga like Ravana and his
associates were killed in battle. All the demons later became very powerful
ksatriya kings and were engaged in so many nefarious activities that burdened
Brahma became very worried. He went with Prthvi (the personified Earth planet in
the form of a cow), Sankara (Lord Siva) and the other demigods to the Ocean of
Milk. There he began to meditate on Sri Krsnas incarnation as Lord
Garbhodakasayi Visnu. In his trance he heard the Lords reply to his prayers:
I already know about this. My Master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna,
is also aware, and He will quickly descend. All the demigoddesses should come in
the form of Earthly ladies to Gokula, Vrndavana, and Mathura. All you demigods
should also come, in the form of cowherd-men and members of the Yadu dynasty.
Those appearing in Gokula will serve Sri Krsna and Srimati Radhika. Krsna will
appear very soon.
Then, all the demigods and Brahma returned to their abodes. So, to fulfill the
desire of the demigods and to relieve the burden of the Earth, Krsna appeared.
This is one reason for Krsnas descent.
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
[Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant
of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligionat that time I descend Myself.
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge
[To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to
reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after
millennium. (Bhagavad-gita, 4.8)]
Narada Muni was another cause for Krsnas descent. Once during Naradas travels,
he saw the two sons of Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva, playing with many
heavenly apsara girls in the Mandakini Ganges. The sons of Kuvera and all the
girls were naked like trees and stones, drinking wine and totally shameless.
When the girls saw Narada coming on that path, they became ashamed. They folded
their hands, covered themselves with garments, and prayed to Narada from far
The two men, on the other hand, completely mad and intoxicated by wine, began
abusing both the girls and Narada. They called out, Why has this man come here
and disturbed everything? Why did he come by this side? There are so many other
ways he could have gone.
Nalakuvara and Manigriva were sons of the treasurer of the demigods, Kuvera, who
was a great devotee of Lord Siva. By the grace of Lord Siva, Kuveras material
opulence had no limit.
Narada was very merciful. He thought, They are sons of my friend Kuvera.
Kuvera was Naradas friend, and Sankara was also his friend. Narada had been on
his way to meet Kuvera, and when he saw that Kuveras sons had become so
degraded he thought, I should punish them. He therefore cursed them: You
should become trees. You are behaving like trees, and so you should be trees.
At once they felt: Oh, we are becoming trees! They fell at Naradas lotus feet
and prayed, Oh master, we have made an offense. Please excuse us. Narada told
them, What I have foretold will not prove false; it will come true. But you
will become trees in Gokula, where in Dvarapa-yuga Krsna will take birth and
perform so many sweet pastimes. He will touch you, and you will be liberated.
Not only that; you will attain bhakti and become His transcendental associates
forever. So Krsna also descended to fulfill Naradas foretelling.
Another reason: There is a verse in Srimad-Bhagavatam which states,
satyam vidhatum nija-bhrtya-bhasitam
vyaptim ca bhutesv akhilesu catmanah
stambhe sabhayam na mrgam na manusam
[To prove that the statement of His servant Prahlada Maharaja was substantial
in other words, to prove that the Supreme Lord is present everywhere, even
within the pillar of an assembly hall the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari,
exhibited a wonderful form never before seen. The form was neither that of a man
nor of a lion. Thus the Lord appeared in His wonderful form in the assembly
Similarly, to prove true the words of the four Kumaras (Sanat, Sanaka, Sanatana
and Sanandana Kumara), who had cursed Jaya and Vijaya to takes three births as
demons on Earth, Sri Krsna descended here. Jaya and Vijaya became Hiranyaksa and
Hiranyakasipu, then Ravana and Kumbakarana and then (at the time of Krsna
Himself) Sisupala and Dantavakra. Krsna had to come to personally liberate
Sisupala and Dantavakra, to prove true the words of the four sages.
Another reason: Putana was the daughter of Bali Maharaja named Ratnamala in her
previous birth. When Bali Maharajas daughter saw Vamanadeva come in their
assembly, seeing His beauty she thought, It would be very good if He would
become my son. However, when she saw Him as Trivikrama, who took the entire
kingdom and even Bali Maharaja himself, and bound Bali in a snake-rope, she
thought, If He would be my son, I would give Him poison.
Ratnamala became Putana, who, in the disguise of a mother, was planning to kill
Krsna by giving him poison. Krsna thought, You have come as a mother, so He
gave her that position. (After He killed her by sucking out the poison from her
breast along with her life-airs, He gave her the position of a nurse in His
Next: Devaki had six sons before begetting Krsna and Baladeva. Krsna came for
them also, and this is a big history.
Krsna descended to perform sweet and opulent pastimes so that all would hear
them and become forever liberated and easily attain Krsna-prema.
In addition, Krsna came to fulfill the promises He had made in the form of
Ramacandra. Rama had gone to Dandakaranya forest with Sita and Laksmana to carry
out the orders of His father. There He dressed as a sadhu. At that time,
sixty-thousand sages were had been performing austerities and chanting gopala-mantra,
that is, gopi-jana-vallabhaya svaha, for thousands of years. When they saw Rama
and He glanced upon them, they had some inspiration, and they began to pray to
Him, Please fulfill our desires.
Rama knew that they wanted to serve Radha-Krsna conjugal and that they wanted to
participate in rasa dance and other such pastimes. He therefore kindly and
mercifully told them, In My next birth I will be Krsna, and there in Vraja, by
the help of Yogamaya, you will take birth from the wombs of gopis. At that time
you can meet Me and I will fulfill your desires.
By Lord Ramacandras mercy, they became the gopis who performed Katyayani-vrata
in Vrndavana to attain Krsna as their husband. He came for them.
Another reason for Krsnas descent is as follows: When Rama went to Janaka Puri,
the princesses there became charmed to see Him. When they saw that Sita married
Him, they developed a very strong desire: Oh, if Rama would also marry us, it
would be so good. We want Rama to become our husband, and we will not marry
anyone else. With this determination, they never married. Rama was pleased and
told them, You will take birth in Dvarapa-yuga in the wombs of gopis. In
Krsna-lila, you will be gopis and I will marry you.
Another reason: In His later years, Ramacandra ordered Sita to leave His palace.
She thus left and lived alone in Valmikis asrama, where She gave birth to
Ramas two sons. Rama was in His palace and Sita was in the forest. For certain
reasons the king had left His queen, but Rama never left His dear Sita. [In
other words, as an exemplary king who taught adherence to the strict rules and
regulations of Varnasrama, Rama externally abandoned Sita because She was
wrongly accused by some citizens of being unchaste. In His role of king, he was
obliged to follow social and political etiquette. Internally, however, in His
heart, He never abandoned Her. -ed.] He remained in His palace, but He was
always remembering Her. He was not passing His days well. Feeling great
separation, Rama would sometimes speak to His guru and priest, Vasistha Muni.
Once He requested him, I want to perform a fire sacrifice, an asvamedha-yajna
or any other yajna. Please allow Me to do this.
Vasistha replied, Because You have left Your wife, You cannot perform any
sacrifice. If You bring Her back and sit beside Her, then You can do it.
That cannot be, Rama told him. Please make any other arrangement so that I
can perform the sacrifice.
Your father married 360 wives, so You can also marry again. I think that there
are so many beautiful ladies in the world who would want to marry You. They will
very easily be ready to marry You, Vasistha suggested.
Rama said, No, I cannot marry anyone else.
Then You cannot perform the sacrifice.
Please somehow arrange it, Rama insisted.
Then Vasistha said, You can make a golden statue of Sita. You can sit with that
Sita and perform the sacrifice.
Every following year, Rama had one murti of Sita made, and these Deities were
established by mantra. Vasistha Muni performed the prana-pratistha (installation
ceremony) and he requested Lord Rama to chant mantras after him. Thus, these
installed Deities were actually alive.
In Ramas last days, just before His pastimes in this world were completed and
He was about to go to Ayodhya, His spiritual abode, all those Deities came and
told Him, We all want to go with You and always be with You. Rama replied, In
this incarnation I can only accept one Sita. Only one Sita will remain with Me.
You are now so many. Go to Vrndavana and take birth from the wombs of gopis. I
will manage everything there. I will fulfill all your desires. So Krsna also
came for this reason as well.
nandah kim akarod brahman
sreya evam mahodayam
yasoda ca maha-bhaga
papau yasyah stanam harih
[Having heard of the great fortune of mother Yasoda, Pariksit Maharaja inquired
from Sukadeva Gosvami: O learned brahmana, Mother Yasoda's breast milk was
sucked by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What past auspicious activities
did she and Nanda Maharaja perform to achieve such perfection in ecstatic love?
Krsna came to show the glory of Vrajavasis like Mother Yasoda to the world. In
Krsnas incarnation of Lord Rama, no one could bind Him. Mother Kausalya could
not bind Rama. His father died in separation for Him, but Nanda was so glorious
that he did not die, because he knew that Krsna would find out and be sad.
Moreover, although Krsna was the Supreme Lord and very powerful, still, Mother
Yasoda was able to bind Him.
Another reason: Krsna came to establish the glory of Radhika and the gopis as
greater than that of the queens of Dvaraka. He desired that no one should think
the queens of Dvaraka to be superior.
Members of the Sri-sampradaya were quarreling with our Gaudiya-sampradaya in
Galta-gaddi in Jaipur. They were saying, Rukmini (Sri Krsnas wife in Dvaraka)
can be situated on the side of Krsna, but not Radhika. Srila Baladeva
Vidyubusana went there and defeated all their arguments. They asked him, Do you
have a commentary of Brahma-sutra? He said, We consider Srimad-Bhagavatam to
be the commentary of Brahma-sutra. They replied, We want to see a commentary
specific to your sampradaya. That night, the Supreme Lord Govinda told him, I
will speak, and whatever I speak, you should write. In this way, in one night,
Srila Baladeva Vidya-bhusana wrote a commentary, based on the dictation of Lord
Govinda, and this commentary became known as Govinda-bhasya.*[See endnote 1]
So Krsna came to establish this also.
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,
To establish in the world the glory of the gopis, Krsna told them, I am not
able to repay you, even if I would attempt to do so for thousands of births. So
please be satisfied by your own good qualities.
Krsna also came to establish that among all the gopis, including Candravali,
Lalita, Visakha, Syamala and so many others, Srimati Radika is most superior.
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah
[Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful
Personality of Godhead, since Govinda was so pleased with Her that He abandoned
the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place. (Srimad-Bhagavatam,
manusam deham asritah
bhajate tadrsih krida
yah srutva tat-paro bhavet
["Krsna manifests His eternal humanlike form and performs His pastimes to show
mercy to the devotees. Having heard such pastimes, one should engage in service
to Him." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 4.34)]
Sri Krsna was thinking, If I bring My sweet pastimes from Goloka Vrndavana to
this world, so many will see them and so many will hear their narrations. Those
who are opposed to Krsna would be turned into devotees and those who are
premi-bhaktas would go to Goloka Vrndavana. So Krsna came to fulfill the desires
of different categories of devotees.
If anyone hears and always remembers these pastimes, that person will very soon
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah
[Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lords playful affairs with the
young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lords pure devotional service. Thus he
will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart. (Srimad-Bhagavatam,
Those who hear with faith Krsnas sweet pastimes, especially rasa-lila, will
attain kamanuga-bhakti (bhakti following in the wake of the beloved residents of
Vrndavana), and at that time material lust and other bad qualities will go away.
Those who have strong belief that first bhakti will come and then lust will go
are called dhira, sober. On the other hand, those who think that first lust
should go away and then they should hear about Krsna from authoritative sources
are not dhira. They are offensive by this thinking.
So, Krsna came for so many reasons.
[*Endnote Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was born in a village near the famous
Remuna in Orissa. He studied grammar, alankara (rhetoric) and nyaya sastra
(logic) in an academic village on the bank of Cilka Hrada.
After this, he went to Mysore to study the Vedas. In Udupi, he deeply studied
Madhva-bhasya along with Sankara-bhasya, Parijata-bhasya and other bhasyas
(commentaries) of the Vedanta. After some time, he studied the Ñat-sandarbhas
under Sri Radha Damodara, a disciple of Sri Rasikananda Prabhu. At this time, he
came to know of Sri Radha-Damodara's profound scholarship and devout life and
became his disciple.
Later on, in Vrindavana, he studied Srimad-Bhagavatam and the books of the
Gosvamis from the famous Gaudiya rasikacarya Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura
and, on his instruction, went to Jaipura.
At the well-known Galta in Jaipura, he defeated the scholars of the Sri-sampradaya
and other opponents to the Gaudiya line, and established the vigraha of Sri
Vijaya Gopala. To increase the faith of the local scholars, he composed his Sri
Govinda-bhasya on Brahma-sutra there, and reinstalled Sri Radha beside Sri
Govindadeva in the famous Govinda Mandira.
Govinda-bhasya, Siddhanta-ratnam, Vedanta-syamantaka, Prameya-ratnavali and
Siddhanta-darpana and a commentary on Ñat-sandarbha, are some of the books he
composed, which have enlarged the treasure-house of the Sri Gaudiya-Vaisnava
literature. (Vraja Mandala Parikrama by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami