Tag Archives: Srimad Bhagavatam

Sequel to Mahabharata Begins With A Nuclear Explosion

1.7.12

Now, to begin our discussion of Kṛṣṇa I will tell you about the birth, deeds, and rescue of Parīkṣit, the sage among kings, and the final end of the sons of Pāṇḍu.

By discussing a person who is in love with someone, invariably the discussion comes to their beloved. So by discussing those devoted to Kṛṣṇa one sets the scene for deep discussion of Kṛṣṇa.

The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam will now begin a “sequel” to the Mahābhārata, again illustrating that it is the culmination of everything important and revered in classical Indian civilization. Besides providing a sequel to the beloved Mahābhārata, it is also an elaboration upon the purport of the Gayatrī Mantra, a clarification of the conclusion of Vedānta-Sūtra, and an illustration of the principles and conclusions of Bhagavad-Gītā. The Gayatrī Mantra is the zenith of Vedic Mantras, so by elaborating on the Gayatrī the Bhāgavatam effectively elaborates upon the entire body of Vedic Mantra. The Gītā and especially the Vedānta-Sūtra is the crème of the Upanishads, so by expanding upon these the Bhāgavatam expands upon the Upanishads.

The first verse of Bhāgavatam ends with the word dhīmahī, a word reserved for Gayatrī mantra which means “meditation.” So the Bhāgavatam provides the subject matter that the Gayatrī directs us to contemplate and meditate upon.  

That same verse begins with the word janmādyasyayatha, which is also the first word in Vedānta-Sūtra. This repetition is Vyāsa’s device indicating that the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam discusses the same conclusions as Vedānta-Sūtra.

The second verse of Bhāgavatam begins with dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ, “abandoning all selfish duties.” The concluding instruction in Bhagavad-Gītā is sarva-dharmān parityajya, “abandon all selfish duties.” And now the Bhāgavatam will give an extension or “sequel” to Mahābhārata. We cannot sidestep the fact that the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam expresses the penultimate culmination of Indian civilization and thought. It is the effort of Vyāsa in his full maturity.

13-14

When the heroes among the Kurus and Pāṇḍavas attained their heroic ends, and the son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra wept with a spine broken by the crushing blows of Wolf-Belly’s club, the son of Droṇa beheaded the sleeping sons of Kṛṣṇā, thinking it would please his master, who deplored the disgusting deed.

Kurus and Pāṇḍavas are two groups within the same royal family. The feud between them and the war it culminated in is the main subject of Mahābhārata.

Dhṛtarāṣṭra is a blind man who refused to relent the stewardship of the throne he assumed when his brother unexpectedly died before his five children were old enough to take the throne. The son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra is the leader of the Kurus: Duryodhana, who intends to be the next king.

The “Wolf-Bellied” is Bhīma, the second of the five main Pāṇḍava children.

Droṇa is a great martial artist, who was the instructor of the entire royal family. His son is Aśvatthāmā, who beheaded the five sleeping children of “Kṛṣṇā.” The master of Droṇa’s son is Duryodhana, because he was the leader under whose cursed banner Droṇa and his son fought.

Kṛṣṇā is a name for the wife of the five Pāṇḍavas (Yes, all five brothers had a single wife. It’s a long story). She is so named because of her intense love for Kṛṣṇa, and is more commonly known by the name Draupadī.

15-16

When the mother heard of the ghastly massacre of her children she began to wail and weep. Then the famous Arjuna, with tears in his own eyes, pacified her by saying, “I will wipe away your tears, oh auspicious woman, when I give you the head of that so-called brahmin, pierced with the arrows of my bow. Then, stand on it while you take the bath you must after cremating your children.”

17

So the friend of the Infallible pacified his beloved with various heartfelt words. He then set off on his chariot in pursuit of his teacher’s son, dressed in armor and carrying his terrible bow.

18

When the child-killer saw Arjuna approaching furiously from the distance, he jumped on his chariot and fled for his life at full speed, panic striken – much like Brahmā and Sūrya fled from Śiva.

Śiva became furious when Brahmā expressed sexual desires towards a woman who was his daughter (mind you, since Brahmā is the first being in the universe everyone is his decedent in some way or another). Śiva also became enraged when Sūrya (the sun god) attacked someone he had blessed. The fear and panic with which Brahmā and Sūrya fled from Śiva is reminiscent of the fear with which the child-killer fled from Arjuna. The import here is that Arjuna’s ferocity and rage was on a par with Śiva’s, the god of destruction.

19

Eventually seeing that his horses were tired and he had no other alternative to save his life, that brahmin’s son invoked the ultimate weapon.

Although he is the son of a brahmin, he is not considered a brahmin because his behavior was immoral. If India paid more thoughtful attention to her own classical literature, the disgrace of the caste system would have been mitigated. Status in the four castes is to be acquired by behavior, not by birth.

20

So, because his life was in danger he took a drop of water and concentrated on those mantras even though he did not know how to restrain the weapon.

One should not do anything one cannot control. An attack one cannot restrain and balance should not be used by a warrior. Aśvatthāmā did not care for these principles because his only concern was for his own useless life. Therefore he put thousands of lives at risk by calling forth a magic weapon equivalent to a nuclear detonation without knowing how to restrain the explosion. Selfish people are always irresponsible, and when push comes to shove the implications are alarming. When such persons happen to be powerful, the implications are absolutely disastrous. Therefore the selfish must be kept from positions of power. Unfortunately, it is only they who desire power. Thus the world is invariably in turmoil.

21

Then a fierce life-threatening explosion erupted in all directions. Seeing it, Arjuna turned to speak to Kṛṣṇa.

There is a nice poetry in the Sanskrit that I cannot translate into English. Sūta names Kṛṣṇa “Viṣṇu” and Arjuna “Jiṣṇu” – creating a wonderful rhyme. Arjuna has the name Jiṣṇu because he was an ever-victorious warrior.

Operation Ivy, MIKE EVENT - Atomic bomb explos...

The fierce life-threatening explosion erupted in all directions.


The Beauty of the All Attractive

1.7.8

Having conceived of and polished that godly treatise, he taught it to his learned and renounced son, Śuka.

9

Śaunaka asked: He was dedicated to giving up everything, completely uninterested in acquiring anything. So why would a learned soul already immersed in spiritual bliss bother to take up such a vast study?

10

Sūta answered: From those immersed in spiritual bliss to those who are scholars and even to those who are lawless, everyone wants pure, unmotivated divine love. The qualities of Hari are that wonderful.

11

The thoughts of godly Badarāyaṇa’s son were enraptured by those qualities of Hari. Therefore he eagerly took up the study of that which is dear to those dedicated to Viṣṇu.

This section clarifies how Vyāsa passed the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam on to his son, Śuka. It is a topic of question because Śuka left home immediately upon being born with a fully developed youthful body. Vyāsa followed the boy calling for him to return home, but his calls were replied to only by their own echoes. Śuka had no interest in associating with Vyāsa and did not remain in his company for a moment. So how and when could Vyāsa have passed Śrīmad Bhāgavatam to Śuka?

In the current section, Śaunaka raises this very question: “We know Śuka was completely uninterested in anything his father Vyāsa had to say or offer, so how could he have learned Śrīmad Bhāgavatam from him?”

The answer is: The birth of Śuka took place before Vyāsa met Nārada. After Vyāsa learned about divine love from Nārada he deeply meditated upon it and personally realized it. Thereafter he composed the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. He then went out in search of his son. Upon hearing the change in his father’s level of realization, Śuka understood that Vyāsa had now come to fully appreciate divine love and therefore happily agreed to sit and learn Śrīmad Bhāgavatam from him.

The tenth text in particular is an extreme favorite of the great exemplar of divine love, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. He personally explained this text to a handful of fortunate people bringing out dozens of facets within it. The essence of all of them is that everyone is attracted to divine love. It doesn’t matter if you are learned or illiterate, self-realized or self-ignorant, saintly or sinful. The wonderful attributes of Hari are so delightful that everyone is attracted.

Hari is a name describing the All-Attractive as a being so captivating that he steals the heart and mind. Hari is All-Attractive to everyone, but especially to those who are pure, selfless and free from illusion, such as Śuka. Thus Śuka was even more powerfully attracted than anyone else would be to the proposition of learning Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, the Beautiful Exposition of the All-Attractive. Therefore he eagerly and attentively devoted himself to studying it under Vyāsa.


Nārada’s Previous Life

Nārada has just finished explaining to Vyāsa why if he really wants to accomplish his goal of benefitting humanity he must give direct voice to the names, forms, qualities, and activities of the All-Attractive. Now he tells the story of his past life to illustrate how powerfully purifying it is to hear about the All-Attractive.

[1.5.23]

O scholar, in a previous creation I was the child of an insignificant maidservant. During the rainy season she was assigned to carefully attend the domestic needs of philosophers and mystics.

Nārada is one of the first children of the first being in the universe, Brahmā. So the words Nārada uses to mean “a previous life” also mean “a previous universe.”

[24]

I was not like most children, obsessed with frivolous games. I had discipline, was quiet, and listened carefully to instructions. Therefore I could make good use of the impartial mercy the learned bestow.

Divine mercy is infinitely ever-present. It is only lack of humility which causes us to close ourselves off from it. This boy had natural humility, and thus made very good use of the time he spent with saintly people.

[25]

For example, they allowed me to eat what remained on their plates. This erased all my karma and made my heart very pure. Thus I became naturally attracted to their way of life.

Eating the food left behind after one has served a pure person infects one with purity. When the heart is pure its constitutional attraction to the spiritual becomes self-manifest.

[26]

So I would go and listen to them; and they would affectionately sing to me about Kṛṣṇa. With great interest and care I paid attention to everything they described. Thus I acquired a real taste, O dear one, for the Beloved Subject of Discussion.

The boy found, among all the philosophers and mystics gathered during the rainy season, a special group of people who always enthusiastically sang about All-Attractive Kṛṣṇa (kṛṣṇa-kathāḥ pragāyatām).  One name for the All-Attractive is Priyaśrava, “The Beloved Subject of Discussion.”

[27]

O genius, when I got that taste my attention could not waver from the Beloved Subject. I saw that I was bewildered by thinking of myself as something temporary. I came to know myself as transcendental spirit.

[28]

So, throughout the rainy season and into the autumn I continued hearing the saṁkīrtan of those learned great-souls glorifying the pure fame of Hari. My devotion began to flow and the passion and ignorance that had covered me eroded.

Both the boy and the great souls were enjoying their kīrtana so much that they could not part when the time came at the end of the rainy season. All the other philosophers and mystics departed but the boy and the great souls continued hearing and chanting about All-Attractive Kṛṣṇa. This soon caused a river of divine love to begin pouring from what was previously the glacier of the boy’s spiritual heart. That river quickly and powerfully eroded the dirt of passion and ignorance which had covered his pure, clear spiritual existence.

[29]

I really loved them, and so listened to and followed them carefully. All the impurities of that faithful boy were destroyed I began to behave like them.

[30]

Being affectionate and compassionate towards the needy, before leaving me they instructed me on the most confidential knowledge that the All-Attractive himself gives.

[31]

By this instruction certainly I understood the powerful influence of the true creator – the Son of Vasudeva – and became prepared to attain him.

[32]

O Brahmin, the instruction was this: ‘The learned know that the best remedy for all miseries is to dedicate ones duty to the All-Attractive Master.’

When finally departing, the great souls told the boy how to perfect what he had begun to attain in their company. They gave him the same knowledge that Kṛṣṇa himself gives in Bhagavad-Gītā: Do not renounce active life, but change your activities so that their motive is to please the All-Attractive Master.

Vyāsa may be surprised that such great souls gave such an apparently simplified instruction to a boy who had already attained so much spiritual advancement. After all, action and duty is the very first rung on the Vedic ladder of spirituality. So Nārada said…

[33-34]

O man of good action, can’t same thing that causes a disease cure it when administered properly? So, activities cause our material bondage, but activities can also destroy it when they are dedicated towards spiritual ends.

This is a homeopathic principle.

[35]

Whatever one does to please the All-Attractive thoroughly links one to the All-Attractive with the bonds of divine love. What we call “knowledge” is but a dependent of this link.

Normally duty purifies one of selfishness, and thus allows one to more clearly perceive knowledge. Thus normally duty is subservient to knowledge. But when duties are dedicated to the pleasure of Godhead the paradigm is reversed. Knowledge becomes a maidservant facilitating the link of divine love.

[36]

By endeavoring to please the All-Attractive by following his instructions, one naturally always remembers and embraces the qualities and names of Kṛṣṇa.

Activities dedicated to pleasing Kṛṣṇa are so purifying because they cause one to always remember Kṛṣṇa. It is actually the remembrance of Kṛṣṇa which is purifying, not the action itself. But the action is a catalyst.

[37]

‘Now hear this transcendental message: I focus on you, the All-Attractive, and contemplate you. Vāsudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Saṁkarṣaṇa are the focus, not I.’

To validate that duties properly performed cause one to remember Kṛṣṇa, Nārada here quotes a Vedic mantra to be invoked when doing regular duties.

 [38]

A person with perfect vision worships the Object of Sacrifice in the form of sound.

The “Object of Sacrifice” is Yajña, another name for Viṣṇu. God “in the form of sound” (mantra-mūrti) is especially the Saṁkīrtan Yajña singing of the mahā-mantra:

hare kṛṣṇa, hare kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa, hare hare
hare rāma, hare rāma, rāma rāma, hare hare

Since the power of divine action is in its ability to inspire remembrance of the names and forms of the All-Attractive, one with good vision wants to spend as much time as possible directly engaged in discussing and singing the names and qualities of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore the best action to perform for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure is to discuss and sing about the Subject of Topmost Poetry.

[39]

O brahmin, that is how I obtained realized knowledge of Godhead. I acted upon it and was granted knowledge of Godhead’s opulent and multifarious powers. This lead me to personal affection for The Most Beautiful.

Nārada attained his status by Kṛṣṇa-saṁkīrtana: singing and discussing the names and qualities of the Divine Beloved. Keśava is a name for the All-Attractive indicating his beauty, especially due to his beautiful hair.

[40]

You also have learned by compiling the vast Veda that the wise who always seek knowledge try to please the Almighty. Describe this, and the miserable masses will get liberated from their constant suffering and sadness; from which there is no other escape.

Nārada concludes his story of his past life by saying, “Give direct voice to the names, forms, qualities, and activities of the All-Attractive. Thus accomplish your goal of liberating people from suffering. I am the proof that it works. Make them attracted to the All-Attractive.”


The People Behind the Bhagavatam

 [1.4.1]

Elderly Śaunaka, leader of the sages at the prolonged sacrifice, congratulated and encouraged Sūta.

In this section the head of the sages stood up to congratulate Sūta for his plan to retell the Bhāgavatam, and in excitement inquires about the three most important people responsible for creating the Bhāgavatam: Vyāsa, who conceived of it, Śuka, who put it into words, and Parīkṣit, who inspired Śuka to do so.

[2]

“O Sūta! O greatly blessed Sūta!!! O greatest speaker among speakers, speak to us! Tell us the purifying messages of the All-Attractive, which you learned from blessedly powerful Śuka.

 [3]

A portrayal of Vyasa, who classified the Vedas...

Dark Complexioned Vyasa

“When, where and why was The Black inspired to create this book?

“The Black” is a name for Vyāsa, whose complexion was black. He is therefore also called Kṛṣṇa (“black”), as a short form of his full name: Kṛṣṇa-Dvaipāyana-Vyāsa.

[4]

“His son was a great mystic who saw everything as the same, had no ulterior motives, and was of one mind, fully-awakened; but kept it hidden by appearing to be a fool.

Vyāsa’s son is Śuka. Next, Śaunaka will illustrate the above qualities with an incident he heard about:

[5]

“When naked Śuka passed a group of beautiful bathing women they felt no shyness at all. When his father, Vyāsa came following close behind, however, they scrambled to cover their bodies. Astonished, Vyāsa inquired from the ladies, who told the sage, ‘You see differences between men and women, but your son does not. His sight is pure.’

It is extremely astonishing that a naked young man could pass a group of naked young women bathing without either parties minding or even significantly noticing one another. This is a powerful tribute to the depth of spiritual realization attained by Śuka. True realization is obvious to everyone, you can “sense” it. The women were fully aware that Śuka did not see them as naked women, but as spiritual entities. Therefore they did not mind or even respond at all when the naked young man passed them.

What does this say about Vyāsa’s level of realization? Is it inferior to his son’s?

In a sense, yes, that is what the sage is trying to convey. “Śuka is so great, even superior to Vyāsa.” Although Vyāsa had the same deep realization as his son, the practicalities of his lifestyle were not on that level, and thus his vision was not accustomed to operate on a par with his true realization. Vyāsa was a family man involved in having children, etc. Therefore in practice Vyāsa had to, as a duty, differentiate on a material level between things like male and female. Śuka, however, immediately renounced any type of normal lifestyle and existed on the platform of his pure realization without compromise. Therefore his functional vision was even superior to his father, the revered Vyāsa.

The quality of complete indifference to the male-female polarity in nature is a deep and inimitable trademark of the “equal-vision” which accompanies deep spiritual understanding. It is important to remember that our tendency to see and treat men and women differently is an embarrassment, albeit an embarrassment that is required to keep normal affairs functioning.

[6]

“When he reached the city of Gaja Sāhvage looking wild, deaf and dumb coming out of the Kuru Jungle, how did the citizens appreciate him?

Gaja Sāhvage is another name for Hastināpura, which has now become Delhi.

[7]

“My dear boy, how did he meet the Pandava King – thus setting the stage for this pure discussion of wisdom?

[8]

“He lingers in a worldly home only as long as it takes them to milk a cow. Thus the house becomes a most blessed holy ashram.

Śaunaka had no interest in possessions or food. On the rare occasion that he needed to beg from a common home, he would only accept milk, and would only stay for as long as it took them to get the milk. By his short presence in a home, the character of the place would transform with a spiritually enlivened atmosphere. That was his true purpose in occasionally begging something trifling from the worldly.

[9]

“O Sūta, Abhimanyu’s Son is said to be a topmost blessed lover of Godhead. Please tell us about his greatly wondrous life and deeds!

“Abhimanyu’s Son” is the emperor, Parīkṣit. The leader of the sages, Śaunaka, now turns his appreciations and inquiries to Parīkṣit.

[10]

“He was an emperor in the extremely wealthy Pāṇḍu dynasty. Why would he discard his power and opulence to sit and fast by the Ganges?

The emperor took a vow to fast until death. The sages are astonished about this.

[11]

“Even his enemies would bow down, placing their wealth at his feet for their own best interest. Oh why would such a powerful, opulent, beautiful, young, unconquerable man want to give up his life?

[12]

“People who live to please The Subject of Topmost Poetry live not for their own interest, but for the welfare, growth and prosperity of the world. Why then did he want to give up all connection with his mortal life, which protected so many people?

“The Subject of Topmost Poetry” is another name for Godhead.

Śaunaka surmises that probably Emperor Parīkṣit would easily give up worldly things like power and opulence due to natural lack of interest in them, since he was a greatly elevated lover of Godhead. Devotees of God do not seek annihilation, they always wish to exist to please Godhead; living vigorously for the welfare of Gods energies – the creation and all the people in it. As an emperor, the welfare of many, many people rested upon Parīkṣit. So Śaunaka has to ask Sūta to explain why this emperor was willing to give up his life.

 [13]

“We ask you all these questions because, although you do not practice rituals, we think you are fully acquainted with all subjects and the language used to describe them. Therefore you can clearly explain all of this to us.”

Śaunaka indicates that the ritualistic facets of the Vedas (or of any culture) are inconsequential and it is not important for anyone’s spiritual progress to be well acquainted with them. What is important is to deeply understand complicated subjects and the subtleties of the words sages use to explain them. Śaunaka and the sages felt that Sūta was fully conversant in these topics, and that is why they put so many questions to him, with such eagerness.


Prominent Early Incarnations of Godhead

The Purusha incarnation, just previously described, is the primary incarnation for the material world, existing through the entire thing – before and after it as well – and maintaining its reality. The first aspect of the Purusha creates the primordial potentialities for all the universes. The second aspect enters each potential universe and generates Brahmā, the agent of actual creation. The third aspect enters within each quantum particle of the universe, including each soul therein, and makes their mutual existence and exchange possible.

From this third aspect comes a myriad of “avatār” (incarnations). Suta will now enumerate some of the prominent  ones.

English: Four Kumaras: Source is from Editor i...

The Kumara

[1.3.6]

The first avatār occurs within the “Childhood” age of creation. “The Children” performed the very difficult task of Brahmā: uninterrupted celibacy.

The quadruplet sons of Brahmā (the god who creates) are the first avatār of the Purusha. They appeared in a very early cycle of creation, called the “Childhood Age” (kaumāra sargam). Brahmā asked them to create thousands of offspring to generate the initial population base of the world. They declined and took up a more difficult, implicit order: to cultivate spiritual knowledge. Such endeavor is made much more efficacious if one desists from simultaneously cultivating anti-knowledge: which is the ignorance that the soul deserves to be a central figure of gratification via the world’s resources. So celibacy is one of the important components of classical spiritual discipline. The Children (Kaumara. Or, “The Four Kumaras”) had a very novel idea. They did not allow their bodies to age into puberty, a really great solution to the often troubling practice of celibacy!

[7]

The second avatār of He For Whom Sacrifices Are Meant appeared when the Earth fell into the lowest dregs of the universe. Appearing as a boar, this avatār rescued the world by lifting it back to its proper orbit

He is more popularly named Varāha.

[8]

The third avatār came during the “Sage Age” as the Sage of the Gods. He compiled purifying manuals regarding how to live in the world without becoming entangled in selfishness.

He is most popularly known as Nārada.

[9]

English: ~ NaraNarayana ~ DasAvatara Mandir ~ ...

Nara Naryana

The fourth came during the “Age of Dharma’s Wife” as Sage Nara-Nārāyaṇa. His task was to show how to perform very serious disciplines of self-control.

[10]

The fifth is named Kapila, the master of the accomplished ones. He restored empiric material sciences, which had been lost over time, by teaching Āsuri.

[11]

The sixth is Atri’s, because his wife Anasūyā prayed for such a son. He instructed spiritual knowledge to Alarka, Prahlāda and others.

The name of Atri and Anasūyā’s son is Dattātreya. Many of these initial incarnations came for the purpose of giving spiritual knowledge to humanity. Knowledge which is beyond the human mind cannot exist unless a being which is beyond the human mind comes and delivers it in a manner which the human mind could hope to comprehend.

Among Dattātreya’s students is the name Prahlāda. It seems this could not be the famous Prahlāda associated with a later incarnation.

[12]

Then the seventh avatār, Yajña, appeared from his mother Ākūti and father Ruci. He took care of the world during the difficult transition out of the “Svāyambhu Age.”

[13]

The eighth, Urukrama, was born from his mother Merudevī and father Nābhi. He showed the path walked by those enlightened souls who are honored by all spiritualists.

A more common name for him is Ṛṣabha. “Enlightened souls honored by all spiritualists” has a specific import. There are four generally sequential spiritual orders in classical Indian culture: the student (brahmacārya), the active householder (gṛhastha), those retired to the forest (vānaprastha), and the renounced (sannyāsa). The fourth, the renounced, is honored by all the others as the objective. Within each order are sub-orders. The fourth order has four classical sub-orders: renounced in the hermitage (kuṭicaka), without a hermitage (bahudaka), without a location (parivrājaka), and the topmost swan (paramahaṁsa). The topmost swan is honored by all others, even those in the fourth order, as the ultimate objective.

The nature of such persons is that they have completed all development and require no further discipline. The eighth avatār set the standard of the nature, quality, and behavior of such very rare souls.

The person of a similar name important to the Jain religion must be named after this avatar, considering the chronology.

[14]

Answering the prayers of sages, Purusha accepted the ninth avatār as a king of the earth. By milking the earth he made her body very verdant and attractive.

He is more commonly known as Pṛthu.


Incarnations of Godhead – Creators

Suta says [1.2.34]:

I’ve spoken of how Vishnu pervades everything in the universe out of compassion to help all living beings fulfill their desires. Now I will speak of another way that the spiritual Godhead manifests his pure existence within this material realm: he performs pastimes in the role of incarnations among the gods, animals, and humans.

[1.3.1]

The All-Attractive first takes the form of Purusha, at the very beginning of the universe, with the intention to manifest all that is required for creation. This begins with manifesting the great conglomeration of energies from which sixteen primary ingredients emerge.

“Purusha” means the man. This first incarnation of Godhead, Purusha, is basically “the man of the house” where “the house” is the entirety of all material creation. The role of the male is to supply the seeds and necessary ingredients. The female role is to develop the seeds and ingredients. So the original man, Purusha, gives the seed of all ingredients required in the universe.

The sixteen primary ingredients of creation manifest from “the great conglomeration of energies” (mahat) which the Purusha produces. In due course Suta will explain all these details fully. At present, suffice to say that the sixteen ingredients are the five elements, five gathering senses, five expressing senses, and the mind.

Eighteenth century Vaishnava painting deciptin... [2]

He lies down upon the water and enters a mystic sleep. In the lake of his naval grows a lotus, from which is manifested Brahmā, the master engineer of the universe.

He does this in a second form. The Purusha has three forms. The first was described in the previous text. It is Vishnu Lying on the Ocean of Causality (kāraṇodakaśayī viṣṇu). From this first Purusha comes all the globs (mahat) in which are stored all the ingredients required to create a universe.

The current text now describes the second form of the Purusha, Vishnu Lying on the Womb-Ocean (garbhodakaśayī viṣṇu). This Purusha enters each proto-universal glob to empower its creation.

[3]

We imagine that all the many worlds are grounded within the Purusha’s expansive body. But really, the body of the All-Attractive Godhead is super-excellently pure existence.

In other words, the idea that material things exist within God is a conception only. The truth is that nothing material exists in super-excellently pure nature of God. Thus material existence itself is a conception only.

Now the sages ask, “What does this conceptual form of Godhead that contains all the various worlds look like?

[4]

Only perfect eyes can see this form; Thousands of amazing legs, thighs, hands and faces; Thousands of heads, ears, eyes, and noses; Thousands of effulgent garlands, clothes, and earrings.

Having answered their question, Suta returns to his original train of thought:

[5]

He gives the inexhaustible seed of the multitudes of incarnations. The portions of his portion create gods, animals, humans and so forth.

The second form of the Purusha creates the third form of the Purusha, Vishnu Lying on the Milk-Ocean (kṣīrodakaśayī viṣṇu). This third Purusha enters into the globule of each subatomic quantum within his universe. He is the origin of all the incarnations. His fragments and the fragments of his fragments become the gods, animals, humans, and so forth.

In the next section, Suta will describe many of the innumerable incarnations of Godhead that spring forth from this third Purusha.


On God and Gods

 Thus far, Suta has explained to the sages that:

  • Devotion to the Supreme Entity is the most beneficial human goal
  • It completely liberates a person from all troubles and fates, and delivers complete satisfaction and joy.
  • It revolves around the service of loving discussion about the divine beloved
  • Such loving discussion destroys all troubles and delivers supreme bliss in progressive stages beginning with interest in the topic and culminating in direct personal relationship with the divine beloved.

Suta concludes this section by saying:

[22] “That is why wise people always want to busy themselves in the extraordinarily delightful and soul-satisfying affairs of devotion to the all-attractive son of Vasudeva, Krishna.”

Now some of the sages listening to Suta pose a question, “Why is all this only about Krishna and other incarnations of Vishnu? Why don’t you mention devotion to other divinities?”

[23] Suta answers with a quote: “The Supreme Person, though beyond the world and singular, takes three forms that operate within the three energies of the world – clarity, ambition, and rest – and perform tasks like creation. They are known as Hari, Viriñci, and Hara. Humanity derives the highest benefit, as expected, from the form operating in the energy of clarity.”

There is one supreme deity just beyond the world, overseeing its existence. That one deity does not directly touch the world and become involved in its complications. But he creates expansions of himself to do so, for it is necessary. These expansions are “the gods” and similar powerful creatures. Primary among all of them are three gods, who take charge of the three fundamental natural energies for the sake of performing three tasks crucial to the unfolding of the universe.

  • Creation is one such task. It is accomplished through the energy of ambition (rajo-guṇa) by the deity who is the embodiment of that creative energy, Brahmā (“Viriñci”).
  • Destruction is another essential task. This is accomplished via the energy of rest (tamo-guṇa) by the deity who embodies that energy, Śiva (“Hara”).
  • Maintenance of things between their creation and destruction is the third essential task. It is accomplished through the energy of clarity (sattva-guṇa) by the deity of clarity, Viṣṇu (“Hari”).

In quoting this, Suta recognizes and affirms a plurality of deities and gods worthy of respect and all linked to the Original Person. But in the final line of the quote he explains why devotion to these many gods does not have the same significance and effect as devotion to Krishna and the forms of Vishnu. The logic in this line is that since the mode of clarity is the most beneficial form of nature, it makes perfect sense that Vishnu, who is the embodiment of that clarity, is the most beneficial form of divinity. The divine loving devotion Suta speaks of in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is directed towards Krishna and the forms of Vishnu, and not to other less beneficial divinities.

Suta proceeds to explain why the energy of clarity is supremely beneficial:

[24] “From earth grows wood, which creates smoke and fire. But it is only fire which is most beneficial to humanity. Similarly there is rest, ambition and clarity but only clarity grants direct spiritual perception.”

Here Suta references a very sophisticated analogy. The earth is similar to the One Great Person. The earth is the root source of wood (trees), smoke and fire – just as the One Great Person is the root source of the three main gods. But this does not indicate that all three gods are of equal importance and relevance to humanity’s ultimate good. Fire is the most important thing for humanity, more important than wood or smoke. Wood is analogous to the solidifying and strengthening mode of rest (tamas), smoke to the dust-raising mode of creative ambition (rajas), and fire to the illuminating mode of clarity (sattva). The mode of clarity alone has the power to illuminate the human mind and grant it direct spiritual perception and joyful self-realization. Thus, sensibly, the deity of clarity – Vishnu – is more beneficial to humanity than any other form of divinity, because Vishnu most powerfully possess the powers of clarity (sattva) and therefore can deliver the most important, joyful, and real benedictions.

[25] “That is why,” Suta continues, “sages have always engaged themselves in devotions for the all-attractive one beyond contamination of the material energies. Thus they attained absolutely undistorted spiritual clarity, as will any of you who follow them.”

The word adhokṣaja (“beyond contamination of material energies”), deserves at least a short comment. If Vishnu is the deity of the material energy of clarity, how can he be worthy of this name, Adhokṣaja? The word sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ (“absolutely undistorted clarity of existence”) answers. It says that the mode of clarity, unmixed with the other two: ambition or rest, is the state of being in the pure reality which exists transcendentally to the material creation. Within the material creation we experience clarity as a material phenomenon because it is always mixed with some amounts of the need to create or destroy some condition, and is therefore never experienced in its pure state, unadulterated by the energies of ambition and rest. But in the transcendental manifestation pure clarity exists as the underlying foundation of transcendent reality. Vishnu is pure clarity, and is therefore a transcendent divinity: Adhokṣaja. Thus, other divinities – though certainly worthy of deep respect – are categorically inferior to Vishnu and his expansions.

At this point, some of the sages presented Suta with another question, “Why then do many people worship non-transcendent gods?”

[26] “Those who want a permanent solution to their troubles seek liberation. They are always respectful and never spiteful of anyone, much less any powerful divinity, but they certainly reject the often horrific forms of such material gods and are exclusively devoted to the peaceful and pleasant expansions of the Supreme Personality.”

Because material nature, with constant creation and destruction, is often horrific and ghastly, the deities of this world are often grotesque and frightening beings. Transcendence, however, is joyful and peaceful. Transcendental deities, the expansions of the Original Person Nārāyaṇa, are thus always blissful and pleasant to see.

[27] “Others have more base desires, requiring creation or destruction of various practical goal or obstacles. Naturally they are devoted to deities connected to creation and destruction, and thus worship their ancestors, powerful spirits, and superhuman universal forefathers due to their hunger for power and wealth.”

Suta has explained the reasonable cause for worshiping inferior powers. But now wants to make a powerful statement dissuading such:

[28-29]

Krishna is paramount education

Krishna is paramount ritualism

Krishna is paramount mysticism

Krishna is paramount duty

Krishna is paramount knowledge

Krishna is paramount sacrifice

Krishna is paramount religion

Krishna is the paramount objective

This resoundingly powerful statement surely set the hairs of the sages bristling with joy and excitement. In it, Suta mentioned the main components of human culture, the main paths through which human beings try to obtain their objectives: education, rituals, mystic power, dutiful righteousness, comprehension and knowledge, self-sacrifice, & religious morality. For each he says that the son of Vasudeva, Krishna is the paramount finish line.

What Suta says here is that the ultimate aim of every human desire is joy, satisfaction, & happiness. Such cannot be had in the constantly shifting environment of creation and destruction. It can only be had in the beginningless and endless transcendence. Thus the ultimate goal of any person – be he spiritually minded or not – can only be satisfied perfectly by Vishnu and Vishnu’s expansions, the deity of transcendent clarity.

Therefore everyone, regardless of their immediate proclivities or interests, should turn their devotions towards topics of Śrī Krishna – the topics we are about to enjoy in this Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.

 


How to Acquire Divine Love

We pick up the story just after Suta explained why devotion to the Supreme Person, which is developed through hearing about and discussing him, is the most beneficial thing for humanity and brings complete joy to the soul. Suta’s conclusion [1.2.14] was, “one should therefore always hear about, glorify, remember and worship that Supreme Person.”

Some sages, who follow much more arduous and difficult paths for purification, must have felt incredulous towards Suta’s declaration that the supreme welfare can be achieved simply by loving discussion of the Supreme Person. “How could emotion and discussion alone liberate a person from the complex clutches of miserable karmic action and reaction?” They might have asked.

Suta replies [15]: “The meditation which arises spontaneously with a person who hears and discusses Godhead in a loving manner becomes like a sword, with which that wise soul slices to pieces all the hard knots of karmic bondage.”

Some of the sages expected some sort of difficult meditation and yoga and austerity to be required for liberation. Suta explained that by loving devotion, powerful meditation, intimate connection, and willingness to forego anything and everything for the sake of the beloved naturally and automatically arises. Therefore one need not cultivate such things individually. Merely by cultivating love of Godhead through hearing and chanting, such things automatically manifest in an uncommonly powerful form.

The vast majority of Suta’s audience is now back on board and ready to pursue the concept further. They are all agreeable that devotion to Godhead is the most beneficial and valuable thing for a human being. Now they would like to know how to do it; How does one acquire the yoga of devotion?

Suta begins with a rhetorical question: “So who would not be attracted and interested in such discussions about the Supreme?”

This is a reference to the first stage of developing devotion, bhakti-yoga. Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī divides the progress of a bhakti-yogi into nine stages. The first is śraddhā – which means that your heart naturally becomes interested in the topic. Suta enumerates this stage here in the 15th verse, with the words tasya ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim, “[Since the process of devotion, encapsulated succinctly in hearing and chanting about the beloved, is so delightful and efficacious] who in their right mind would not develop some interest in it?”

[16] “A person who does have significant interest in deeply hearing about Vasudeva’s Son (Krishna) is a great soul – a mahātmā. We should purify ourselves by pilgrimage to such purified persons, and should do whatever we can to care for and assist them.”

This is now a reference especially to the second stage of bhakti-yoga: Keeping the company of excellent devotees, sādhu-sanga. The summary of this stage is that, once we have some interest in divine devotion (śraddha) we would then naturally seek out those who have more experience with and accomplishment in it. Seeking such persons, who have more interest in divine love of Krishna than we do, is the second step in bhakti-yoga. How shall we associate with them? We must try to be helpful in a humble manner and assist and serve them in whatever capacity they might want or need. That will quickly make us as pure as they are.

[17] “When you yourself begin to feel the urge to hear Krishna’s words and virtues, you will become even more purified. Such words will carry Krishna, your dear friend, into the core of your heart, which will therefore become cleansed of all impurities, illusions, and inauspiciousness.”

Here Suta refers to the third and fourth stages of bhakti-yoga. The third stage is to execute devotional practices (bhajana-kriyā). The fourth is to become purified of all inauspicious undesirable impurities (anārtha-nivṛtti). The way to actually practice bhakti-yoga is to eagerly hear and discuss Krishna’s own words and words about him. Purification takes place next, on a more profound scale than before. One becomes pure from the inside out, because those words of Krishna carry him into the heart, and all inauspicious and undesirable things flee therefrom.

[18] “When almost all impurities have been cast out from your being, you will become very firmly fixed in bhāgavata-seva – hearing the messages about the all-fortunate and all-attractive Krishna, and humbly serving those who hear such messages. The beautiful poetry describing all-attractive Krishna will then cause very extreme devotion to manifest in you.”

Now Suta refers to the fifth and sixth/seventh stages of bhakti-yoga. The fifth stage is niṣṭhā, “fixation on bhāgavata-seva.” This steady engagement in hearing about Krishna and serving those discussions comes about my way of being purified via more occasional engagement in the same. Once we attain steady engagement in bhāgavata-seva we begin to experience serious glimpses of extreme bhāgavata-bhakti, devotion. These initial extreme stages of bhakti-yoga as a practice are the sixth and seventh stages according to Śrī Rūpa’s way of looking at it: ruci (taste) and āsakti (addiction).

[19] “As a result of extreme devotion to poetic descriptions of Krishna, the contaminating facets of material illusion – ignorance and ambition and their concomitant anger and greed will be unable to affect your mind. Instead only the pure facet of existence will caress your being.”

Existence has three facets: tama, rajas, and sattva – darkness of ignorance, coloration of passionate ambition, and the crystal purity of awareness. Extreme devotion to hearing and chanting about Krishna form an impenetrable shield around one’s mind and perception. One can no longer perceive a situation in a way that gives rise to anger or greedy desires, because the selflessness and understanding of pure loving devotion encapsulates and caresses him. Therefore only the sattva facet of existence continues to affect the bhakta-yogi at this level.

Here, Suta has described the eighth stage of devotional yoga: bhāva. At this stage only pure sattva affects our existence and in that crystal clarity our true nature as a spiritual individual in relationship to the all-attractive Godhead begins to become tangible and empirically real.

[20] “Your being thus caressed by this pure energy of existence manifest due to your union with pure and selfless love for the all-attractive Krishna, the next development is that you become emancipated entirely from all material bondage and directly experience, face-to-face, your divine all-attractive beloved.”

Now Suta comes to the ninth and final stage of progress in bhakti-yoga. It is called prema. The characteristic of Prema is direct tangible perception of Godhead via the delightful bond of love, which of course cannot be had without incidentally destroying all bonds to selfishness and illusion.

[21] “The knots tied around your pure heart are no now sliced to shreds and you are free from all confusions and misgiving. The chain of your destiny has come to an end, completely fulfilled as karma terminates once and for all. Your self is now directly seen with your master.”

Here glorious Suta completes his explanation of how hearing and discussing Krishna causes the most desirable and auspicious outcome and destroys the knots of inauspiciousness. He now describes what occurs after the nine stages of development in bhakti-yoga. The fulfillment of bhakti yoga occurs after it destroys all the ropes binding our inner soul, blows away the haze and thick fog of all our confusions and delusions, and terminates the cycle of destiny we have created by selfish actions and their inescapable reactions. The fulfillment of bhakti yoga is to attain direct interactive relationship with the beloved, Krishna. “The self is seen now only in terms of the beloved master. The self exists to be seen nowhere else.”


Divine Love – The Most Important Thing in the World

[1.2.1] Suta was completely satisfied by their good questions. He offered them words of thanks and began the attempt to answer. He began by praising Sukadeva, his guru, whose teachings he decided would fully answer the questions of the sages.

[2]“He instantly ran off to wander as a saint, without even bothering with the formalities of life. Vyāsa cried out after him in the pain of separation, ‘my son!’ The only reply was the trees echoing, ‘my son!’ as if feeling the same pain. To him, who enters the hearts of all living things, I offer my deep respect.

[3] “Without formal education, he understood the unified essence of all the branches of knowledge. Compassionately wanting to eradicate the deep darkness of humanity, his words created the transcendental torchlight of the most confidential spiritual book (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam). To him, Vyāsa’s son and the guru of sages, I offer my deep respect.

[4] “Respecting the Supreme Godhead Nārāyaṇa and the sages, topmost humans, who know Nārāyaṇa; respecting the Goddess of Learning, Sarasvatī, and the great deliverer of knowledge, Vyāsa; thereafter all that we speak with their blessings will be victorious.”

Now, Suta turned his attention directly to the sages and their questions.

[5] “You sages have asked me excellent questions, about topics truly beneficial to the world. To ask meaningful questions about Krishna is the way to fully delight one’s soul!”

Suta begins to answer their questions. They asked him to tell them the essence of all scriptures regarding what is the most beneficial thing for humanity. He says:

[6] “The most important and beneficial thing for a human being,” he said, “is certainly devotion to the Supreme Entity, without ulterior motive and without satiation. This completely delights the soul.”

Among the multitude of sages, many were dedicated to painstaking scientific and philosophical study (jñāna), many others to harsh nihilistic annihilation of material desires (vairāgya), others to the path of morally responsible duty (karma). Hearing that devotion to the Supreme was more important than any of their pursuits, naturally they raised their doubts. Suta now begins to address those doubts.

[7] “Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, is the object of devotional-yoga,” he explained. “Attaining him through devotion automatically and effortlessly produces all other fruits – like philosophical knowledge and detachment for materialism – as a mere side-effect. [8] As for duties and responsibilities,” he continued, “If performance of duty does not generate interest in hearing about Godhead, it is worth only its own sweat and tears, and nothing else!”

The idea Suta presents here is that duties and responsibilities are meant to purify the heart of selfishness. Why? Because selfishness is the antithesis of love. What is the real importance of love? Without it the human soul cannot become delighted and satisfied. What is the supreme satisfaction and delight that love can deliver? That would be known by one who loves to the Supreme Delightful Entity! How does one express and cultivate such love? By talking constantly about the beloved. Thus if duties and responsibilities do not make the heart more lovingly inclined towards people and their source, the Supreme, they are worthless.

Some may argue that there are other important benefits of religiosity, morality and responsibility. Suta addresses that argument now:

[9] “Religion and dutifulness is not meant for creating a paradise or going to enjoy heavenly delights. Nor is it truly meant for making our lives and societies more prosperous. The true purpose of religion is not any such permutation of sense gratification!”

But then, some will wonder, what is the point of prosperity and common pleasures? Our undeniable needs must be met, but such must not be the goal of our endeavors.

[10] “We should not dedicate ourselves merely to pleasing our senses,” Suta said. “Instead we should simply keep them satisfied, peaceful and healthy. This life is meant for discovery the life’s true essence, not for simply acquiring external things and pleasures!”

What is life’s true essence?

[11] “Those who know the essence of life say that it is an entity of pure and undivided awareness. It is understood in three stages: as brahman, all-pervading life-force; as paramātmā, the unifying soul within all things; and as bhagavān, the Supreme Lifeform.”

How does one come to understand such things for oneself?

[12] “A sincerely inquisitive and thoughtful person,” Suta explained, “who has good measure of learning and simplicity can see these truths of life within himself by practicing the yoga of Devotion (bhakti) under good guidance.”

Now Suta concludes:

[13] “So, if the typical religions of social and moral duties are to have any serious value at all, it is only in so far as they eventually lead one towards the only truly important thing: Devotion to the pleasure of Hari (the Supreme Entity). [14] Therefore, ignore what is frivolous in religion and concentrate exclusively on loving devotion for Godhead by constantly hearing about, speaking about, contemplating, and worshipping Hari, the protector of devotees.


Questions that Inspired Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.4-23

A host of sages and mystics assembled in a great forest to perform a prolonged sacrifice for the benefit of the world, which just entered the challenging Age of Quarrel. One morning a very learned sage, named Suta, appeared amongst them and they all questioned him eagerly.

He might protest their attention and respect, so they said:

“It is right that we respect and inquire from you because (a) you have studied all branches of science and philosophy, (b) you understand all the major schools of thought on these subjects, and (c) you are very humble and therefore blessed by your teachers and eager to help others.”

Then they put their question to him – they asked, “We have assembled here to perform a sacrifice for the benefit of humanity in this difficult epoch of history. But we are afraid that we are not getting anything from our sacrificial fires except a lot of black smoke and soot. What should we do successfully benefit mankind?”

Suta would have protested that the learned sages should know the answer, so they continued:

“We have studied much indeed, but all the various branches and opinions have confused us. We are asking you to identify and explain the essence of all branches of knowledge.”

Suta may have protested that to answer would take a long time, so they said:

“You are very long-lived! As you can see from this thousand-year sacrifice we have begun, we are also long-lived and patient.”

Suta might have then doubted, “If these sages don’t even have the slightest idea as to the answer to their question, which though profound is indeed simple and essential, then perhaps they are not qualified or capable to learn the subject, and it would be a misuse of my time and effort to try to instruct them?” Fearing this doubt the sages spoke up to indicate that many of them did indeed have a strong suspicion about what might be the answer to this question – what is the most beneficial thing for humanity. Therefore they said:

“We think this question has everything to do with Krishna. The Supreme Godhead only appears in this world to uplift and benefit humanity, so his very recent appearance as Krishna must be the key to humanity’s welfare in this difficult age.”

Seeing Suta’s approving expression, the sages felt encouraged to reveal more of their opinion on the subject:

“Anything connected to Krishna is extremely purifying and beneficial for human beings. His name, for example, very easily frees everyone from the inescapably complex and frightening web of illusions. His servants and friends, for example, purify a human more than the Ganges river – just by being in their company. So we think that poems about Krishna and his confidential partners must be the most beneficial thing to purify and uplift humanity, especially in the Age of Quarrel.”

Now Suta may have tested the sages, or the sages anticipated such. One test Suta might have posed is, “What do you mean, how can hearing about some person be beneficial for humanity?”

They addressed this test thus: “Krishna is not an ordinary person, he is an incarnation of the Supreme Godhead.”

Suta tests further, “Yes, but in an incarnation Godhead acts like an ordinary man. What is the value of hearing about someone who imitates ordinary men?”

Sri Krishna, as a young child with foster mother .

Image via Wikipedia

The sages reply [1.1.17-18], “No, no, no! The Gods themselves and great saints and sages all sing loudly to broadcast the activities of Godhead. If such activities were ordinary, how would such extraordinary beings take delight in them? Please rest assured that we do not have this obnoxious misconception about the incarnations of Godhead, thinking that they are material and ordinary. We know fully well that the activities of the divine are not at all within the arena of illusion! They are all expressions of the overflowing internal spiritual bliss of Godhead. Poems about them are pictures of pure spirit in action! Therefore please tell us all about the activities of Krishna and many other incarnations of Godhead, too!”

Suta may then test the sages: “Are you sure? I love these topics. I will not stop speaking about them for a long time. Don’t you have busy schedules and responsibilities with this sacrifice? Won’t you become distracted or bored?”

They reply [19], “No! We can never get enough of the topmost poetry describing the amazing deeds of the Supreme Personality! We are familiar with the truth of pleasures and happiness and therefore when we hear the deeds of Krishna we will enjoy, oh we will so enjoy! In each and every word we will enjoy true pleasure.”

Now Suta becomes fully satisfied that his audience is fit to truly relish a full disclosure of Srimad Bhagavatam – the poetry describing the character and deeds of many incarnations of the Supreme Entity, the subject matter that should be meditated upon to attain the highest blessing. But he wonders, “Previously they mentioned Krishna as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki as their prime interest, but later they extended their interest to all incarnations of the Supreme Godhead. Which incarnation of Godhead should I really focus on as I narrate these divine tales?”

The sages reply [20], “We specifically want you to focus on Krishna, with beautiful hair, who sported with his brother Rāma. Especially we want to know the most intimate and concealed activities of Krishna – the Superhuman Godhead acting like a tricky young man!”

With this statement, the sages in the Forest of the Unblinking Eyes indicate boldly and directly that they want Suta Goswāmī to focus his narration upon Śrī Krishna as the son of Nanda and Yasoda, in the Sweet Forest (Vrindavana), especially on his very expert and tricky dealings with the young girls there. Indeed this topic will become the focal point and crown jewel of Suta Goswāmī’s presentation.

At this point, Suta Goswāmī is overjoyed but shocked to have found such deep spiritual passion in an unexpected place – a ritualistic ceremony.

The sages reply to this surprise [21-22]: “Because we knew that the Age of Quarrel had already begun, all of us gathered here in this special forest to perform a sacrifice. This forest is special because it is consecrated to Śrī Vishnu and is therefore fit for Vaishnava functions. The sacrifice we truly intended to perform here is not done with fire and oil, but with words! However we found no one fit to lead the sacrifice by speaking the divine words of poetry glorifying the incarnations of the Supreme Personality, Śrī Vishnu. But now you have come into our midst, sent directly by providence! You shall fill the post that no one here was fit to fill. You shall become the captain of the boat which can carry humanity in the Age of Quarrel over the insurmountable ocean of decay and deterioration!”

Wishing to end their statements with a specific question allowing Suta to have clear focus on how to begin his discussion, the sages closed with the following [23]:

“The master of all spiritual powers, the Spiritual Entity, the protector of dharma – Krishna – has now gone away to his own abode. Who or what shall now protect dharma?”


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