Tag Archives: Kali

Conversation Between The Dharma Bull & The Earth Goddess Cow

Sūta began to tell the story of Parīkṣit arresting Kali:

While surveying the Kuru Jungle, Parīkṣit heard undesirable news: Kali had spread through the kingdom. Seeing this as an excellent opportunity for a fight, he took up his weapons and set out on a beautiful chariot, flying a lion-flag and yoked to brilliantly black horses, along with soldiers, horsemen, elephanteers and charioteers.

As he traveled, he brought order and strength to his lands.[1] Everywhere he went he always heard bards singing about his great ancestors, because their fame was involved with the glories of Kṛṣṇa. These songs often involved him, too: especially how Krishna rescued him from the powerful weapon of Aśvatthāma. He heard songs about the great affection between his family and Krishna’s family, due to their mutual love for Krishna.

Extremely satisfied by these songs his eyes opened wide with delighted love. In a very magnanimous mood, he gave the bards a great deal of money, clothing and jewelry.

Hearing how the universally obeyed Viṣṇu became a driver, ally, assistant, friend, messenger, guard, follower, and respecter of the beloved Pāṇḍavas made the king choked up with devotion for Viṣṇu’s lotus-like feet .

He thus passed many days enrapt in thoughts of his ancestors. But soon something very astonishing happened, which is what you wanted to know about:

The god of morality had taken the form of a bull, and was walking the only leg he still. He came upon the goddess of the earth, who had taken the form of a cow and was darkened under the shadow of grief, with tears covering her cheeks like a mother who has lost her child.

Dharma asked her:

Good lady, are you alright? Why has the shadow of grief darkened the face of your soul? Are you ill, Mother? Are you remembering of a long-lost friend?

Do you lament for my broken legs? Do you weep because wicked people will soon eat you? Are you depressed over the drought that will soon strike you when sacrifices to the gods cease?

Do you cry for the unsheltered women and children of the earth, who will be left for monsters to devour? Or because priests will speak only words, while their fraudulent behavior abandons spirituality in search of political power? Or because the politicians will bewilder themselves with bickering, while civilization declines into a mob mindlessly and randomly eating, drinking, living, bathing, and having sex?

O Mother, Hari descended to lighten your heaven burden. Take heart; remember all the deeds he did to save you! Or has this situation changed? O Mother, please tell me what is at the very root of your tears. Has fate, more powerful than any power, dissolved your treasure and good fortune, which the gods themselves desired?

Dharaṇī[2] replied:

Dear Dharma, whose four legs spread happiness throughout the worlds, I will enlighten you about all that you have asked.

Truthfulness, cleanliness, compassion, calmness, detachment, satisfaction, sincerity, introspection, restraint, austerity, fairness, learning…

Knowledge, dispassion, power, chivalry, influence, strength, morality, independence, expertise, beauty, steadfastness, and certainly kindness…

Ingenuity, gentility, good manners, willpower, vigor, fortune, depth, dedication, faithfulness, fame, honor, modesty…

…The All-Attractive always has all these and many other great qualities. No one else can ever hope to possess such greatness. He is the flag of good qualities and the palace of beauty herself.

You ask why I lament? I have just been robbed of his company; and in his absence I suddenly find the ills of Kali entering the world.

I lament not only for myself. This is also a disaster for you, and for the highest immortals, the gods, the forefathers, the sages, the saintly… it is a disaster for everyone.

You know that there is a goddess named Śrī; and that everyone including the creator, Brahmā, always struggles to obtain her carefree glance. But she has given herself wholly to the All-Attractive. Abandoning her home in the forests of lotuses she dedicates herself to lovingly caring for his blessed feet.

The soles of those same feet recently decorated my body with their prints – marked with a flag, spur, thunderbolt and lotus. Ah, with these ornaments my beauty and opulence excelled paradise itself! But now… he has left me… I suppose I must have been too proud of my good fortune?

He manifested his delightful body in the Yadu family to easily and independently rescue me from the extreme burden of hundreds of demonic armies. He empowered you to be free from the misery of your broken legs. Oh, who can bear to be without that supreme man!? His glances, pleasant smile and sweet words dispel the composure and pride of proud sweethearts. My hairs stood up to celebrate the touch of his feet!!!

While Pṛthivī[3] and Dharma were discussing Krishna in this way, the Philosopher-King Parīkṣit arrived at the eastward Sarasvatī river.


[1]  The text notes the following regions that Parīkṣit visited: eastward to Bhadrāśva, westward to Ketumāla, southward into Bhārata, and northward into Uttarakuru and the wild mountainous regions beyond, like Kimpuruṣa.

[2] Dharaṇī refers to the earth as the thing that holds everything and everyone up.

[3] Pṛthivī refers to the Earth as the great expanse which spreads from horizon to horizon and splits the vast sky.

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How to Befriend the God of Death

In the absence of the Pāṇḍavas, Parīkṣit governed the earth as a great devotee, guided by the best philosophers. Indeed, he developed all the great qualities foreseen by the astrologers when he was born.

He married Irāvatī and they had four children, the oldest of whom was Janamejaya.

With Kṛpā as the supervising priest, he held three horse sacrifices on the bank of the Ganges, at which he gave abundant charity. There, the gods came within the range of the human vision.

Once, while travelling through his new kingdom, he heroically used his power to arrest Kali, who appeared as a low class man disguised as a king destroying the legs of a cow and bull.

Śaunaka asked:

Why did he merely arrestKali and not kill him? O blessed Sūta, if this story has something to do with Krishna, please tell us about it. Those who enjoy the real nectar of Krishna have no hunger for wasting their life on unreal jabbering.

My boy, humans are short-lived mortals. But we can attain immortality if we befriend the god of death. If the god of death hears devotional discussion of Krishna, he stops his duties to listen, and while that happens no one dies. We have invited him here, so let us humans now drink the immortal nectar of discussing Hari! Let us not be like the fools of our age: Small, small-minded, and very short lived; sleeping away their nights and working away their days for nothing.


How to Make Kali-Yuga the BEST of All the Ages

SB 1.18.5

While the kingdom of Abhimanyu’s superexcellent son remained intact, Kali could not expand and flourish anywhere.

Abhimanyu’s superexcellent son is King Pariksit.

6

But certainly Kali’s immorality began to flourish the instant he left the world, following the All-Attractive.

Parīkṣit gave Kali’s immorality five places of shelter in the world. But while Parīkṣit was king the world remained very disinterested in those five, and therefore Kali could not spread. The second he left the earth to join All-Attractive Śrī Krishna, however, the population began to wander towards the immoral bases of Kali’s influence, and thus the degradations of this age began to gain a foothold.

7

The King never hated Kali, because he was like a honey bee who takes the essence of a flower to produce wondrous honey. [In this age] Good deeds bear fruit quickly, and bad deeds are not taken very seriously.

Most of us are very superficial. Parīkṣit was not. His deep vision saw through the superficial degradations of Kali-yuga. He saw that even though it appears bad, there are good things about it. For example, any good deed done in this age has a magnified effect, while any bad thing is minimized. There is a logical psychological principle behind this; It is not a random statement. Sūta explains the logic in the next text.

8

The powerful do not fear the strong; The sober do not fear Kali. A wise person amongst the insane is like a tiger among men.

This explains why good deeds are amplified and bad deeds minimized during Kali-yuga. To be wise when everyone around you is in an insane panic is very noteworthy and makes one extremely great, like a tiger among men. If the environment around you is full of violence, you will not be criticized highly if you have to punch someone, but you will be praised greatly if you can accomplish something peaceful. Similarly if the environment around you is very peaceful and loving it is not so outstanding if you also do something peaceful, but you will be greatly condemned if you punch someone. In Kali Yuga immorality and madness is everywhere. Therefore no one should be harshly condemned for being immoral or bewildered, but if anyone does anything slightly good or gains any clarity whatsoever, it is extremely praiseworthy and potent.

So there is no need to fear Kali yuga. If one has the strength to go against the grain, Kali Yuga becomes the most advantageous epoch for spiritual progress.

9

I’ve said what I can in answer to your wonderful questions about Parīkṣit’s relationship with this discussion of Vasudeva’s son.

Sūta has said everything he can think of saying in response to the questions from the sages. They wanted to know about the participants in the story of Vasudeva’s son (Krishna). The story of Vasudeva’s son is this book, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. The main participants creating the book are Vyāsa, Śuka, and Parīkṣit. Several chapters ago Sūta finished answering the sages’ questions about Vyāsa. Now he feels that he is finished answering their questions about Parīkṣit as well.

10

Anyone who really wants the best for themselves should listen carefully whenever and wherever there is discussion of the All-Attractive, glorifying his amazing deeds that arise from his good qualities.

This cannot be overstated. And to understate this principle is to miss the entire point of what true sadhana (spiritual practice) is.


Cheating Kali

SB 1.17.42

The world prospers when we encourage well rounded and thoughtful restoration of the Bull’s three broken legs: simplicity, purity, and kindness.

In contrast to the previous verse, anyone who wishes to prosper should strive for simplicity, purity and kindness by all ways and means.

Parīkṣit gave Kali a few domains to control, but then encouraged his citizens to shy away from such places – thus cheating Kali of the opportunity to gain power.

43

He nobly rules from the throne passed to him by his grandfather when that king wanted to retire to the forests.

44

The fame of that glorious ruler of the world, the philosopher-king, the foremost of the Kuru family, spreads through the opulent capitol city.

45

You can initiate this sacrifice because of the expert administration and protection of that King, Abhimanyu’s son.

“Abhimanyu’s son” is Parīkṣit. In one sense, the sages were able to perform a Vedic sacrifice only because the king’s administration provided materials and sponsorship to the hundreds of sages involved, and kept the forests free of persons and creatures of ill intent. In another sense, the sages gathered here are in the initial stages of participating in a spiritual function that represents the culmination of all knowledge and religion: they are about to engage in a deep and detailed discussion of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. If it were not for Parīkṣit this would not be possible, because without him the Bhāgavatam in the wonderful form they will hear it would never have been spoken by Śuka.


Wretched Hives of Scum and Villany

SB 1.17.35

Sūta said:

Thus commanded by Parīkṣit, whose sword was raised like the god of death, Kali trembled as he answered.

36

Kali said:

On this entire earth, anywhere you may send me I will see your powerful bow and arrow and remember your orders.

37

O best of those who protect morality, might you assign me some place to confine myself within, under your rule?

Parīkṣit threatened to kill Kali, but Kali took refuge of his mercy. The king agreed not to kill him, but still refused to allow him full freedom. Kali assured the king that fear would always keep him on good behavior. If the King would give Kali a limited jurisdiction Kali would stay put there and not spread anywhere else.

38

Sūta said:

Petitioned thus, Parīkṣit gave Kali: places of gambling and contest, places of drinking, places of sexual promiscuity, and slaughterhouses.

Through sports and gambling Kali encourages untruth. Through drinking he encourages a loss of sobriety and simplicity, because alcohol sets free our “repressed” desires. Where there is sexual promiscuity Kali destroys purity and cleanliness, causing loss of self-esteem and venereal disease. Where there is meat eating Kali destroys compassion.

Parīkṣit limited Kali’s power to certain domains. Unfortunately Kali has spread the influence of these domains to every nook and cranny of the earth. Where can you go to escape sports, beer, cleavage and hamburgers? Stadiums, bars, pornography hard and soft, and slaughterhouses now dominate our entire “culture” of sports, alcohol, blatant sexuality, and hamburgers.

Kali has taken over the earth.

39

Begging for a little more, the Master gave him a fifth place: wherever money accumulates. In such places there is always cheating, maddening desire, passion, and enmity.

40

The Son of Uttarā gave Kali to the order to live only in those five places, through which Kali could certainly encourage immorality.  

41

Therefore a person who desires his own well-being must never, ever go to such places. Especially not those who protect morality: kings, leaders, and teachers.

No one who wishes to truly improve their lives should become a fan of making money, competing with others, getting drunk, trying to have sex, and eating meat. Do not become intimate or close with anyone who seriously values any of these things!


The Political Scene of Kali Yuga (Plus, Reconciling Dualism, Non-Dualism, and the Vedas)

SB 1.17.25

Morality now limps around only on the leg of truthfulness. In Kali Yuga, immorality tries to destroy that leg by instigating deceits.

26

The All Attractive erased this great burden from the earth while his beautiful footprints spread happiness everywhere.

27

This saintly woman weeps and sheds tears, forsaken and unfortunate, thinking “Now low-class small-minded men masquerading as kings will exploit me.”

“This saintly woman” refers to the Earth goddess, present there in the form of a cow. In texts 26 & 27 Parīkṣit guesses her mind as thinking, “Now that my husband Krishna is gone I am forsaken and alone. Detestable creatures masquerading as real men will soon pounce upon and rape me.”

28

Having thus soothed Dharma and the Earth, the great chariot-warrior drew his sharp sword against Kali, the agent of immorality.

The “great charior-warrior” is King Parīkṣit.

29

Seeing his intention to kill, Kali very fearfully abandoned his king-costume and bowed his head to the king’s feet.

30

The heroic show mercy and kindness to the wretched who fall at their feet. So the praiseworthy giver of shelter did not kill him. With a bit of a smile, he spoke.

31

The King Said:

I must uphold the reputation of Arjuna, so since you put your hands together in supplication to me nothing fearful shall befall you. But by no means can you roam free in my lands, because you are a friend to immorality.

32

Wherever you impersonate a ruler the masses will become full of immoralities: greed, falsehood, thievery, unkindness, violence, decay, delusion, bickering and vanity.

33

A friend of immorality cannot remain where there is truth and morality: a spiritual place where sacrifice is done for the master of sacrifice with a full abundance of deep realization.

34

Such sacrifices worship the All-Attractive Hari – who is the soul of all worshipable forms, and who expands the happiness of the worshipers. His desires are unfailing. He is the soul that is inside and outside of everything that moves and does not move; like the sky.

Parīkṣit uses Sanskrit words here that fell out of fashion after the four Veda evolved into Upanishads and Puranas. It is because he is discussing the performance of sacrifice, and the four Veda are the basis of sacrificial culture in ancient India.

The sacrifices of the Veda seem rarely if ever directed to the All-Attractive Godhead. Instead they serve very practical, materialistic purposes and are directed to various material powers and demigods who can award practical success and happiness. Parīkṣit declares in texts 33 & 34 that when truly realized people perform these sacrifices it is All-Attractive Hari (hari bhagavān) whom they worship (iyjamāna), not the various demigods with whom the four Veda seem preoccupied. Those demigods are actually the forms (murti) in which the realized sacrificer sees All-Attractive Hari as the soul (ijyātma-murtiḥ). The demigods themselves are under the control of fate, therefore what power do they truly have to bless their worshipper? It is only Hari whose will cannot be thwarted in any circumstance, who has “unfailing desires” (kāmān amoghān). Therefore it is only Hari who can bless anyone with happiness and success. In Vedic sacrifices he uses the demigods as a vehicle to bestow those blessings. This is not a sectarian or ecclesiastic opinion. It is a self-evident philosophical truism.

One may then wonder, Are the demigods are equivalent to Hari? Parīkṣit says that Hari is not just the soul within the demigods, he is the soul within everything, even things which do not seem to be alive! Then is Hari contained within the demigods and souls of the world? No. Parīkṣit says that he is not only within everything, he is also beyond everything (sthira-jangamānām antar bahir ātmā). In this half of the verse Parīkṣit switches is word choice from a Vedic to an Upanishadic tone; because the Upanishads were written to explain the philosophical truths hidden within the apparently superficial symbols and rituals of the Veda, and that is exactly what Parīkṣit is doing.

One may ask, How can something be inside and outside at the same time? Parīkṣit therefore names a prominent Vedic deity: Vāyu, god of the sky. Everything in our world is within the sky, but that does not mean that the sky is limited and contained within everything. The sky is distinct from and greater than everything within it! Similarly All-Attractive Hari is the soul within everyone and everything, yet is an individual person as well, greater than and distinct from everyone else.

This is a perfect synthesis of dualism and non-dualism. The great teacher Śrī Caitanya picked up on this philosophy held by Parīkṣit and enunciated by Sūta in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. He developed it into a school of thought known as acintya-bhedābheda-tattva (“the truth of wondrous unity and difference”).


A Lesson for Leaders

SB 1.17.12

“Who broke your three legs, O four-legged Surabhi’s-son? I have never seen such a thing in the country ruled by kings who follow Krishna.

13

“Tell me, Bull. It will be good for those who are saintly and who do not do wrong. Who is disfiguring and destroying the fame of Pṛthā’s sons?

14

“Those who harm the harmless must fear me wherever they go! Certainly the saintly would prosper when the sinful are curbed.

15

“If any wild man harms a harmless being I will unleash my arms without restraint, even if he is an armored immortal.

16

“The foremost duty of a dutiful king is to protect the innocent and curb others who needlessly disregard the moral path.”

King Parīkṣit gives us an excellent lesson in leadership. He says, “I have never seen a person suffer so much in a society governed by Krishna’s followers.” One who gives his blood, sweat and tears to see that no one under his protection suffers is truly an image of Krishna reflected into humanity. Anyone who allows those in their charge to suffer is the antithesis. However, in the Age of Kali even a philosopher-king and saintly spiritualist as great as Parīkṣit could not perfectly keep his country free from suffering and problems. In the modern age, we must try our best to protect those in our care but should not feel crippled by our inevitable shortcomings.

To protect the innocent it is necessary to fend off and curb down the guilty. Thus a king must be powerful and courageous, and most importantly must be able to tell the difference between the innocent and guilty. For this the king requires the guidance of experienced, learned and most importantly, impartial sages.

 


The Love Affair Between Krishna and Mother Earth

SB 1.16.25

Dharaṇī said:

Dear Dharma, the four legs on which you stand spread happiness throughout the worlds. I will enlighten you about all that you have asked.

Dharaṇī refers to the earth as the thing that holds everything and everyone up.

The opulence and happiness we experience in life is equal to the amount of purity, simplicity, kindness and truthfulness we create. Previous ages have a higher standard of life because these four pillars of dharma are incrementally stronger during those ages.

26-30

Truthfulness, cleanliness, compassion, calmness, detachment, satisfaction, sincerity, introspection, restraint, austerity, fairness, learning…

Knowledge, dispassion, power, chivalry, influence, strength, principles, independence, expertise, beauty, steadfastness, and certainly kindness…

Ingenuity, gentility, good manners, willpower, vigor, strength, fortune, depth, dedication, faithfulness, fame, honor, modesty…

…The All-Attractive always has all these and many others great qualities. No one else can ever hope to possess such greatness. He is the flag of good qualities and the palace of beauty herself. I lament because I have just been robed of him; Now I see the ills of Kali in the world.

The world is full of so many serious problems, as Dharma summarized in his questions. But these problems only show themselves when Śrī Krishna is not seen. Therefore to most lamentable problem of all is to be without the company of Śrī Krishna.

31

I lament for myself, and for you too, and for the highest immortals, for the gods, for the forefathers, for the sages, for the saintly, and for people of all types and situations.

Mother Earth says here that without All-Attractive Krishna everything else that was once good becomes lamentable and pathetic. Morality is fruitless without the All-Attractive center. The higher and lower gods and ancestors are not worthy of worship nor have they any real power to bestow benedictions without the All-Attractive center. The sciences of sages become tangential, blurred and misled; the pursuit of saintliness is meaningless; the responsibilities of the stages of material and spiritual development (varnāśrama) are hollow without the All-Attractive center, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

32

Everyone including even Brahmā spends many days struggling in hopes of obtaining her carefree glance. But she, Goddess Śrī, gives herself to the All-Attractive. Abandoning her home in the forests of lotuses she dedicates herself to lovingly caring for his blessed feet!

33

The soles of those beautiful feet decorated my body with their prints – marked with a flag, spur, thunderbolt and lotus – and so decorated my beauty excelled anything within the three worlds and granted me opulences seen nowhere else! Now he has left me… In the end I must have become too proud of my good fortune.

It seems to me that the earth possesses the highest parakīya-madhurya-rāsa relationship with Krishna. We who mistreat the earth – from careless litter to global pollution – seem to be committing a serious transgression towards such an elevated being. We should tend to the earth with affection, knowing the intimacy of her love for Krishna and the pain that she must now feel in separation from him.

34

He manifested his delightful body in the Yadu family to easily and independently rescue me from the extreme burden of hundreds of armies of demoniac. He empowered you to be free from the misery of your broken legs.

In the presence of Krishna, the earth became more beautiful, opulent and fertile than paradise. All things sought by the gods in heaven became easily available on earth. All faults disappeared. Even the broken legs of morality were restored and there was full abundance of purity, simplicity, kindness, and truthfulness.

Mother Earth reveals that when All-Attractive Krishna is present, everything blossoms even beyond its own fullest inherent potential, but in the absence of Śrī Krishna, everything withers – despite whatever potential might be weeping within it.

35

Oh, who can bear to be without that supreme man!? His glances, pleasant smile and sweet words dispel the composure and pride of proud sweethearts. My hairs stood up to celebrate the touch of his feet!!!

The foremost “proud sweetheart” is Krishna’s beloved queen Satyabhāmā. Mother Earth, however, harbored some special pride because although Krishna sometimes had to leave the company of women like Satyabhāmā his feet would almost never leave the bosom of the earth. Perhaps she rationalizes that it is this pride which made Krishna less attracted to her, and capable of leaving her company?

36

While Pṛthivī and Dharma were discussing Krishna in this way, the Philosopher-King named Parīkṣit arrived at the eastward Sarasvatī river.

Pṛthivī refers to the Earth as the great expanse which spreads from horizon to horizon and splits the vast sky.

 


Parikit Hears His Ancestors Glorified in Kirtan

10

Sūta said:

When Parīkṣit was in Kuru Jungle he heard not very desirable news: Kali had spread through his own jurisdictions. Then, with this excellent opportunity for a fight he took up his weapons.

11

His beautiful chariot, beneath a lion-flag and yoked to brilliantly black horses set out from the city along with soldiers, horsemen, elephanteers and charioteers.

12

He brought order and strength to his lands, which included Bhadrāśva, Ketumāla, Bhārata, and northern regions like the land of Kimpuruṣa.

Although the very old geography is difficult for a non-historian like myself to accurately sort out, basically the statement made in texts 10-12 is that Parīkṣit restored a sense of order and dignity to his vast kingdom, which extended far to the south (“Bhārata”), west (“Ketumāla”), north (beyond “Uttarakuru” into regions like “Kimpuruṣa”), and east (“Bhadrāśva”).

The northern regions beyond Uttarakuru are high up in the Himalayas. Various semi-human species live in these remote areas, which is why they have names like Kimpuruṣa, a term that either means, “what kind of being is this?” or “who owns this place?”

13-15

In each and every place he went he always heard bards singing about the great souls who were his own ancestors, because their fame was involved with the glories of Kṛṣṇa. He heard songs about himself, too, about how he had been rescued from the powerful weapon of Aśvatthāma. He heard songs about the great affection between the families of Vṛṣṇi and Pṛthā due to their mutual devotion to Keśava.

Extremely satisfied by these songs his eyes opened wide with delighted love. Being magnanimous, he gave the bards a lot of money, clothing and jewelry.

16

Hearing how the universally obeyed Viṣṇu became a driver, ally, assistant, friend, messenger, guard, follower, and respecter of the beloved Pāṇḍavas caused the king to become moved with devotion for Viṣṇu’s lotus-like feet .

17

He thus passed many days enrapt in thoughts of his ancestors. But pretty soon something very astonishing happened, which is what you wanted to know about.

 


No Time for Jibber Jabber!!!

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.1

Sūta said:

Then, guided by the best of the twice-born, Parīkṣit governed the earth as a great devotee. Indeed, he developed all the great qualities foreseen by the astrologers when he was born.

“Twice-born” refers to a person with excellent education. The first birth is for the body, the second is for the mind. The word for “great devotee” is mahā-bhāgavata. This could be more elaborately translated as, “Great All-Attracted.” The word for “astrologers” is abhijāta-kovida, which could be more elaborately translated as, “experts in extrapolating the birth.”

2

He married Uttara’s daughter, Irāvatī. They had four children: Janamejaya, etc.

3

He held three horse sacrifices [aśvamedhā] by the Ganges. At these he gave abundant charity. He made Śaradvan’s son [Kṛpā] the master. There, the gods could came within the range of the senses.

4

Once, while victoriously travelling the world, he heroically used his power to arrest Kali, a low class man in the form of a king who was destroying the legs of a cow-couple.

Here, Kali refers to the personified kali-yuga. Pretention and fakery is his primary character trait. The cow-couple refers to the cow of Mother Earth and the bull of dharma. Dharma has four “legs” – pillars that hold up morality: truthfulness, simplicity, compassion, and cleanliness. In each age another leg is broken. The only leg that remains in Kali Yuga is truthfulness. The age itself pummels away at this leg so that it crumbles and is completely destroyed as the age progresses.

5

Śaunaka said:

During this victory travels, why did he arrest Kali, a low class man in a king’s costume beating the leg of a cow? O blessed one, please tell us about this if it is a part of what you wish to tell us about Kṛṣṇa.

Śaunaka is surprised that Parīkṣit merely arrested and did not kill such a dangerous person. But this verse is very special because it clearly shows the standard by which the Bhāgavatam was composed, and by which we must also present it. There are all sorts of topics covered in Bhāgavatam, but all of them have explicit and direct relevance to devotional discussion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Vasudeva’s son.

6

Those who drink the real nectar from his lotus-like feet have no interest in wasting their life on unreal jabbering.

7

My boy, short-lived human mortals who desire immortality should befriend the lord of death, who suspends his activities when invited to devotional discussions.

8

No one dies so long as the death-lord is present. That is why the great sages invited him here. Ho! Let us humans now drink the immortal nectar of words about the activities of Hari!

Śaunaka tells Sūta he would like to hear more details about Parīkṣit’s arrest of Kali, if and only insofar as such discussion involves Kṛṣṇa. He wants to drink the delicious nectar from the lotus-like feet of Kṛṣṇa, so he has no interest at all in wasting his life by jibber jabbering about illusions and unreal details. When one discusses Kṛṣṇa the lord of death, Yāma, himself comes to hear the delightful narrations suspending his normal activities. Thus one who submerges himself in Kṛṣṇa-kathā never dies, but goes on and on relishing the ever-new deliciousness of the All-Attractive. This is the poetic metaphor Śaunaka spontaneously composed.

9

Small, small-minded, and certainly with small lifespan; the people of this age sleep away their nights and work away their days for nothing.

Without the immortal nectar of Hari-kathā our short lives are wasted on nothing of importance; we become stunted in every way.