Oct 042018
 

During a preview of Viva Kultura in Gauranga Hall in Houston, the person playing the elderly gentleman who introduced Srimad-Bhagavatam walked down into the audience and presented me the volume: Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapters 1–8.  Somehow I was deeply touched by that act, and I carried the book with me back to my ashram in Carpinteria, where I keep it on my bedside table. (Later, Indradyumna Swami told me that the elderly gentleman was played by Sitala and Hari-sauri’s daughter, Rasarani.)

So, last night, I opened the book randomly, and I was struck by the profound verse and purport that I found:

idam bhagavatam nama
  puranam brahma-sammitam
uttama-sloka-caritam
  cakara bhagavan rsih
nihsreyasaya lokasya
  dhanyam svasty-ayanam mahat

“This scripture named Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful, and all-perfect.” (SB 1.3.40)

Purport: “Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared that Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless sound representation of all Vedic knowledge and history. Therein are selected histories of great devotees who are in direct contact with the Personality of Godhead. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna and is therefore nondifferent from Him. Srimad-Bhagavatam should be worshiped as respectfully as we worship the Lord. Thereby we can derive the ultimate blessings of the Lord through its careful and patient study. As God is all light, all bliss, and all perfection, so also is Srimad-Bhagavatam. We can have all the transcendental light of the Supreme Brahman, Sri Krsna, from the recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam, provided it is received through the medium of the transparent spiritual master. Lord Caitanya’s private secretary Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami advised all intending visitors who came to see the Lord at Puri to make a study of the Bhagavatam from the person Bhagavatam. The person Bhagavatam is the self-realized bona fide spiritual master, and through him only can one understand the lessons of the Bhagavatam in order to receive the desired result. One can derive from the study of the Bhagavatam all benefits that are possible to be derived from the personal presence of the Lord. It carries with it all the transcendental blessings of Lord Sri Krsna that we can expect from His personal contact.”

I pray that I may realize the truths I read in the verse and purport, that “Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna and is therefore nondifferent from Him” and that “One can derive from the study of the Bhagavatam all benefits that are possible to be derived from the personal presence of the Lord. It carries with it all the transcendental blessings of Lord Sri Krsna that we can expect from His personal contact.”

And I think of Srila Prabhupada’s words shortly before he departed from our vision, as recorded in one of his last purports in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.13.54):

“We should discuss Srimad-Bhagavatam daily as much as possible, and then everything will be clarified, for Bhagavatam is the essence of all Vedic literature (nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam [SB 1.1.3]). It was written by Vyasadeva (maha-muni-krte) when he was self-realized. Thus the more we read Srimad-Bhagavatam, the more its knowledge becomes clear. Each and every verse is transcendental.”

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

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