A resolute prayer to Lord Shri Krishna

I dedicate this resolute prayer to Lord Shri Krishna to Goddess Sarawathi, the Goddess of learning, the most divine, the most worshippable to all/of all, who is working under the directions of Lord Hayagreeva, a “Gnanaswaroopa” (embodiment of all spiritual growth, knowledge and wisdom) incarnation of My Lord Shri Krishna / My Lord Naaraayana and who is the consort of Lord Brahma.

Otherwise, I absolutely don’t have the power to comprehend anything in this material world that is full of duality, total confusion, total incoherence, hypocrisy, rampant materialism and total loss of original spiritual values.

Lord Shri Krishna knows I have fully surrendered every bit of me to Him.

Lord Shri Krishna knows I don’t have any individuality anymore.

Lord Shri Krishna knows all my senses, gross, subtle and all the sense organs and the organs of action will no longer perform its functions to gratify itself, the mind and the objects around it.

Lord Shri Krishna had completely transformed me through His miracles, mercy, magnanimity, tolerance, influence (SB 1.16.26-30) by all of his 40 prominent transcendental qualities, with events that had happened to make me fully aware of His Omni-presence.

Lord Shri Krishna has fully protected me from innumerable circumstances that made me absolutely helpless in handling them and this made me fully dependent on Him, so much that He made, makes and will make me fully ignore the consequences of these circumstances because all of them are of material nature.

Lord Shri Krishna has rekindled my faith through the transcendental literatures of Srimad Bhagavatham and Srimad Bhagavad Gita that has made me fully surrendered to Him.

Lord Shri Krishna is fully protecting me by preventing any embarrassing situations that could have happened, that is happening now and that will happen in the future by making me indifferent to all of them since He has made me realize that these situations would serve no ultimate purpose.

Lord Shri Krishna has made me surrender to my very existence to Him now, there is no longer “I” “me” “mine” or any duality. My “I” is now fully dissolved to “i” as of now only because the jiva is still dwelling in the material body and only Lord Shri Krishna knows when to free the jiva from the shackles of material existence.

Various functions still need to be performed with the sense objects in this material world through the five sense organs controlled by the mind, intelligence and false ego and the five organs of action has to continue its functions as long as the jiva continues to reside in this dumb material body that is continuing to decaying all the time.

On one fine day, this material body will become totally unfit for the jiva soul to reside and will be fit only for consumption by dogs, owls, jackals, vultures, worms, or if lucky, by fire through proper cremation rites. Somehow, the jiva still has to either force its way out through the nine gates of the body to take residence in another such material body or having become free of attachments and becoming absolutely free from the modes of material nature, reside permanently in Lord Shri Krishna’s abode serving Him eternally.

This last option again depending on keeping up the Surrender to Lord Shri Krishna for the rest of the life and following Lord Shri Krishna in Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatham with renewed vigour and listening and abiding to His instructions in His form as Paramatma or Supersoul dwelling in the heart besides the individual jiva.

Lord Shri Krishna is the Paramatma or the Supersoul residing in my heart and He has awakened the jiva because of the jiva’s persistent failure in its search for bliss by persistently associating with the material body and objects, thereof in which it is dwelling.

The jiva has finally got the “brains” now to realise that it is not the doer and that it needs to surrender to the Supersoul or Paramatma also known as Avigyaata residing with him side by side, monitoring and waiting to help all the time.

(Om Avignatre Namah – 482/1000th name for Lord Shri Krishna/Lord Shri Vishnu in Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam) which means the supreme personality who cannot be seen / known by ordinary means)

Lord Shri Krishna, through his causeless mercy being shown because of a simple act of total surrender has enlivened the jiva soul with the real path of attaining supreme bliss.

All one needs to do is not to get entangled to the material world again, though the material nature through the senses and the mind provides abundant opportunities for the jiva soul to get mis-directed even if it shows a tinge of inclination towards the sway of the three modes of material nature, goodness, passion and ignorance.

Related Posts:

  1. Magnificence of Srimad Bhagavatham
  2. Interpretations to Post 40: Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam
  3.  Summary of Teachings from Srimad Bhagavatham – Part One
  4. Prayer for Surrender
  5. Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatham Canto 1
  6. Conversation 026 – Modes of material nature (and beyond)
  7. A miracle untold ? A true experience
  8. Life and BG 18.66
  9.  Conversation 018 – Constitutional position of the soul

Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatham Canto 1

Introduction: Srimad Bhagavatham is considered the foremost and prominent of all Puranas as is mentioned in other Puranas like Garuda Purana and Skanda Purana. Srimad Bhagavatham is the essence of Vedanta and a natural commentary of Vedanta sutra, both compiled by Srila Vyasadev. Srimad Bhagavatham is like a torch that can redeem us from this dense dark age of Kali.

Srimad Bhagavatham is the spotless Purana. It is most dear to the Vaisnavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the enlightened. – Srimad Bhagavatham – 12.13.18.

The twenty-six qualities of a Vaisnava mentioned by Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Srimad Bhagavatham – 5.18.12 are:

(1) Very kind to everyone.

(2) Does not make anyone his/her enemy.

(3) Truthful.

(4) Equal to everyone.

(5) No one can find any fault in him/her.

(6) Magnanimous.

(7) Mild.

(8) Always clean.

(9) Without possessions.

(10) Works for everyone’s benefit.

(11) Very peaceful.

(12) Always surrendered to Krishna.

(13) Has no material desires.

(14) Very meek.

(15) Steady.

(16) Controls the senses.

(17) Does not eat more than required.

(18) Not influenced by the Lord’s illusory energy.

(19) Offers respect to everyone.

(20) Does not desire any respect for himself/herself.

(21) Very grave.

(22) Merciful.

(23) Friendly.

(24) Poetic.

(25) Expert.

(26) Silent.

Regular study of Srimad Bhagavatham will definitely develop these qualities in us and enable us to reach the abode of Lord Shri Krishna.

Canto 1 reflects several prominent Vaishnava characters and their exalted behaviour under exacting circumstances. They are a great lesson for us to inculcate. They are highly inspirational and the way they conquered their senses due to their devotion to Lord Krishna is exemplary.

I attempt to reflect on these qualities that would inspire us to achieve similar results:

  1. Narada – Epitome of Bhakti (devotion – always surrendered to Krishna).
  2. Draupadi – Epitome of Dhaya (mercifulness) – Srimad Bhagavatham – 1.7.43-48.
  3. Queen Kunti – Unalloyed devotion to Lord Shri Krishna – Srimad Bhagavatham – 1.8.18-43.
  4. Vidura – Epitome of Dharma – Srimad Bhagavatham –1.13.18-30.
  5. The Pandavas.
  6. Maharaj Parikshit – The examiner – Last 7 days of life Vs temporary material existence.

Narada: Even after compiling the Vedas and the great Mahabharata, the great sage Srila Vyasadev felt despondent. Sage Narada approached Srila Vyasadev and asked him to describe the transcendental pastimes of Lord Shri Krishna more vividly and exclusively.

Sage Narada described his birth as the son of a maid servant in his previous birth and how he developed the unalloyed qualities of a Vaishnava.

Even as a small boy, Narada engaged himself in the personal service of Vaishnavas, being self-controlled, peaceful and did not eat or speak than required. He always listened to the glories of Lord Shri Krishna. Due to his exemplary behaviour, he was instructed with the most confidential knowledge from the sages.

When his mother was bitten by a serpent, the boy was not at all perturbed, but utilised the transcendental knowledge to gain self-realisation by severe penance. He was ultimately reborn as Narada Muni in his next birth.

Draupadi: Draupadi’s Vaishnava qualities is really very difficult to surpass. When her five children was brutally murdered during their sleep by Aswatthama and this act was disapproved even by the heinous Duryodhana, Draupadi asked Arjuna to release him from the shackles. She gave due respects to him and said Guru Dronacharya still exist in the form of his son and that Krpi, the mother of Aswatthama should not get to lament for the loss of her son.

Thus Draupadi is kind, equal and offer respects to everyone, merciful, magnanimous, peaceful, does not make anyone her enemy and above all not at all influenced by the Lord’s illusory energy. This also shows she is always surrendered to Krishna. She clearly understands everything is temporary in this world and always ready to sacrifice for a higher cause.

Queen Kunti: Queen Kunti’s unflinching devotion to Lord Krishna had managed to keep every trouble at bay. After Aswatthama intended to kill Uttara’s son by invoking the Brahmastra again, Lord Krishna neutralised it. Queen Kunti offered her prayers to Lord Krishna establishing her as an exemplary Vaishnava. Her prayers clearly indicate that she is not influenced by the Lord’s illusory energy which could delude those who are not Krishna Conscious. She is very meek and gentle. She has no material desires as mentioned below:

” My Lord, Your Lordship can easily be approached, but only by those who are materially exhausted. One who is on the path of material progress, trying to improve himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education and bodily beauty, cannot approach You with sincere feeling. My obeisances are unto You, who are the property of the materially impoverished.” – Srimad Bhagavatham – 1.8.26-27.

Vidura: Vidura is a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna and an ardent well-wisher of the Pandavas. Vidura was always detached, free from material desire and without any possessions. He offers respect to everyone but does not desire any respect for himself as can be evidenced when Duryodhana spoke to him very harshly after he offered sound advice to Dhritarashtra to hand over half the kingdom to Pandavas. Vidura just kept his bow on the door side and left the place without saying any word thus displaying his immense control of senses.

Vidura is very kind to everyone and works for everyone’s benefit. Due to unequivocal advice to his brother King Dhritharashtra, he managed to break him from the shackles of his degraded existence in the house of Bhima to a life of renunciation and then liberation. (Srimad Bhagavatham 1.13.18-30)

The Pandavas: The Pandavas dedicated themselves to Lord Shri Krishna throughout their life, so much that as soon they heard about the disappearance of Lord Krishna and the impending arrival of Kali, they relinquished everything! (Srimad Bhagavatham 1.15) While this act is considered almost impossible for us in this age, it will be virtuous for us to study the Mahabharata to know about their tribulations and how they overcame it.

Maharaja Parikshit:  Maharaja Parikshit was under the tutelage of his illustrious grandfathers, the Pandavas and is therefore naturally a staunch Vaishnava. He is always surrendered to Krishna, does not make anyone his enemy (his enemies offers themselves to him), offers respect to everyone, merciful (even to the Personality of Kali when he sought his surrender). Even after knowing the curse that he will die within 7 days due to snakebite, he displayed immense control of his senses with no material desires and offered to surrender himself exclusively to Lord Krishna by fasting until death.

Conclusion: The main takeaway from Canto 1 is this: Our existence in this world is temporary and death can strike us any moment. King Parikshit is fortunate enough to know it a week before and was able to realise the absolute truth but we are not so fortunate. We live a very busy life dedicating very little time to read, understand and apply the knowledge of our scriptures, especially Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatham to our lives. However, if we are able to inculcate these Vaishnava qualities during the course of our life, our life will be successful. For this, the study of Srimad Bhagavatham plays a very important role.

Conversation 015 – Women in the material world

For a spiritual seeker, too much involvement in worldly affairs is a very dangerous thing. Material world revolves around attraction between the sexes.

This post is not to undermine the importance of women or the fair sex but the effects of over indulgence that causes damage. The conversation reflects this sentiment:

Seeker 1: Why does our puranas and ithihasas always seem to reflect the fair sex in a poor light considering the fact that they provide the environment for shelter and growth of a living being and make supreme sacrifices?

Seeker 2: It is a common misconception. At a majority of places, importance of women is stressed. It is only through the grihastha ashrama (Household life through the institution of marriage) and begetting of children and leading an ideal life that one gets liberated from the cycle of births and deaths.

Panchakanyas (Five virgins) – Ahalya (Wife of sage Gautam), Tara (wife of the supreme monkey king Vali) and Mandodari (wife of King Ravana) from Ramayana and Kunti (Wife of General Pandu) and Draupadi (Wife of Pandavas) from Mahabharatha are embodiment of virtue and womanhood and are considered as models of ideal women. The well-known Sanskrit hymn that defines the Panchakanya as:

ahalyā draupadī kunti tārā mandodarī tathā
pañcakanyāḥ smarennityaṃ mahāpātakanāśinīḥ 

which means: Ahalya, Draupadi, Kunti, Tara and Mandodari. One should forever remember the panchakanya who are the destroyers of great sins. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchakanya).

Puranas are great in the sense that they also show the life of non-ideal men whose lives got ruined because of lusting after women and the women taking advantage of that to get the benefits. Such examples are an eyeopeners for us that kindle us to lead an ideal life.

First, you will be amazed to know how women think about themselves!

Seeker 1: Tell me that Gyan. I am very eager to know it. It is so valuable to lead a good life.

Seeker 2: Yes. This lesson is taught about the king Pururava enchanted by the celestial girl Urvasi and falls to her whims. It is in the 9th Canto: Liberation, Chapter 14: King Purūravā Enchanted by Urvaśī (https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/14/) – verses 35 to 38. Urvashi herself counsels Pururava about the general nature of women! It’s worth reading the entire story.

Seeker 1: 🧞‍♂

Seeker 2: Urvaśī said: “My dear King, you are a man, a hero. Don’t be impatient and give up your life. Be sober and don’t allow the senses to overcome you like foxes. Don’t let the foxes eat you. In other words, you should not be controlled by your senses. Rather, you should know that the heart of a woman is like that of a fox. There is no use making friendship with women. Women as a class are merciless and cunning. They cannot tolerate even a slight offense. For their own pleasure they can do anything irreligious, and therefore they do not fear killing even a faithful husband or brother. Women are very easily seduced by men. Therefore, polluted women give up the friendship of a man who is their well-wisher and establish false friendship among fools. Indeed, they seek newer and newer friends, one after another.”

and later in Srimad Bhagavatam, King Pururava himself regrets his behaviour. See what he says…

“Because I allowed my intelligence to become dull and because I failed to control my senses, the great confusion in my mind did not go away, even though Urvaśī herself gave me wise counsel with well-spoken words. How can I blame her for my trouble when I myself am ignorant of my real, spiritual nature? I did not control my senses, and so I am like a person who mistakenly sees a harmless rope as a snake. Therefore, one should never let his senses associate freely with women or with men attached to women. Even those who are highly learned cannot trust the six enemies of the mind; what to speak, then, of foolish persons like me!” All these comes in the 11th Canto: General History, Chapter 26: The Aila-gītā (https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/11/26/)

Seeker 2: Thus, it is to be realised that this material body is a piece of dull matter that will be later burnt, buried or eaten away by scavenging animals like foxes or vultures. Only the good deeds get carried forward in the form of good karma in subsequent births or renunciation and surrender to the Supreme that gives liberation from future births!

This is such a simple truth but in this present materialistic world no one puts their brains to understand it. The girls, the boys, the adults everyone hanging around with their gadgets waste their valuable time in mindless pursuits. It is high time we realise that and the purpose of our very existence!

Conversation 006: Classification of Puranas

In this conversation, we will see the purpose behind the classification of the 18 major puranas ad also see the important sections in Mahabharata where spiritual instructions are conveyed.

Seeker 1: I am not sure why there are 18 puranas like Vishnu purana, Garuda purana, Skanda purana , Markandeya purana etc.

Seeker 2: You want to know why?

Seeker 1: Yes

Seeker 2: This again has got to do with the modes of material nature – goodness, passion and  ignorance. Srila Veda Vyasa wants everyone to take to God realisations. Thus, we have six puranas dedicated to mode of goodness (Guna Avatar – Lord Vishnu), six to passion (Guna Avatar – Lord Brahma) and six to ignorance (Guna Avatar – Lord Shiva). This is because He realised in kali age everyone is less intelligent. Refer https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/12/2 for The Symptoms of Kali-yuga. Thus, Vyasa Dev has to codify all the Puranas into writing. The different puranas appeal to different categories of people with different modes.

Seeker 1: Do you have the puranas’ list based on above categories?

Seeker 2: Yes, the Vishnuite Puranas (Vishnu, Narada, Bhagavata, Garuda, Padma, Varaha) are of the quality of “goodness” (Sattvika) and lead to salvation. The Puranas dedicated to Brahman (Brahmanda, Brahmavaivarta, Markandeya, Bhavisya, Vamana, Brahma) are of the quality of “passion” (rajasa) and only serve to attain heaven, while the Puranas in praise of Shiva (Matsya, Kurma, Linga, Siva, Skanda, Agni) are described as charged with “darkness” and is aimed at bringing the people in the mode of darkness to initiate God realization.

Seeker 1: what is this: Brahman, Paramatma and Supreme?

Seeker 2: They are different stages of God realisation. Brahman is saying God is formless and we will merge in it when we relinquish our material bodies. Paramatman means God is within and without. i.e he is in every heart of a living being and also outside the living being simultaneously. Supreme Personality means God is endowed with Form and he is absolute. This is the last and final stage of realization that we are part and parcel of Him. He resides eternally in a spiritual realm called “Vaikuntha”.

Seeker 1: What made Ved Vyasa to write all these voluminous Puranas? Who is his inspiration?

Seeker 2: Veda Vyasa got instructions from Narada Muni. He expanded on it by deep meditation.

Seeker 1: But how does Narad muni know all this information and from whom did he receive it?

Seeker 2: Narada Muni is the mental son of Lord Brahma. So, he got all the knowledge from him. Lord Brahma in turn got from Maha Vishnu. In other words, this has gone like a cycle because Ved Vyasa is considered literary incarnation of Lord Vishnu but since he is in human form he has to be given instructions by a person advanced in spiritual realisation. Ved Vyasa has to take birth from a low caste fisherwoman Satyavati through Parasara Muni. So, he himself has to get instructions from someone for inspiration!

Seeker 1: Any proof on “Vyasa is considered literary incarnation of Lord Vishnu?

Seeker 2: it’s all in the literature 🙂 No other proof is required. They say it’s not enough for 100s of births to assimilate the knowledge in our Vedas and Scriptures. That’s why we are asked to focus on key stuff. For e.g. Shrimad Bhagavatham is the commentary of the entire Vedanta sutra. Bhagavat Gita is considered the cream of all Upanishads. It would take more than a life time just to understand and apply just these two scriptures because every time we read or listen it gives new revelation every time! It is just that important to seek and know the answers to life’s real problems.

Seeker 1: I would like to know a few important characters and instructions that is of immediate relevance and assimilation in Mahabharata.

Seeker 2: Some instructions worth immediate consideration would be Vidura neethi between Dhritharashtra and Vidura, Yaksha Prashna between a Yaksha and Yudhishtra, Bhagavat gita between Arjuna and Lord Shri Krishna, Bheeshma’s final instructions to Yudhistra and Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam are all part of the greatest epic, The Mahabharata.

Seeker 1: Wow. Great! Thank you. Very good to know!

Seeker 2: You are most welcome!

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