Conversation 059 – Worshipping “Gods” Vs Worshipping the Supreme Lord

Happy Radhashtami! Jai Shri Krishna! Jai Shrimati Radharani!

Seeker 1: I want to share an excerpt from a post I have been reading and it would be great if you could share your views on that. Please check:

I am proud of my daughter for being a true Vaishnava and I am happy to share her post –

As a true Vaishnava I do not celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi (making/eating kozhukkattais (sweets) does not count!).

Every individual following a religion subscribes to a certain philosophy; and a God and they choose to worship according to that belief. Some Hindus pray to multiple Gods, Some Iyengars practice polymorphic monotheism. We subscribe to the idea of only one supreme God, (Paramatma) and the rest (including demigods) are all either sentient (jivatma) or insentient (achit). This principle, called tatvatrayam is the basis of Visishtadvaitam, which I follow as an Iyengar.
Iyengars are called ‘Sri Vaishnavas’. The word Sri Vaishnava means “the one who belongs to Vishnu”.
Iyengars who follow this practice have been chided by those who do not believe in this philosophy. Since I follow Visishtadvaitam, my belief is that Lord Vishnu is the Paramatma.

Seeker 2: There is nothing to be proud of in this! 😦 What is there to being proud in this??? Being proud is the biggest cause of concern and all sorts of complex and complexity starts with that! 😊. What do you mean by true Vaishnava? Either you are a Vaishnava or you are not. That’s all. There’s nothing in between! And Vaishnava is developing the 26 qualities of a Vaishnava and living as a Vaishnava by being an example. A Vaishnava is a person who manifests the following 26 good qualities:

(1) Very kind.

(2) Always friendly.

(3) Truthful.

(4) Impartial.

(5) Faultless.

(6) Magnanimous.

(7) Mild.

(8) Uncontaminated.

(9) Without possessions.

(10) Works for everyone’s benefit.

(11) Very peaceful.

(12) Always surrendered to Krishna.

(13) No material desires.

(14) Gentle.

(15) Steady.

(16) Sense control.

(17) Frugal.

(18) Un-influenced by Maya.

(19) Respectful.

(20) Humility.

(21) Very grave.

(22) Merciful.

(23) Friendly.

(24) Poetic.

(25) Expert.

(26) Silent. – Srimad Bhagavatham – 5.18.12 Purport

Seeker 2: Not by eating kozhukattai or not one becomes a Vaishnava! 😊.

Seeker 2: Being a Vaishnava is a quality that doesn’t come by birth as being born as an “Iyengar” or something. It only comes by developing the qualities of a Vaishnava. So, the primary surmise by calling oneself on the caste names and associating oneself as Vaishnava only calls for sectarianism.

Seeker 2: In Kali yuga where none of the Brahminical / Vedic practices can be / are practiced properly and because everything is polluted, the occupational duties and varnashrama system is totally lost now. Everything has been compromised and if one does not accept this fact one is in the dark for sure!
Seeker 2: Praying to Lord Vishnu by acknowledging Him as the superior being is one thing and praying to Lord Shiva, Lord Vinayaka, Lord Muruga etc who are empowered incarnations/devotees could also be taken as praying to Vishnu but in an indirect way because Vishnu is there as Paramatma in everything living or non-living and everything is His manifestation. He is there even inside every atom!
Seeker 2: Majority are believing in certain beliefs just by following some instructions from someone whom they consider knowledgeable and by listening to some discourses in YouTube etc. by those who satisfy their whims. Most of them do not even enquire what they mean and how it is applicable in present life situations and are easily misled because of lack of self-enquiry, people therefore believe and do as they wish and according to their own whims change their practices according to time, place and situations.
Seeker 2: Krishna just says Maam Ekam Saranam Vraja (BG 18.66) – mentioning and explaining this in detail is more than enough instead of this twisted round about explanations. Trying to show one false superiority is the root cause of all problems. Religion is all personal and based on situation and for the individual soul to attain the supreme destination is the experience of the individual objective and that is the only objective of this human birth.. Explanation needs to be given only to the right people, not to everyone under the sun just because they ask for it because most people cannot comprehend these things because each one of us is under the three modes of material nature and therefore would only lead to unnecessary arguments and misinterpretations!
Seeker 2: Krishna also says first offer it to the demigods who is ordained their respective functions and that is as good as offering to Me because it will anyway reach Me through them.
Seeker 2: “In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], supply all necessities to man. But he who enjoys these gifts without offering them to the demigods in return is certainly a thief”. – Bhagavad Gita 3.12. it’s also a known fact that watering the roots nourishes the entire tree and feeding the stomach satisfies the entire body. Similarly satisfying Shri Krishna satisfies everyone and everything. But to reach that level of awareness or understanding can be attained only by unalloyed service developing the qualities of a Vaishnava. That is why Krishna Himself mentions this as the most confidential secret that is to be gradually understood and that is why that is His final instruction at the very end – Maam Ekam Saranam vraja – Bhagavad Gita 18.66. Otherwise, He could have said that at the very beginning itself and closed Bhagavad Gita at 2.11 itself and need not have started sermonising beginning with the concepts of the soul 🙂
Seeker 1: Your explanation is really good!
Seeker 2: 😀 Nothing great in this!
Seeker 2: There are certain things to be practiced regularly before one comes to talk on religious or spiritual aspects and also to gradually develop these mentioned Vaishnava qualities because this is the science of life not that of materialistic sciences like the subject matter that is taught in schools ,colleges etc.! These are some of the following that are to be cultivated:

Seeker 2: Learning to live without any expectations combined with continuous readings and listening’s of scriptures, primarily Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatham from authentic sources in line with proper disciplic succession to understand and realise the Absolute Truth.
Seeker 2: Not talking unnecessarily (Silence) and not getting involved in any topics that are useless and are not food for the soul.
Seeker 2: Being restrictive in eating habits, drinking lots of water, fasting regularly and completely avoiding rajasic and tamasic foods.

Seeker 2: Avoiding association of people who believe in only money and earning money is the only thing in life.
Seeker 2: Not getting involved in unnecessary arguments about anyone on/or anything.
Seeker 2: Knowing what is our purpose and sticking with it at all costs and circumstances, no matter what.
Seeker 2: Realising you can’t make anyone understand anything no matter how much you try since It’s only waste of time and energy. One can only be just an influencer. The change has got to begin from oneself.
Seeker 1: You are very clear and correct!
Seeker 2: Doing all the above in a gradual and phased manner and persisting with it despite the hardships that it will bring in initially by strongly believing these aspects will change one’s quality of life for better in the long run.
Seeker 1: yes, I understood.
Seeker 2: “Different people are of different mentalities. Therefore it is not my business either to praise them or to blaspheme them. I only desire their welfare, hoping that they will agree to become one with the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.Srimad Bhagavatham 7.13.42
Seeker 2: This must be the attitude to be followed as mentioned by a care free Avadhutha to Prahalada Maharaja when he enquired on his way of life.
Seeker 1: Everything runs according to the grace of God. God is great. Sarvam Krishnarpanam!
Seeker 2: Yes. 100% true!

Seeker 2: “Nārada Muni desired that Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva see Vāsudeva face to face, the Supreme Personality of Godhead wanted to fulfill the words of His very dear devotee Nārada Muni. If one seeks the favor of a devotee instead of directly asking favors from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is very easily successful.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 10.10.25 Purport.
Seeker 2: Another reference to you to enhance what we were discussing. So, whoever one may worship if the wish is not selfish one will surely reach Krishna otherwise there is no chance!
Seeker 1: Super!

Seeker 2: Lord Shri Krishna’s daily activities is mentioned like this in Srimad Bhagavatham: “Lord Krsna would  offer obeisances to the cows, brähmaëas and demigods, His elders and spiritual masters, and all living beings—all of whom are expansions of His supreme personality. Then He would touch auspicious things“. Srimad Bhagavatham 10.70.10.

Seeker 2: This is Lord Shri Krishna’s one of the final instructions to Sri Uddhava in the Bhakti yoga section of Uddhava Gita: “For him who constantly meditates upon My  presence within all persons, the bad tendencies of rivalry, envy and abusiveness, along with false ego, are very quickly destroyed. Disregarding the ridicule of one’s companions, one should give up the bodily conception and its accompanying embarrassment. One should offer obeisances before all—even the dogs, outcastes, cows and asses—falling flat upon the ground like a rod. Until one has fully developed the ability to see Me within all living beings, one must continue to worship Me by this process with the activities of his speech, mind and body.” Srimad Bhagavatham 11.29.15, 16, 17.

Seeker 2: Nothing is an authentic as this process of worship as Shri Krishna himself says it: “My dear Uddhava, because I have personally established it, this process of devotional service unto Me is transcendental and free from any material motivation. Certainly a devotee never suffers even the slightest loss by adopting this process.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 11.29.20

Thank you very much!

Related Post(s):

  1. Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatham Canto 1
  2. Life and BG 18.66

Vaishnava Sampradayas (Contd.)

This post may be taken as a side note to the Conversation 039 – Vaishnava Sampradayas (Tradition/Spiritual Lineage)

The subtle variations of intrepretations by great acharyas of various sampradayas/schools and the many liberated souls, combined with our own understandings of their philosophies that give rise to brainstorming with meaningful interesting discussions thus clearing our doubts and ignorance and broadens our insights.


You would be knowing the four bonafide/primary Vaishnava Sampradayas:
1. Sri/Maha Lakshmi – the consort of Lord Naarayana/Maha Vishnu (Sri Ramanujacharya – an expansion of Lakshmana/Sankharshana/Aadishesha –,
2. Brahma (Sri Madhvacharya – the (self-proclaimed?) third avatar or incarnation of Vayu, wind god, the son of Vishnu – /,
3. Rudra/’Lord Shiva (Sri Vishnuswami ( + Sri Vallabhacharya ( ) and
4. Gaudiya (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – a devotee incarnation of Lord Shri Krishna –

All of them are identified by subtle variations and even have sub sects in them having further subtle differences in their main tenets.

For example, Sri Sampradaya is branched into two subsects – the Northeners (Vadagalai – the sect i belong to by birth 🙂  ) – the progressive, and the Southerners (Thengalai) – the more orthodox…

This article by my favourite Stephen Knapp that briefly explains various aspects of this and is worth reading. –

You may excuse my limited knowledge of variations between various manifestation of Lord Krishna/Lord Maha Vishnu/Lord Naaraayanaa and the interchange in terms of name/usage – Lila-incarnations, incarnations, expansions, primary expansions, secondary expansions, expansions of an expansion, portions, plenary portions, portions of plenary portions etc.

But the ultimate thing to note is that they are all specially empowered beings designated with a specific purpose during the course of their descent into the material plane and subsequent ascent into the spiritual plane once their mission/purpose is accomplished.

They are Nitya (, determined to bless us jiva souls to also to transcend/ascent to their plane and it is up to us to utilize the teachings and follow their path (in whatever ideology that one may find comfortable to follow because of their modes of material nature -apart from the above four , not to ignore / forget the Advaita school of thought propounded by Aadi Shankaracharya, an empowered expansion of Lord Shiva/Rudra as mentioned in the Padma Purana and Shiva Purana, refutations of this school of thought is the primary factor behind the tenets of the vaishnava sampradayas that came into existence/prominence after the ascent and descent of Aadi Shankara).

It’s only the spiritual evolution and the realisation of the impermenance, ever-changing and ever-transforming attributes of the material universe and the need to transcend beyond it that is of primary importance.

This concludes my 150th blog post!

Note: Regarding transcendence, one may refer to this amazing, mind-blowing book – Transcendence – My Spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swamiji and be blown over by it! – A dialogue between The People’s President, The Missile Man, above all a great human being to have walked on this earth, Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam(1931-2015) and Pramukh Swamiji(1921-2016) – the acharya from the lineage of Bhagwan Swami Narayan school of Vaishnava Sampradaya – the treatise Vachanamruta being the bible of the teachings of this Sampradaya, and the establishment of Akshardham temples all over the world under his leadership, particularly the amazing Akshardham temple at Noida, New Delhi, India.

These are the books that has the capability to alter the course of our thought process for good!

Conversation 041 – Fasting on Ekadashis

This conversation is based on the post :

Conversation 027 – Money, Lifestyle and Ultimate Purpose

with an advanced devotee from Russia, living in ISKCON, Vrindavan and is of the renounced order:

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna!

Seeker 2: i wanted to ask one thing…how you keep up the fasting without getting exhausted…

Seeker 2: i have also to do office work and sometimes i get very exhausted.

Seeker 1: Okay. It depends on what kind of fasting you are in. Of course if you have to work I would not recommend to avoid any food or drink. You could take water at least, some fruits

Seeker 2: yes… I am restricting myself to only water and fruits

Seeker 1: If you feel it’s difficult and it disturbs your mind then it’s better to take normal food (without grains), one time a day to take food without grains is also considered to be fasting

Seeker 2: yes…but i don’t want to do that…Krishna has been making me handle what I have been doing so far…it’s just for one day and i feel i have to do it for Krishna…

Seeker 2: i feel i will lose the purpose if i do that…

Seeker 1: Then you continue. Don’t compromise.

Seeker 2: Thank you…Yes…i want to live for Krishna as long as i live and this is the least i can do for that i feel…

Seeker 2: and i want to always have the association with pure devotees like you…

Seeker 1: The humble attitude is the gates to Krishna’s world. “Trinadapi sunichena..” Please never lose it. Only they will not make you divert from the purpose.

Seeker 2: I am living with no like-minded people and it is so easy to get corrupted.

Seeker 1: Are you initiated?!

Seeker 2: I am already in Sri Ramunajacharya sect from birth.

Seeker 2: But i find not much difference when i read Srila Prabhupada. So i got naturally inclined.

Seeker 2: Conceptually there are at least 95% similarity in the ideologies.

Seeker 2: When you visit the temples in South Indiam particularly my State Tamil nadu you will also realise this.

Seeker 2: i have mentioned all the temples, i have visited along with their history, significance in my blog.

Seeker 1: That’s fine. Initiation is important. Any of the four Vaisnava’s sampradayas are genuine. If you feel inspired by Lokanath Swami why don’t you ask him to shelter you? It will give you more strength and confidence in your spiritual life.

Seeker 2: But i am already initiated and i am not inclined to change towards anything else, at least for now. i don’t know if the time comes…

Seeker 1: Krishna knows better what is good for you. If there will be need He will make all arrangements.

Seeker 2: Yes surely. Hare Krishna!

Seeker 2: He has got me under His hold…this is His divine will.

Seeker 2: Please check this:

Seeker 2: Our family deity

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna!

Seeker 2: The Lord has inscribed the Bhagavad Gita verse 18.66 in His left hand. “MaamEkam Saranam Vraja” in the language Tamil.

Seeker 2: Summary of Teachings from Srimad Bhagavatham – Part One also establishes this fact.

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna!

Seeker 1: Hari Bol!

Related Posts:

  1. Conversation 039 – Vaishnava Sampradayas (Tradition/Spiritual Lineage)
  2. Summary of Teachings from Srimad Bhagavatham – Part One
  3. Prayer for Surrender
  4. Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatham Canto 1
  5. Life and BG 18.66

Conversation 039 – Vaishnava Sampradayas (Tradition/Spiritual Lineage)

This conversation based on my yesterday’s post – Interpretations to Post 40: Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam with an advanced devotee from Russia, living in ISKCON, Vrindavan and is of the renounced order:

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna! This is my latest post:

Seeker 2: Interpretations to Post 40: Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam

Seeker 2: Please read it and let me know what you think about it.

Seeker 1: Hare Krishna! Nice article. Do you know according to sastras chanting 1000 times Visnu sahasranam is the same as chanting 1 time name of Lord Rama; and chanting 3000 times Visnu Sahasranam is the same as chanting 1 time Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

Seeker 1: Isvara uvaca: “Sri rama rameti rame manorame, sahasra nama tatulyam rama nama varanine”. Lord Siva addressed Parvati: “Varanana (lovely-faced woman), I chant the holy name of Rama, Rama, Rama and thus constantly enjoy this beautiful sound. This holy name of Ramachandra is equal to one thousand holy names of Lord Vishnu (Vishnu-sahasra-nama-strotram).

Seeker 1: Srila Prabhupad wrote in a letter: Without cleansing the mind, nobody can advance in spiritual understanding. And chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is the cleansing process of mind. Further Prabhupad said: There is no difference between, chanting Hare Krishna and meeting Krishna eye to eye, face to face. One simply has to realize.

Seeker 2: Actually it is a short cut mentioned for those who don’t want to spend time chanting 1000 names. There is also a calculation based on the syllables of the word ra ma.

Seeker 2: The feelings that one gets after chanting the 1000 names is incomparable. The vibration and the rhythm of the combination of names arranged like a garland and the flow is a bliss for those who chant it.

Seeker 2: Srila Prabhupada ji’s intention is to create the right mindset among common people to introduce to chanting the holy names of Lord Shri Krishna. Hare Krishna mahamantra is the simplest and most potent of all.

Seeker 2: Every sampradaya (spiritual lineage) is unique in its interpretations but the final destination is the name.

Seeker 2: Gaudiya sampradaya says Lord Shri Krishna is supreme while Sri Ramanuja or Sri Sampradaya says Lord Sriman Narayana is supreme.

Seeker 2: These subtle variations interfere between people moving across various sampradaya or spiritual lineage.

Seeker 2: People who are ingrained in their sampradaya for generations don’t change their sampradaya but accept other sampradaya’s permises based on their equivalence of approach and have healthy debates.

Seeker 2:

Seeker 2: This is the calculation behind the power of the name Rama!

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna!

Seeker 2: Yes thank you very much for reaffirming. on Rama Naamaa. I started chanting Hare Krishna mahamantra after my first ever visit to any Iskcon Temple, it was in Singapore in 2004-2005 and since then Hare Krishna mahamantra has become a part of me. It’s so simple, so sweet, so beautiful, so powerful, so captivating to heart, so blissful, so relishable, the more I chant I couldn’t feel satiated… chanting along with Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam I am what I am because of the synergistic effects.

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna!

Seeker 2: All the primary 24 expansions of Lord Shri Krishna is arranged in a beautiful sequence at appropriated places in Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam.

Seeker 2: The appearance of Sri Chaitanya mahaprabhu is also mentioned in Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam:

Seeker 2: “Suvarna-varno hemango varangas-candanangadi”. “When Krsna appears as Sri Caitanya (Sri Gauranga), in His early pastimes His complexion is golden (suvarna-varna), His limbs are the color of molten white gold (hemanga), His body is extremely beautiful (varangas), and He is decorated with sandalwood pulp (candanangadi).”

Seeker 2: This is sloka number 79 in Sri Vishnu Sahasranaamam.

Seeker 2: I feel very blessed to have been associated with pure devotees like you and able to share these beautiful things that I am unable to speak to anyone around me.

Seeker 2: I sometimes feel I don’t’ belong here but I am bound by commitments due to the illusory energy of Lord Shri Krishna.

Seeker 2: Hunger, thirst – nothing seems to have any impact on me when I write on Krishna, read on Krishna or think on Krishna.  I am not able to find the reasons behind it.

Seeker 1: Thank you for sharing whatever you write and having these conversations.

Seeker 1: You don’t need to change anything. All four sampradayas are genuine. You are on the right path. There is no doubt about this.

Seeker 2: Thank you very much. Hare Krishna!

The Universe That is God: An Insight into the Thousand Names of Lord Visnu

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.

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