The Secret of Relishing Bhagavatam - Part 5

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

This is in continuation of the previous offering transcribing the class by HG Devakinandan prabhuji on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.44, wherein Prabhuji was explaining the way to approach, study and relish Srimad Bhagavatam. We saw the first eight points till now and we will see the subsequent points in today's offering.

9. We should reject the material intentions: All the above ways can only be successful if we remember one more point and that is in SB 1.1.2,

dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate ’tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt

Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.

In the first verse of Srimad Bhagavatam, Sukadev Goswami makes it clear who is Supreme. It is Krishna. We are not the supreme. Do not dictate to Srimad Bhagavatam, but be dictated by Srimad Bhagavatam. Do not try to dominate Srimad Bhagavatam, but be dominated by Srimad Bhagavatam. Do not try to conquer Srimad Bhagavatam, but be conquered by Srimad Bhagavatam. This is what the first verse is telling us. How do we get conquered by Srimad Bhagavatam? By accepting that Krishna is satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi.

Now that we know who is supreme, what must we do? That is stated in the second verse of Bhagavatam. If you want to approach the Supreme, you do only one thing. You please reject all activities that appear religious, but tinged with material intentions. As long as we have even a tinge of material motive, we cannot approach Srimad Bhagavatam with attraction. This cannot be compromised. This is the standard the acharyas have given us. Why? We may ask why Krishna is so strict. It is not that He is strict. He is setting us standards to purify ourselves. If we have even the slightest motive in our heart, you may study Bhagavatam, but you cannot realize Bhagavatam. The less motive that is in the heart, the easier it is to become attracted to Srimad Bhagavatam. So it is not the fault of Bhagavatam that we become fruitive when we sit down with Bhagavatam. It is not the fault of Bhagavatam that we think, "Now it is enough. Now we should do something else." It is not the fault of Bhagavatam when we say, "Prabhu, when I read Bhagavatam, I do not understand many times." It is a fact that there is motive when we sit to read Bhagavatam. If our only motive is to glorify Krishna and glorify devotees, then the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam will come alive. Srila Prabhupada will speak to us and all the blessings of the acharyas will be upon us. That is why Srimad Bhagavatam is as good as magic. It is magical because Krishna is Yogeshwara. He is a master mystic. He can make Srimad Bhagavatam come alive because He is non-different from Bhagavatam and all we have to do is to follow the process. Nothing else.

10. We should understand that Srimad Bhagavatam is centered on hearing: In Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.5, Lord Brahma prays,

ye tu tvadīya-caraṇāmbuja-kośa-gandhaṁ
jighranti karṇa-vivaraiḥ śruti-vāta-nītam
bhaktyā gṛhīta-caraṇaḥ parayā ca teṣāṁ
nāpaiṣi nātha hṛdayāmburuhāt sva-puṁsām

O my Lord, persons who smell the aroma of Your lotus feet, carried by the air of Vedic sound through the holes of the ears, accept Your devotional service. For them You are never separated from the lotus of their hearts.

Brahmaji says that we can smell the aroma of the lotus feet of Krishna only on the strength of hearing the glories of Krishna. Our eyes are judgmental and hence are dangerous and so more than seeing, hearing is important. We should hear from all the devotees sitting in Vyasasana and not judge the devotee and even if he speaks two lines from Srila Prabhupada's purports, that lecture is a success. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 3.9.11 a few verse later, Brahmaji goes on to say how we can have darshan of Krishna by hearing,

tvaṁ bhakti-yoga-paribhāvita-hṛt-saroja
āsse śrutekṣita-patho nanu nātha puṁsām
yad-yad-dhiyā ta urugāya vibhāvayanti
tat-tad-vapuḥ praṇayase sad-anugrahāya

O my Lord, Your devotees can see You through the ears by the process of bona fide hearing, and thus their hearts become cleansed, and You take Your seat there. You are so merciful to Your devotees that You manifest Yourself in the particular eternal form of transcendence in which they always think of You.

We shall see the other points in the ensuing mail, Krishna willing.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.