Glories of Srimad Bhagavatam - Part 23

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

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled 'Glories of Srimad Bhagavatam'. In the previous offerings we heard from the discussions between Narada Muni and the Sanata kumaras the various glories of Srimad Bhagavatam as mentioned in Uttara khanda of Padma purana. Sanat kumaras began to narrate the story of Atmadeva to Narada Muni. Now we shall see further.

Not knowing the crooked nature of his wife Dhunduli, Atmadeva believed that she was pregnant and was very happy. Months passed by and Dhundhuli's sister gave birth to a son. The father of that child, came and secretly handed it over to Dhundhuli. She then informed her husband happily that she has given birth to a son. Atmadeva's joy knew no bounds. In fact the whole village was happy to hear that at last Atmadeva has got a son. The brahmana Atmadeva gave lots of gifts to brahmanas and performed all the necessary rituals that are done at the time of child's birth. Dhundhuli informed her husband that there was no milk in her body and she had to depend on others. She then added that since her sister's child was dead, she will invite her sister to their home and request her to feed the child for 6 months. Atmadeva was ready to do anything for the well-being of the child. So he agreed to her proposal. Dhundhuli named the child as Dhundukari. 

After few months the cow in Atmadeva's house also gave birth to a very handsome baby boy with ears like the cow. Atmadeva and all the villagers were very surprised. The villagers wondered how even the barren cow in Atmadeva's house has now given birth to a human child! Since he had ears like cow, Atmadeva named this child as "Gokarna". Scriptures say that the consciousness of the parents prior to conception and as well as after pregnancy has an influence on the nature of the child. And this very much reflected in the characters of Dhundhukari and Gokarna as they grew up into young men. Gokarna, who was born with the blessings of sage, was very calm and pious person. He became a very learned pandita as well and was very polite and pleasing to all. On the other hand Dhundhukari was very unclean, rude. He had all bad habits like illicit sex, robbery. In the pretext of playing with small children, he used to kill them. He took pleasure in others suffering and became an object of pain and embarrassment to his parents. One day he even beat them. In Niti shastra Chanakya Pandit says,

ko ’rthaḥ putreṇa jātena yo na vidvān na dhārmikaḥ
kāṇena cakṣuṣā kiṁ vā cakṣuḥ pīḍaiva kevalam

What is the value of a son who is neither learned nor religious? Such a son is compared to a blind eye that is only a source of pain.

Seeing all the trouble his son Dhundhukari was giving him, Atmadeva very much lamented for begetting such a son. Many years ago he was crying for not having a son and now the very same son had become a source of misery for him. 

Krishna willing we shall try to meditate on further glories of Srimad Bhagavatam in the subsequent offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.