Glories of Srimad Bhagavatam - Part 26

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 offering we were meditating on shloka 80 of the 4th chapter of Uttarakhanda of Padma purana wherein Gokarna says,

dharmaṁ bhajasva satataṁ tyaja loka-dharmān
sevasva sādhu-puruṣāñ jahi kāma-tṛṣṇām
anyasya doṣa-guṇa-cintanam āśu muktvā
sevā-kathā-rasam aho nitarāṁ piba tvam

Always practise the virtue of remembering the Lord. Abandon all the temporary duties connected to the worldly affairs, which are unimportant. Be eager to take association of saintly persons. Give up all thirst for the pleasure of senses. Stop meditating on others' defects. Instead meditate only on their good qualities and appreciate them. You should enjoy the bliss of serving the Lord and hear His stories with devotion.

We saw the first instruction in the above verse is dharmaṁ bhajasva satataṁ - Always remember Krishna. Now let us see further.

2) tyaja loka-dharmān sevasva - We should give up duties that are related to worldly activities and which are not important. Now how to know whether an activity is important or not, whether it pleases Krishna or not. Any activity which we do, after performing that activity, if we are inspired to do more devotional, then such activities are worth doing. On the other hand if any activity drags us away from Krishna and does not inspire us to continue or increase our devotional service then such activities are all useless. Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.2.8 says,

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ śrama eva hi kevalam

The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.

As we saw in the previous offering, our prescribed duties, household chores etc should be done keeping Krishna in center. When our activities are Krishna-ised, then we will experience satisfaction which we cannot get by performing any other activity. When we do activities without keeping Krishna as center, then it is simply waste of time and energy and the end result will only be frustration. Let us take the example of activities like watching television or browsing net or reading newspaper. We falsely think that such activities relax our mind, but when we do these activities, no matter how many hours we spend in them, still we never get satisfied. It takes us into a world of imagination, only bewilders us and makes us forget the goal of life. Especially the news related to criminal activities happening in society only creates fear and anxiety in our minds. Our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says, "I have not read newspaper for the past so many years. But I am not at all at loss because of that. So why do yo want to waste your time in such things?" 

At least in our childhood days we had lesser distractions in the form of TV, radio and newspaper - which were also not so polluted like how it is now. Unfortunately now with the advancement of so called technology, there are too many distractions in the form of ipad, iphone, tablets, mobile and laptops. It is surprising and sometimes worrying to note that not only adults, even toddlers are addicted to using these instruments. Whatever we do, good or bad, children imitate us. So we have to show them the right path. Any technology if used in service of Krishna is safe. But when we misuse or over-use it in an attempt to satisfy our senses, it is not just śrama eva hi kevalam, but is detrimental both to our physical and spiritual health. So we have to give up such worldly activities.

Krishna willing we shall try to meditate on the other instructions of Gokarna in the subsequent offering.

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