Glories of Srimad Bhagavatam - Part 28

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 the instructions given by Gokarna to his father Atmadeva in shloka 80 of the 4th chapter of Uttarakhanda of Padmapurana. So far we saw the below 2 instructions.

1. Dharmaṁ bhajasva satataṁ- Always remember Krishna.
2. Tyaja loka-dharmān sevasva - Give up useless labour.
3. Be eager to take association of sadhus.

Now let us see further.

4. Give up thirst for sense pleasures: Lord Krishna Himself says in Bhagavad Gita verse 2.60 that senses are so strong and impetuous that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination, who is endeavouring to control them. Sense gratification and advancement in spiritual path cannot go together. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.2.10, Suta Goswami says,

kāmasya nendriya-prītir lābho jīveta yāvatā
jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ

Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works.

His Divine Grace very nicely says in the purport to the above verse, "Bhagavatam says that one should not live for sense gratification. One should satisfy the senses only insomuch as required for self-preservation, and not for sense gratification. Because the body is made of senses, which also require a certain amount of satisfaction, there are regulative directions for satisfaction of such senses. But the senses are not meant for unrestricted enjoyment." 

Let us take the example of eating. If we eat Krishna prasadam at regulated time, just to keep our body and soul together, then we can maintain a healthy body, by which we would be able to serve the Lord. But when we either over-eat or starve or eat junk food, then it affects both our physical and spiritual health. Sense pleasures distracts, deviates and delays us from reaching our ultimate goal of life. The lives of Ajamila, Maharaja Bharata who all fell a prey to sense pleasures are lessons for us to show us how when we give in to sense pleasures we get caught up by illusory energy and forget Krishna. 

On the other hand when we give up sense pleasures and try to engage in service of the Lord, then Krishna makes all the arrangements for our progress in spiritual life. As soon as Parikshit Maharaj renounced his kingdom and went to the bank of Ganges, to take shelter of the rshis, the Lord arranged for his meeting with Sukadeva Goswami. His Divine Grace very nicely mentions in purport to verse 2.2.3 of Srimad Bhagavatam, "For a transcendentalist, it is a suicidal policy to be intimately in touch with the sense gratifiers of the world, because such a policy will frustrate the ultimate gain of life. Sukadeva Goswami met Maharaja Parikshit when the latter felt a necessity for such a meeting. It is the duty of a transcendentalist to help persons who desire real salvation and to support the cause of salvation. One might note that Sukadeva Goswami never met Maharaja Parikshit while he was ruling as a great king."

So knowing the dangers caused by sense pleasures, Gokarna advises his father not to give way to them. Krishna willing we shall continue to hear 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.