Glories of Srimad Bhagavatam - Part 30

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 Padma purana.  

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.

So far we saw the below five 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.
4. Give up thirst for sense pleasures.
5. Stop finding faults and appreciate good qualities in others.

Now let us see further.

6. Enjoy devotional service and always hear Lord's glories: This was the final instruction given by Gokarna to his father Atmadeva. In Bhagavad Gita also Krishna says in verse 9.2, susukham kartum avyayam "Devotional service is joyfully performed'. Since Krishna is all blissful, when we engage in His service whole-heartedly, we also become blissful. But sometimes when we are doing service, we start feeling it as a burden. When does service becomes a burden? Srila Prabhupada beautifully clarifies this point in one of his classes on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.8.19 in Mayapur on September 29 1974. 

His Divine Grace says, "śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, this is our main business. śravaṇaṁ. If you don't hear, what you will do? You will do simply sense gratification. That's all. So this is difficulty, that we are not very much interested in hearing. And that is the main business. Our bhakti begins: Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]. We have to hear and we have to speak. But if we are not interested in hearing and speak, then it will be simply formula. That's all. And gradually it will be stopped. Unless there is life of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, these big, big buildings, temples, will become burden. So if we are, if we want to create burden for future, then we may give up this hearing and chanting and sleep very nicely. It will be burden. Galagraha. Not sri-vigraha, but galagraha. Galagraha. Sri-vigraha means worshipable Deity. So if we give up this śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, then it will be thought that "Our Guru Maharaja has given a burden in the neck, galagraha." This is the danger. So we must be very much alert in śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ. Otherwise all this labor will be futile. This building will be only the nest, nest for the doves and the pigeons. That is the danger."

So that is why Gokarna is concluding by saying, "kathā rasa maho nitarām pibatvam" - "Always drinking the nectar of Lord's glories by śravaṇaṁ and kīrtanaṁ". Atmadeva was fully enlightened by the wonderful instructions of his son Gokarna. So although he was 60 years old, he left for the forest and spent his time as per the instructions of his son, performed sincere devotional service, regularly studied 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam and at the end of his life, reached the lotus feet of Sri Hari.

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.