Glories of Srimad Bhagavatam - Part 40

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 had heard about the conversation between Sanatkumaras and Narada Muni about the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam, hearing of Bhagavata Saptah, how Bhakti and her sons Jnaana and Vairaagya got rejuvenated by hearing Srimad Bhagavatam from Narada Muni. We also heard the narration of the story of Gokarna by Sanatkumaras and were able to get a glimpse of the glories of this great Purana.  

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.3.44, Suta Goswami says to the sages of Naimisaranya about his own experience of how he had heard Srimad Bhagavatam. We shall try to meditate on this verse in this offering.

tatra kīrtayato viprā viprarṣer bhūri-tejasaḥ
ahaṁ cādhyagamaṁ tatra niviṣṭas tad-anugrahāt
so ’haṁ vaḥ śrāvayiṣyāmi yathādhītaṁ yathā-mati

O learned brahmanas, when Sukadeva Goswami recited Bhagavatam there [in the presence of Emperor Parikshit], I heard him with rapt attention, and thus, by his mercy, I learned the Bhagavatam from that great and powerful sage. Now I shall try to make you hear the very same thing as I learned it from him and as I have realized it.

There are four very important words in the above verse niviṣṭaḥtat anugrahātśrāvayiṣyāmi and yatha adhītaṁ yathā-mati. Srila Prabhupada has wonderfully translated these words and has revealed how Bhagavatam should be heard and how it should be spoken as well.

His Divine Grace translates niviṣṭaḥ as 'being perfectly attentive' and tat anugrahāt means 'by his mercy'. Sri Sukadeva Goswami says in this verse that he heard with rapt attention and by the mercy of Sri Sukadeva Goswami he was able to understand Srimad Bhagavatam. So our personal endeavours and mercy of bonafide acharya will help us to understand this glorious scripture. For us the mercy is already flowing through in the form of realised translations done by Srila Prabhupada, his vāni and through his many wonderful disciples who are carrying on his mission even after his physical absence. In his matchless purport to above verse His Divine Grace says, "Simple hearing is not all; one must realize the text with proper attention. The word niviṣṭaḥ means that Suta Goswami drank the juice of Bhagavatam through his ears. That is the real process of receiving Bhagavatam. One should hear with rapt attention from the real person, and then he can at once realize the presence of Lord Krishna in every page. The secret of knowing Bhagavatam is mentioned here."

Our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says that "Just like how mother makes the food very soft and easy for small baby to take, Srila Prabhupada has chewed the nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam and all we need to do is just drink it. But we are so very rascals that we don't want even to drink it."  So drinking hear refers to niviṣṭaḥ - drinking the juice of Bhagavatam through our ears.

Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate more on this verse in the subsequent offering.

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