Be Chaste to Bhagavatam - Part 6

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

This is in continuation of the previous mails transcribing the speech by HG Devakinandan Prabhuji in the Bhaktivedanta Hospital, Mumbai, on the occasion of the first disappearance anniversary of our most beloved Gurudev HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj. In the last mail we saw the following points:

1. The mood of approaching Srimad Bhagavatam
2. The purpose of studying Srimad Bhagavatam
3. Royal road for relishing Bhagavatam
4. Attention leads to attraction for Bhagavatam
5. The pages of Bhagavatam come alive
6. The litmus test of being with Bhagavatam

We shall continue further in this offering.

7. The spirit of hearing Bhagavatam with eagerness: Maharaj’s last instructions to me in Oct /Nov 2009 were, "If you really want to love me, then please become attentive to Bhagavatam. In the pages of Bhagavatam, Krishna will appear and when He appears, I am also with you, but the moment the platform of Srimad Bhagavatam is lost, then you and I cannot connect after I leave. But if you are with Srimad Bhagavatam always, despite all your inebrieties, then be assured that you will hear me even faster than you would now when you pick up the phone and you hear my voice." From this, I have come to realize how much Maharaj relished Srimad Bhagavatam. He always insisted, shrnvatahhear with eagerness. Maharaj said, "We always say that we can progress only if we hear from advanced devotees." But Maharaj made a bold statement. He said, "Who is a pure devotee? In this world, how can we tell who is a pure devotee? Srila Prabhupada was asked in London how will we know who is a pure devotee and we should hear Srimad Bhagavatam from him? Srila Prabhupada responded, 'Except for you everyone else is a pure devotee.' If you have that spirit, of hearing Srimad Bhagavatam, then it does not matter who you are hearing it from. If he is speaking even one line of Srila Prabhupada’s purport you hear it, go home and get more nourished."

Maharaj made us do an experiment in Singapore. The next time a Srimad Bhagavatam speaker comes, you walk into the temple blindfold, you sit down blindfolded, you just put the head down and hear the speaker and after hearing the speaker blindfolded, you would realize that you had never been more attentive to Bhagavatam than the day you were blind-folded. But you take off that blind-fold and you sit down and hear the speaker and you say, "ah! This Prabhu gives a nice class. So I should hear. This Prabhu is not very eloquent. I should not hear. This Mataji, maybe not so realized. This sannyasi, very powerful." The moment the mind starts differentiating, then we are in trouble and we cannot hear Bhagavatam. But when we accept that except for us, everyone else is a better devotee, then with that spirit, when we approach Bhagavatam, our Supreme father becomes extremely happy because you have approached with the spirit of glorifying the speaker in the vyasasana and all other devotees. And then all knowledge and all experience are revealed to our hearts.

8. Seva without Bhagavatam is social service: Maharaj said, "Do not ever be caught up in trying to make Srimad Bhagavatam into material science. Bhagavatam is entirely transcendental. Maya will give you every favorable argument not to sit down and study Bhagavatam, but initially, you start 15 minutes alone. Then increase to half an hour. Maya will give you all the favorable arguments. You start having ants under your dhoti, and you want to jump up and do something and say, 'I have to do Seva. I have to do this. I have to do that.' But seva without Bhagavatam is social service. Duster in one hand and Srimad Bhagavatam in the other, then that becomes devotional service."

You remember the glory of King Prataparudra in Chaitanya Charitamrta. He tried so hard to take darshan of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He went through the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu and he could not get darshan. He went through Ramananda Raya and he could not get darshan. He sought the blessings of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. He came close but he could not get darshan. But what really really melted Mahaprabhu’s heart, Srila Prabhupada says in Chaitanya Caritamrita, is the day when he took up the broom and in front of Lord Jagannath, before His chariot festival, he swept the floor. Today we sweep the floor because we are VIPs. But when Prataparudra actually swept the floor then, it was astounding. A king so humble that he could sweep the floor. When Mahaprabhu saw that, His heart started melting. Then what did Prataparudra do? He finally got a chance to serve Mahaprabhu in disguise when He went to the garden for resting after Rathyatra. In disguise, he came and started massaging Mahaprabhu’s feet. Maharaj said, "That was service but for the platform of service what was the basis? The basis was he started chanting prayers from Srimad Bhagavatam." He sang SB 10.31.9:

tava kathāmṛtaṁ tapta-jīvanaṁ
kavibhir īḍitaṁ kalmaṣāpaham
śravaṇa-maṅgalaṁ śrīmad ātataṁ
bhuvi gṛṇanti ye bhūri-dā janāḥ

My Lord, the nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those who are always aggrieved in this material world. These narrations are transmitted by exalted personalities, and they eradicate all sinful reactions. Whoever hears these narrations attains all good fortune. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Those who spread the message of Godhead are certainly the most munificent welfare workers.

The moment Mahaprabhu heard this, combined with the service of Prataparudra, Mahaprabhu then gave him full mercy and He embraced Prataparudra and that is the perfection of one’s existence. So if you want Srimad Bhagavatam to embrace you, then you first become attentive to your service, become attentive to Srimad Bhagavatam and become very diligent to study and leave everything else to Krishna and be chaste to Srimad Bhagavatam. No one and nothing else should occupy the core of our hearts but Srimad Bhagavatam.

Krishna willing, the other points spoken by Prabhuji shall be transcribed and offered in the upcoming mails.

Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.