Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Mathajis,
Please accept my dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva.
In the previous offering, we saw how a living being is continuously seeking happiness via different mellows, rasas and how they become fans of celebrities in various fields.
Like normal fans, devotees of the Lord relish the wonderful activities of the Lord in His countless manifestations such as Narasimha, Dasarathi Rama, Bhargava Rama etc., The devotees try to broadcast the glories of the Lord orally, via various media like TV, magazines and books. The devotees celebrate the Lord's appearance day with great enthusiasm and they adorn their bodies with Lord's lotus feet (Thilak). The devotees construct temples for the Lord and carry out worship of the Lord's deity form. Above all, the devotees take immense pleasure in chanting and hearing glories of the Lord who is their beloved Hero and they do it all their lives upto the point of death. Though there is lot of similarity between the fans of the celebrities and fans of the Supreme Lord (devotees) externally, there is gulf of difference between joining the fan club of a worldly celebrity and joining the Bhagavatam fan club.
By becoming a fan of a worldly celebrity we derive limited taste (rasa) which is temporary because the celebrity himself/herself is temporary and within the modes of nature whereas a devotee of the Supreme Lord derives unlimited pleasure which is eternal and beyond the modes. Devotees are the rasikas of the highest taste because their object of attraction is the Supreme Lord who is infinite in all opulences. Just as the Supreme Lord is greatest in terms of knowledge, powers and attributes, His sweetness is also the greatest as the Vedas declare "sa esha rasaanaam rasatamah paramah paraardhyo"- He is the Supreme sweetest of all sweet objects, the Supreme Truth and worship-able" (Chandogya Upanishad - 1.1.3) A worldly celebrity may be an expert in one particular field and exhibit a particular opulence/talent which is limited and bound by time whereas the Almighty Lord is complete and unlimited in everything. The Bhagavata purana, verse 1.18.14, explains this point as follows.
ko naama tryped rasavit kathaayaam
naantam gunaanaam agunasya jagmur
yogeshvaraa ye bhava paadma mukhyaah
"The Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna [Govinda], is the exclusive shelter for all great living beings, and His transcendental attributes cannot even be measured by such masters of mystic powers as Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. Can anyone who is expert in relishing nectar [rasa] ever be fully satiated by hearing topics about Him?"
Srila Prabhupada explains in the commentary "The supreme powerful is Govinda, Lord Krishna. He is the Transcendence, and His transcendental attributes cannot be measured even by such powerful ishvaras as Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. Therefore Lord Krishna is the exclusive shelter of the greatest of all living beings. Brahma is counted amongst the living beings, but he is the greatest of all of us. And why is the greatest of all the living beings so much attached to the transcendental topics of Lord Krishna? Because He is the reservoir of all enjoyment. Everyone wants to relish some kind of taste in everything, but one who is engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord can derive unlimited pleasure from such engagement. The Lord is unlimited, and His name, attributes, pastimes, entourage, variegatedness, etc. are unlimited, and those who relish them can do so unlimitedly and still not feel satiated...There is no end to such transcendental discourses. In mundane affairs there is the law of satiation, but in transcendence there is no such satiation. Suta Gosvami desired to continue the topics of Lord Krishna before the sages of Naimisharanya, and the sages also expressed their readiness to hear from him continuously. Since the Lord is transcendence and His attributes are transcendental, such discourses increase the receptive mood of the purified audience."
By becoming a fan of a worldly celebrity, one may get material rewards and reciprocation; while the Supreme Lord awards the devotee the greatest blessing which is release from the repeated cycle of birth and death. The attraction displayed by the fans towards their favorite celebrities is nothing but a faint reflection of the original attraction that a living being has towards God. So the devotee who is a member of the Bhagavatam fan club will enjoy unlimited transcendental bliss in the due course of time and hence any material happiness will become insignificant for him. In addition to getting the highest bliss, one can assimilate the essence of the entire Vedanta by hearing of Bhagavata purana and performing devotional service, which is not possible for any other fan. This is explained in the Bhagavata purana, verse 12.13.15, as follows.
sarva vedaanta saaram hi / shri bhaagavatam ishyate
tad rasaamrta trptasya naanyatra syaad ratih kvachit
"Srimad-Bhagavatam is declared to be the essence of all Vedanta philosophy. One who has felt satisfaction from its nectarean mellow will never be attracted to any other literature."
Srila Prabhupada explains the glory of Bhagavata purana in the commentary to the verse 1.1.3 as follows "...Every living being has its constitutional position, which is endowed with a particular type of rasa to be exchanged with the Personality of Godhead. In the liberated condition only, this primary rasa is experienced in full. In the material existence, the rasa is experienced in the perverted form, which is temporary...The learned scholar seeks to relish the real rasa in the spiritual form. In this sloka, it is definitely stated that spiritual rasa , which is relished even in the liberated stage, can be experienced in the literature of the Srimad Bhagavatam due to its being the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. By submissively hearing this transcendental literature, one can attain the full pleasure of his heart's desire."
Because of the above reasons, great and powerful personalities like Lord Siva, Lord Brahma, Sukadeva, Bhishmacharya, Yamaraja are eternal members of the Bhagavatam fan club and they encourage all the living entities to join this Ultimate fan club so that we can relish the highest spiritual bliss and enter into the Kingdom of God at the end of our lives.
My prayers to the all beloved Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada and Bhagavan Narasimha so that I will get some taste for devotional service which is described in the Bhagavata purana.
Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna Dasa,
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