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 heard from the discussions between Narada Muni and the Sanata kumaras the various glories of Srimad Bhagavatam as mentioned in Uttara khanda of Padmapurana. Sanatkumaras began to narrate the story of Atmadeva to Narada Muni. Now we shall see further.
After receiving the fruit given by the sage, Atmadeva came home and told his wife Dhundhuli about his meeting with the sage. He also gave her the fruit also mentioned the instructions which the sage had given for her to follow. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 7.11.28 Narada Muni very nicely mentions about the qualities of a chaste woman.
santushtaalolupaa dakshaa / dharma-naa priya-satya-vaak
apramattaa shucih snigdhaa / patim tv apatitam bhajet
"A chaste woman should not be greedy, but satisfied in all circumstances. She must be very expert in handling household affairs and should be fully conversant with religious principles. She should speak pleasingly and truthfully and should be very careful and always clean and pure. Thus a chaste woman should engage with affection in the service of a husband who is not fallen."
In his wonderful purport to the above verse, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada says, "A husband should be a pure Vaishnava and that a woman should be a chaste wife with all the symptoms described in this regard. Then both of them will be happy and make spiritual progress in Krishna consciousness." But unfortunately in case of Atmadeva, although he was devoted and surrendered to the instructions of the sadhu, his wife was not like-minded. The instructions given by the sage for her to
a) speak the truth
b) be clean at heart and at body
c) be kind
d) be charitable
e) have one meal per day
were all unimaginable for her. She was worried about her beauty and safety of her wealth and for these reasons she did not want to become pregnant, nor was she ready to take the sufferings and pains of pregnancy and deliver it. She did want to take the responsibility of taking care of the child and serving the child's needs. So she did not eat the fruit. But she lied to her husband that she ate it. Once when her sister came, Dhundhuli explained her situation to her. Her sister who was pregnant at that time was even more crooked. She advised Dhundhuli to throw away the fruit to the cow and act as if she was pregnant. The sister told Dhunduli, that if she gives some money, then she will give away her child to Dhunduli once it was born. They will fake the whole world that the sister's child is dead and the sister will come and stay with Dhunduli for 6 months, after the child's birth, in the pretext of feeding the child. Dhunduli agreed to her sister's plan and threw away the fruit to the cow in their goshala. She then informed her husband that she is pregnant.
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.
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