The All Munificent Purushottama - Part 14

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, "The All Munificient Purushottama" wherein we were meditating on the various incarnations of the Lord and how specifically the Lord manifested His quality of being a Purushottama.

Vyasadeva as PurushottamaOut of His great compassion, Vyasadeva saw that in kali yuga everything will deteriorate and people’s intelligence will degrade. So He divided the Vedas into four and wrote Mahabharata for the benefit of all humanity. But still he was not satisfied. And at that time, Sage Narada appeared and Vyasadeva asked him for the cause of his despondency. At that time, Narada Muni mildly admonished Vyasadeva that he has not written a work to fully explain pure devotional service to the Lord and that is the cause for despondency. So he asked Vyasadeva to write Srimad Bhagavatam which explains the Lord’s activities.

Actually Vyasadeva is always in enlightened position and there is no question of him falling in ignorance. He could have directly written Bhagavatam himself without advice from Narada Muni. But he purposely exhibited dissatisfaction and ignorance so that he will receive advise from Narada muni. Srila Prabhupada gives the reason for this in the commentary, “Śrīla Vyāsadeva is the empowered plenary portion incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He descended by his causeless mercy to deliver the fallen souls in the material world. Although formally Śrīla Nārada Ṛṣi is his spiritual master, Śrīla Vyāsadeva is not at all dependent on a spiritual master because in essence he is the spiritual master of everyone else. But because he is doing the work of an ācārya, he has taught us by his own conduct that one must have a spiritual master, even though he be God Himself… In order to direct people in general to the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, He Himself in the incarnation of Vyāsadeva is delineating the transcendental pastimes of the Lord.” The fact that Vyasadeva is beyond ignorance is stated by Narada Muni himself in the following verse in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.21

tvam ātmanātmānam avehy amogha-dṛk
parasya puṁsaḥ paramātmanaḥ kalām
ajaṁ prajātaṁ jagataḥ śivāya tan
mahānubhāvābhyudayo ’dhigaṇyatām

Your Goodness has perfect vision. You yourself can know the Supersoul Personality of Godhead because you are present as the plenary portion of the Lord. Although you are birthless, you have appeared on this earth for the well-being of all people. Please, therefore, describe the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa more vividly.

He wanted to give glory to Narada Muni (a great devotee) by accepting him as spiritual master and receiving instruction from him. Also after writing the Srimad Bhagavatam, Vyasadeva could have himself instructed it and received great fame. But he taught it to his son Sukadeva Goswami so that he will instruct it and receive all the fame. The Lord always wants His devotees to get glory than Himself. So Vyasadeva chose his son Sukadeva form this great service. Thus we see that Vyasadeva exhibited qualities of dissatisfaction, ignorance etc and lowered himself for the glorification of Narada Muni. So for all these reasons, the scriptures (Skanda purana) glorify Vyasadeva as Purushottama as follows.

tair vijnāpita kāryas tu bhagavān purshottamah
avatIrno mahā yogi satyavatyām parāsarāt

“When the devatas appealed to the Lord to incarnate and protect the Vedic knowledge, the Lord appeared in the womb of Satyavati through Parasara as Vyasadeva who is the Purushottama and also a great ascetic (yogi)”

Krishna willing, we shall meditate on other incarnations of the Lord in the ensuing offerings.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das
Chennai.