Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
I had written on the 15th of Dec, on the day of Vyasa Puja of our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, that we have taken up a vow to chant the entire Srimad Bhagavatam for the next 18 days. By the Supreme Lord's mercy and our spiritual master's blessings, I was able to complete the 12th canto yesterday. It was a fitting and pleasant coincidence that we started on the 14th of Dec and ended exactly on the last day of the year 31st Dec 2005.
It was really an exhilarating and enthralling experience to be in touch with the mantra-incarnation of the Lord every day for over 5 hours. On an average it was a matter of chanting about one thousand verses every day for 18 days. The more I chanted, the more I wanted to chant. Every available opportunity was seized to somehow get on with the day's quota of reading. During this period I also had to travel a couple of times and I didn't leave the opportunity to recite in the trains and buses too. In the process so many wonderful verses came to my notice that I have made note of quite a few of them. And some interesting coincidences happened too that increased my faith and attraction on the Maha purana immensely.
Last week I was traveling with one other devotee in bus from Chennai to Kanchipuram. It was about a couple of hours travel to and fro. In the bus I was reciting 8th canto and my friend was reading the book Teachings of Queen Kunti. He was appreciative of the chanting of Srimad Bhagavatam and suddenly he came across a very fitting portion of Srila Prabhupada's writing from that book which he shared with me too. It just blew my mind away...
"Similarly, simply by hearing or chanting the verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam, one can be purified. Whatever knowledge exists in the world is present in Srimad-Bhagavatam. It includes literature, poetry, astronomy, philosophy, religion, and love of Godhead. śrīmad-bhāgavataṁ pramānam amalam. If one simply reads Srimad-Bhagavatam, he gains the topmost education, for if one studies Srimad-Bhagavatam he will be well versed in every subject matter. Even if one does not understand a single word of the mantras of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the vibrations themselves have such power that simply by chanting one will be purified. śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. The word punya means "pious," śravaṇa means "hearing," and kīrtana means "chanting." One who chants or hears the verses of Srimad Bhagavatam becomes pious automatically. To become pious one generally has to endeavor a great deal, but if one simply hears the verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita one becomes pious automatically."
That my friend had to read this to me when I was reciting Bhagavatam was mind-boggling to me. It really increased my appreciation of the potency of the amala-purāna. Yesterday while I was sharing this sweet quote of Prabhupada with Maharaj, he was also taken by surprise and immediately told me, "It is actually Krishna revealing this to you."
The potency of Srila Prabhupada's writings are beyond mundane comprehension.
Having fixed a desire to recite the entire Bhagavatam every year during the month of December around Maharaj's Vyasa puja, I also decided to put another regulation in place, so that I won't be lurking in darkness for the rest of the year. Mind is so tricky that any thought of achieving something (even though insignificant), immediately brings in complacency and subtle pride. Srimad Bhagavatam has 335 chapters in total. So if we study one chapter a day (it is possible to do in 2-3 hours along with purports), we can complete the entire Bhagavatam in 11 months ie., by November end. Then there is December again for the entire 18000 slokas recitation. Plans sound attractive on paper, but all this is possible only by the divine grace of our beloved Gurudev, Srila Prabhupada and the Supreme Lord Hari. All we can do is only desire..., Actually He is making us chant, He is giving us the time to chant and He is providing the energy for us to go on.
May the Lord and Gurudev bless me to study this Granthraj Srimad Bhagavatam all my life with love and attachment and not for unnecessary pride and fame. May they also give me the guidance to share the nectar with anyone and everyone compassionately.
śrīmad-bhāgavataṁ purāṇam amalaṁ yad vaiṣṇavānāṁ priyaṁ
yasmin pāramahaṁsyam ekam amalaṁ jñānaṁ paraṁ gīyate
tatra jñāna-virāga-bhakti-sahitaṁ naiṣkarmyam āviskṛtaṁ
tac chṛṇvan su-paṭhan vicāraṇa-paro bhaktyā vimucyen naraḥ
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless Purana. It is most dear to the Vaishnavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the paramahamsas. This Bhagavatam reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion. Anyone who seriously tries to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam, who properly hears and chants it with devotion, becomes completely liberated.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Gurudev and Granthraj,
Kalacakra Krsna das.
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