Om Namo Bagavathe Vasudevaya


Sri-Suka uvaca

ity uktavantam nrpatim bhagavän ädi-pürusah

matsya-rüpi mahämbhodhau viharams tattvam abravit



Sukadeva Gosvämi continued: When Satyavrata had thus prayed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had assumed the form of a fish, the Lord, while moving in the water of inundation, explained to him the Absolute Truth.



puräna-samhitäm divyäm sänkhya-yoga-kriyävatim

satyavratasya räjarser ätma-guhyam asesatah



The Supreme Personality of Godhead thus explained to King Satyavrata the spiritual science known as sänkhya-yoga, the science by which one distinguishes between matter and spirit [in other words, bhakti-yoga], along with the instructions contained in the Puränas [the old histories] and the samhitäs. The Lord explained Himself in all these literatures.



asrausid rsibhih säkam ätma-tattvam asamsayam

nävy äsino bhagavatä proktam brahma sanätanam



While sitting in the boat, King Satyavrata, accompanied by the great saintly persons, listened to the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in regard to self-realization. These instructions were all from the eternal Vedic literature [brahma]. Thus the King and sages had no doubt about the Absolute Truth.



atita-pralayäpäya utthitäya sa vedhase

hatväsuram hayagrivam vedän pratyäharad dharih


At the end of the last inundation [during the period of Sväyambhuva Manu] the Supreme Personality of Godhead killed the demon named Hayagriva and delivered all the Vedic literatures to Lord Brahmä when Lord Brahmä awakened from sleeping.



sa tu satyavrato raja jnäna-vijnäna-samyutah

visñoh prasädät kalpe ‘sminn äsid vaivasvato manuh



King Satyavrata was illuminated with all Vedic knowledge by the mercy of Lord Viñëu, and in this period he has now taken birth as Vaivasvata Manu, the son of the sun-god.



Srila Visvanätha Cakravarti Thäkura gives his verdict that Satyavrata appeared in the Cäksusa-manvantara. When the Cäksusa-manvantara ended, the period of Vaivasvata Manu began. By the grace of Lord Visnu, Satyavrata received instructions from the second fish incarnation and was thus enlightened in all spiritual knowledge.



satyavratasya räjarser mäyä-matsyasya särnginah

samvädam mahad-äkshyänam srutvä mucyeta kilbisät



This story concerning the great King Satyavrata and the fish incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, is a great transcendental narration. Anyone who hears it is delivered from the reactions of sinful life.



avatäram harer yo ‘yam kirtayed anvaham narah

sankalpäs tasya sidhyanti sa yäti paramäm gatim



One who narrates this description of the Matsya incarnation and King Satyavrata will certainly have all his ambitions fulfilled, and he will undoubtedly return home, back to Godhead.

Lila Avatar of the Supreme Lord

Narration explains the coming of the first and the greatest incarnations of the Supreme Lord as a lila avatar (performing pastimes). Srila Jayadev Goswami in his Gita Govinda , introduction explains the ‘dashavatar’- ten most primary lila avatars. In a lila avatar, the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes into this material world to perform the most wonderful pastimes, unexcelled by anyone but himself. So when the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes to this world, we must understand that he is abhigya-swarat – he knows everything and he is fully independent to do anything he wants. He has no limitation. There is no restriction for what is possible and what is impossible for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


Krishna-the blue cowherd boy

In regard to this, once recently inMalaysia, on the ocean side, one sincere soul inquired that he had heard that Lord Krishna was blue. He was wondering how anybody could be blue. He asked this question not to challenge but to understand as it was beyond his comprehension that anybody could be blue. He had seen people with different coloured skins – In America there are red Indians, in China they are said to be yellow, in Africa they are black, in Scandinavia they are white, in India there are a varieties of colors. Therefore no one has seen anyone who is blue. It means that if you can’t be blue then nobody can be blue. Is that our conclusion? when we heard that Krishnais a blue cowherd boy, they could not believe it. So I said, just look up into the sky, up to the stars , can anyone of us create such beautiful stars, all kinds of species of life, the beautiful moon, the ocean, all the aquatics of the ocean, all the vegetation on the earth, everything working perfectly in such a order, can any of us do like that? For someone who can create the entire universe effortlessly, then certainly it is not so difficult for him to appear in a blue form.Krishnalifting the Govardhan hill just with his little finger of his left hand seems impossible for the atheist. One who has faith in the inconceivable potencies of the Lord has no doubt that God can do anything.Krishnasaid in the Gita that all the wonderful things you see is just a spark of my glory. Someone who breaks some record in athletics, we think that some people can possibly do it and we are not surprised that a human being can do something beyond our expectations. Then what to speak of God who has created everything.


Material magic

There is a story about a magician inIndia. You have heard of PC Sarkar? Once he invited all the high ranking officials of  the government of the British reign toMathurafor a performance. He told them to be there at 4 o clock sharp and that he would perform a wonderful trick that they had never seen before. All the big people – Mayor’s, government people from royal families, etc. came. Of course the Britishers are very proud of being very punctual – the one thing Indians never adopted from the British. Drinking tea, smoking beedi’s – these things they quickly assimilated, but being prompt- they were never able to follow in their footsteps. So it was 4 o clock came, but Mr. PC Sarkar did not come. It was 4:30,then quarter to 5 and still there was no sign of him. They were furious. And finally effortlessly, casually as if nothing had happened he just climbed on to the stage at 5 o clock. By that time there was an uproar of people shouting and yelling and threatening him of his life. He asked them what was the problem? They excitedly replied “You are asking what is the problem? You are an hour late, we have important government work to do and you wasted one hour of our time”. He looked at his watch, I am not one hour late, it is exactly 4 o clock. Everyone in the audience looked at their watches and their watches showed 4 o clock. This is a true story. An ordinary materialistic magician can perform such magic.


Material Magic v/s Transcendental Magic

Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur explained that there were once a family of magicians who came to a king and queen in the palace. The King told them “Oh if you show us nice performance we’ll reward you well”. So they performed wonderful magic shows and the queen was so happy that she took out her only jewel necklace and gave it to the “mother”, “wife of the family”. As she was holding and looking at it and thinking oh what a precious and nice gift it was, one of the children came and asked  if he could see it. She denied saying that it was very valuable. But he said pleaded and pleaded, and finally she relented and allowed him to look at it. There were two children in the family and the other also joined his sibling and both started playing with it. Then one took it and the other took it, the other took it and the other took it and in this way they started a fight and arguing about who owned it. So one of children drew a sword the other child also drew a sword and they both cut each other’s heads simultaneously and the heads fell to the floor and there was blood flowing everywhere. The mother was lamenting ‘Oh God it is all because of me. I gave it to them and they killed each other. She was so attached to the children that she could not bear their separation. She picked up the sword and cut off her own head and her head fell to the ground and more blood was flowing all over the court. Then the husband started thinking that his life was useless as his wife and children were all dead. So he picked up the sword and cut off his own head. And there was more blood everywhere. The King and Queen considered this very inauspicious and were very disturbed. They called the servants to wipe up all the blood, put the bodies in some boxes and put them in a river. That night nobody could sleep, thinking how inauspicious it was. The next day the King received a letter stating that they may remember the family of magicians who had performed in the court. It said that they received a nice reward for their first act, but never got anything for their second act where they cut off their heads and died. The letter stated that the King & Queen should go to their house to give the reward. The king and the queen thought this could be true, so they went to the house and saw magician family very much alive and holding the necklace given by the Queen. The family very nicely welcomed and received their guests.

So when ordinary human beings can perform the magical tricks, what is that God cannot do. There is the story where howKrishnawrapped up the whole pastime of the annihilation of the Yadu dynasty and actually nobody even got killed, it was all just an illusion.


Incarnation of the Lord

Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the power of the powerful, is the strength of the strong, intelligence of the intelligent, ability in man –  Achintya shakti. So therefore, whenKrishnacomes to this world, he is not going to come just like the rest of  us, otherwise what is the point of his coming? He comes to prove to the world that he is supreme. He comes to prove to the world that our real happiness is in loving and serving him. Attracting our consciousness back to his divine nature, he shows  a person who does not have faith in the inconceivable potencies of God. People think that the Lord’s various incarnations are just symbolic. Only God can appear as a fish. I cannot appear as a fish, you cannot appear as a fish. How it is possible that God can appear as fish? Not only as a fish, but the fish was thousands and millions of miles large. But for a devotee, he simply smiles from the core of his heart thinking that his worshippable Lord has appeared as a fish, millions of miles big. What is it that my God cannot do? How wonderfulKrishnais. This faith must be in the heart of the devotee. And this is not blind faith, this is reasonable faith. After all consider how conditioned our minds are, how attached we are to the material world, how difficult it is to become pure devotees in this life. To purify our hearts is a greater challenge toKrishnathan appearing as a fish. If we can’t believe thatKrishnacan come as a big fish. then we might as well start thinking who is going to save us? It is a real challenge. But when we turn to Krishna, and we surrender toKrishnawith all humility and devotion ands chant his names, then he is prepared and ready to welcome the greatest of all miracles – to transform your life into that of a pure devotee.


Who is a guru? – A miracle man?

Many people wanted to test Srila Prabhupada to see whether he could perform any miracles. They used to insist  he shows them a miracle, because after all inIndiathere are many miracle men. People who can meditate, create gold, ashes, and various paraphernalia from the air, people who can read each others’ minds, people who can walk on water, fly in the sky, etc exist even today. For most of the people this is what a guru is, someone who can perform extraordinary magical feats. They think that guru is a magician, a sort of entertainer, not a devotee or a servant of God. This is a misconception.

The Ultimate Miracle

People used to ask Srila Prabhupada, whether he could show them a miracle. Prabhupada looked around at his disciples and said “these boys and girls not so more than a few years ago were addicted to every kind of sinful activity. They were eating meat from the time they were conceived by their mother, there was sex, intoxication, gambling and not only that they were completely materialistic and Godless, and now they have sacrificed their life and soul to the loving service toKrishna. Their hearts have changed. This is the greatest miracle. This is a miracle which is worth living to see. This is a miracle worth dedicating our lives to experience. And did Prabhupada perform this miracle?Krishnaperformed this miracle, through the divine grace of his surrendered devotee. And the fact is anyone of us who depend on the hands of the God and give up our separate interest, can be the vehicles, the vessels of the God’s miracles in this world. And the ultimate miracle is to change the heart of the person to loveKrishna, that is the greatest miracle.

Faith & Hope

Krishnaappears in this wonderful fish incarnation to show the faithless and hopeless that he can do anything and everything. You may think that you are in a hopeless condition of life, but must develop hope that the Lord can do anything. WhenKrishnaappears in this world, he begs us, let me do it for you. Let me perform a miracle for you. Let me change your life, let me fill you with joy and love. Let me help you transcend birth and death and attain eternal, unmotivated, uninterrupted service to me. He comes begging

So to share these stories and understand them is very very important. And we must understand this from those devotees who have faith. As soon as we see their faith, our faith will naturally awaken in our hearts. Madhavendra Puri said that let materialistic talk, laugh at me, why do I fear? I have complete faith inKrishna. I have complete hope thatKrishna  can do anything, anytime.


Material sense perception

Srila Prabhupada gives us the example of a frog in a well. All that he knows is that well, he was born in that well, lived his whole life, and he cannot conceive anything beyond that well. Once another frog jumped in that well. And this frog asked the other frog where he was coming from. The frog replied that he came  fromPacific Ocean.Pacific Ocean? What is thePacific Ocean? It is huge body of water, so much water that you won’t believe it. How much water? Is it almost as big as this well ? The other frog said, you don’t understand it is very big. So is it twice as big as this well? Oh no, very very big. 3 times? The frog could only try to imagine only on the basis of the well where it lived. Therefore he could never ever conceive thePacific ocean. So similarly our conception of reality is that a very tiny tiny insignificant little realm of our conditioned sense perception. ButKrishnais beyond our sense perception.


The inconceivable Lord

Srila Bhaktipad is preaching very very strongly these days that you can never understandKrishna. As a part and parcel  according to your capacity like a drop of a ocean. But no one can understand the entirety of the ocean. No one can understand the entirety ofKrishna. You can never know Krishna, you can loveKrishna. You know only how much power you have to know, but it is only a drop in a ocean. Even in the liberated condition no one knowsKrishna. He is all great. He is so great that even Krishna does not knowKrishna. What is so great about himself. With all of his supreme great imagination, he could not understand how great he really was. What is that attracts Radha Rani attracts so much. IfKrishnacould not understand himself, do you think you can ? Therefore he appeared as Lord Chaitnaya trying understand himself, trying to taste the sweetness of his name.  And the greatness is Lord Chaitanya could never taste his name to fullest. The last 12 years of his life in separation he was simply longing and longing and longing. So how can we knowKrishna’s sweetness?


Developing love for Krishna

In Shikastakam prayers, Lord Caitanya revealed that the supreme lord is beyond our mind,  inconceivable. He cries that the lord’s absence for even a moment is like 12 years or more. He says that tears are flowing from his eyes like torrents of rain, his hair is standing on end. So therefore we must know the infinite, unlimited glory of god in principle. We should be very open in accepting all the authoritative narrations of the lord’s divine pastimes. And when we hear them with this proper approach, proper consciousness, and as we hear them more and more, our love grows as we try to figure out how he enacted such pastimes. Krishna Consciousness  is not attained by our brain, but can only be experienced within the heart. We can never figure out Krishna But the more we hear about him with faith, the more we love him.


Are there any questions ?

Question : <not clear> summary: we read in the scriptures thatKrishna can do everything. And we have 100% conviction, but when the difficulty comes, our faith is shaken. So how to overcome this ?

Maharaj : When the difficulties come, it is a chance to realize that we have gathered  theoretical faith, but this theoretical faith is not enough to cross beyond the world of death. You cannot live without faith. Our faith has to be on the basis of realization. And realization takes place, when the test comes, until then it remains theoretical . If you are sincere, when the test comes,  just like gold is purified by fire, faith is purified by fire. If you are sincere, your faith will be strengthened and purified in the face of the test. The process would be very difficult, but the outcome would be self realization. If you are not sincere, then you will give up and accept the many alternatives that maya will present before you. Therefore, we must listen to the great souls. We must read Bhagavatam or other great scriptures of the world, where there is a description about the great souls who have lived and faced this test. And how they have passed the test of faith in God. Dhruva Maharaj was very much insulted. Do you know what was the test for him? What test Prahalad Maharaj has to go through, when his father totally rejected him and tried to kill him. Was this a test or not?

Imagine if your father did what Dhruva Maharaj’s father did. It is a very horrible and bitter test. Why are these souls elevated? Because when we hear from them then we can follow them in our own lives. Look at Arjuna and the Pandava’s. Look at even Maharaj Satyavrat. they were all tested. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswathi, Baktivinod Takur, Gaur kishore das babaji, all these acharyas lived a life of severe test. Why? They didn’t have to, but by hearing how they maintained their loving devotion to the lord in the most difficult situations, we can strengthen our own realization, and when the test comes follow in their foot steps. “Mahajanena gatha sandha. If we are sincere we must follow in the foot steps of great souls. Therefore we must associate with great souls, hear from them these wonderful narrations, digest them and when the test comes, we should be prepared. Realization will overcome the test andKrishnais so kind to give the chance to realize all this information finally.


Question: < not clear>

Maharaj : As we become pure, the realizations are more and more prominent.. It is not cheap. We have to purify our hearts. And how to purify our hearts? By humbly following in the foot steps of the great souls. By chanting Gods holy names. By acting as a servant of the servant of the servant of the lord.



Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.