tvayoktāni śrutāni me
hares tatra kṛtāni ca
King Parīkṣit said: My lord, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, you have elaborately described all the periods of the various Manus and, within those periods, the wonderful activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has unlimited potency. I am fortunate to have heard all of this from you.
yo ‘sau satyavrato nāma
jñānaḿ yo ‘tīta-kalpānte
sa vai vivasvataḥ putro
manur āsīd iti śrutam
tvattas tasya sutāḥ proktā
Satyavrata, the saintly king of Draviḍadeśa who received spiritual knowledge at the end of the last millennium by the grace of the Supreme, later became Vaivasvata Manu, the son of Vivasvān, in the next manvantara [period of Manu]. I have received this knowledge from you. I also understand that such kings as Ikṣvāku were his sons, as you have already explained.
teṣāḿ vaḿśaḿ pṛthag brahman
nityaḿ śuśrūṣatāḿ hi naḥ
O greatly fortunate Śukadeva Gosvāmī, O great brāhmaṇa, kindly describe to us separately the dynasties and characteristics of all those kings, for we are always eager to hear such topics from you.
ye bhūtā ye bhaviṣyāś ca
bhavanty adyatanāś ca ye
teṣāḿ naḥ puṇya-kīrtīnāḿ
sarveṣāḿ vada vikramān
Kindly tell us about the abilities of all the celebrated kings born in the dynasty of Vaivasvata Manu, including those who have already passed, those who may appear in the future, and those who exist at present.
evaḿ parīkṣitā rājñā
pṛṣṭaḥ provāca bhagavāñ
Sūta Gosvāmī said: When Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the greatest knower of religious principles, was thus requested by Mahārāja Parīkṣit in the assembly of all the scholars learned in Vedic knowledge, he then proceeded to speak.
śrūyatāḿ mānavo vaḿśaḥ
na śakyate vistarato
vaktuḿ varṣa-śatair api
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: O King, subduer of your enemies, now hear from me in great detail about the dynasty of Manu. I shall explain as much as possible, although one could not say everything about it, even in hundreds of years.
ātmā yaḥ puruṣaḥ paraḥ
sa evāsīd idaḿ viśvaḿ
kalpānte ‘nyan na kiñcana
The transcendental Supreme Person, the Supersoul of all living entities, who are in different statuses of life, high and low, existed at the end of the millennium, when neither this manifested cosmos nor anything else but Him existed.
Taking the proper position from which to describe the dynasty of Manu, Śukadeva Gosvāmī begins by saying that when the entire world is inundated, only the Supreme Personality of Godhead exists, and nothing else. Śukadeva Gosvāmī will now describe how the Lord creates other things, one after another.
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.
Glories and Importance of hearing Srimad Bhagvatam:
The subject of Srimad Bhagavatam is of the greatest benefit to all humanity because all of the questions and all of the answers are in reference to the divine glories of the Supreme Lord and His devotees therefore the subject matter if heard to the submissive heart it cleanse all misgivings and establish irrevocable service and love to the Supreme Lord. So here we find the dialogue between Sukdev Goswami and Maharaj Parikshit continuing. Nowadays in all of the newspapers we are reading about various kings are we not? And we hear about what they have done, what they are doing, what they might do but no one is becoming purified by this katha of this matter. Here we find Maharaj Parikshit is asking Sukadev Goswami to tell him the story of the life and precepts of the various great kings of the Vaivasvat Manu Dynasty. So it sounds like a very common ordinary discussion but it is not at all, because Maharaj Parikshit, try to understand he only had seven days to live. He was cursed to die. He had everything that a man would possibly want in life but he relinquished that all, knowing that the urgent need of every human being is to hear and chant the glories of the Lord and awaken one’s love for the Supreme Person. And in this life if one does not accomplish the feat of attaining the Lord’s mercy which reveals the pure devotional service within our heart, then our entire life is a waste. Whether you are a scholar or a king or a very very big businessman or whether you have provided to your family all the necessities, if your have not attained love of God you have simply lived a life of a very very sophisticated animal. The difference between the human life and animal life is the facility to love Krishna, to surrender everything for the pleasure of Krishna and thus attain that state of the true ecstatic bliss.
A Devotee always wants to establish God’s Supremacy and is a Well-wisher of the whole world:
So Maharaj Parikshit, here we are reading is the 9th Canto, that means at least five days must have passed, that means he has almost two or three days to live. After giving up everything why all of a sudden he is asking Sukadev Goswami about the dynasty of so many kings, because he knows that each of these kings are remarkable and super excellent in devotion to God. How they lived in this world but of this world. How they perfectly performed their duties, as heads of state but always remain pure at heart dedicating their every word, thought and action as an offering of love to Krishna. The subject matter is an urgent urgent longing. It is an urgent urgent longing for all sincere souls who want to attain spiritual advancement. We are about to read some very very extraordinary stories. But the name of this particular chapter is ‘King Pradumna becomes a woman. And if you want to understand where are all these things you have to stay tuned to Srimad Bhagvatam classes, very exciting and the purports of the great acharyas is very much required to understand these things. We see Maharaj Parikshit, he is not only asking questions for his own sake but he is asking these questions to establish the most wonderful, purifying histories for all the world to come. A devotee of the Lord whatever he does, he is always thinking in terms of setting a precedence by which all the world can follow. In the Bhagvad Gita we find that Krishna was speaking to Arjuna. Arjuna was a very very enlightened soul he was a most dear friend of Shree Hari.
Actually there was no need for him to hear that narration, the 700 verses of Gita, but for sake of establishing the word of Krishna so that all people of the world should follow for the rest of the time he was very anxious for Krishna to speak. In the 11th chapter of Gita, Arjuna was asking Krishna ‘show me your Universal Form, the all devouring , mighty manifestation that is creating, maintaining and ultimately destroying all of the existence and then after seeing the Universal Form, Arjuna could not bear it. He wanted to see the beautiful charming form of Krishna with His two arms playing the flute. In this way Arjuna secretly established the Supremacy of Krishna. His unexcelled, incomparable opulence for all the world he wanted Krishna to show. So this is the nature of the great souls. Yesterday was the disappearance day of Srila Ramanujacharya he was also such a great soul. To hear the glories of such great souls is the very basis of our spiritual sustenance. It is the nectar that we are always seeking, the nectar of devotion. Ramanujacharya appeared in the year 1017 of the Christian era. It is described that there was a great acharya named Yamunacharya. At one time he was a king, but later on by the blessings of his father who was a great devotee of the Lord. He renounced all the worldly connections and became a great Spiritual Master. He had innumerable disciples who perfected their lives one of the very prominent sanyasi disciples of Yamunacharya named Shailapurna and he had two sisters Kantimati and Diptimati. Kantimati married to a very very holy man of the name of Keshavacharya and for many years they were desiring a son. A great son who would deliver whole the world with the love and devotion to Shri Hari. We see that the family is a divine sacrament if we follow the principles of these great souls. They understood that there unity together was only for the purpose of service to Krishna – Narayan. And they thought themselves very small, unworthy and unqualified. Therefore, feeling great compassion to the world they were praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead to send us one of Your divine servants as our son, so that he could deliver the suffering condition of the humanity. We find this also in the life of Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Bhakti Vinod Thakur he was a divine representative of the Lord. He was desiring for a son who can (not audible). The time passed many many many years and they still did not have any issue so they went to what is now called Madras to the very holy temple of Parthasarathy which is close to the ocean side. And there they performed the great fire sacrifice with great devotion, they prayed to Lord Narayan please let our marriage be uniformly sanctified that the fruit of our marriage be a Krishna Conscious child who will do great service for the Lord. And one year after this prayer a beautiful child was born he had all auspicious marks on his body. It is described that the uncle …….gave the child the name Ramanuja. Of course the life of Ramunajacharya is a very very wonderful narration that will take creations to describe, but I would like to describe just one incident revealing his great love and compassion in the service of the Lord and all living beings.
Love and Compassion of Srila Ramanujacharya for living beings:
We see Ramanujacharya accepted Yamunacharya as his Guru in his heart, but Yamunacharya left this world before Ramanujacharya could accept initiation. So he received initiation from one great saint, a disciple of Yamunacharya of the name Mahapurna. One day Mahapurna told Ramanuja that, they were living in Srirangam at that time. But close to here in a village some distance away there is a very very great Godbrother of mine a disciple of Yamunacharya. His name is Gosthipurna. A vaishnava like him you will not find anywhere. He is so pure in heart, his every breath is filled with love of God and he is aware of a very very sacred mantra. You should go to him fall at his feet and beg him to initiate you in this mantra. So Ramanujacharya walked the distance and went to the ashram of Gosthipurna and fall at his lotus feet and prayed if you are merciful upon me let my life be successful by imparting to me the sacred mantra which glorifies the personality of Godhead, Narayan (darshan opens ‘Shri Shri Radha-Gopinath ki jai’) At that time Gosthipurna told Ramanuja that at this time it is not possible I will consider your request please come back again some time later. Then Gosthipurna began to pray to the Lord within his heart that ‘my Lord this mantra is very secret. It is a very very confidential mantra which is only meant to be given to the one who is completely purified by all material desires therefore it is not possible for me to give it to this young man. So Ramanujacharya he came and Gosthipurna he refused, again and again and again he came and again and again Gosthipurna would find some excuse not to give him the mantra. One day there was a festival in Srirangam and Gosthipurana came to that place and when he was standing before the beautiful murti to Sri Ranganath, the pujari came to him and he said Sri Ranganath has spoken this massage for you that you should initiate Ramanuja in the sacred mantra. That you will find no one on earth that is more purified and more devoted then him. But Gosthipurana had taken the vow not tho reveal this mantra to anyone without very very carefully considering. 18 times Ramunja approached him and 18 times he rejected. One Ramanuja realized that there was no purpose living any longer and he began to cry, piteously weep. He could not do anything but cry. He was so devastated by the rejection of his Guru. So that time when the news came to Gosthipurna and of course Ramunaja was not putting on a show, he was genuinely, from the bottom of his very heart with this mood that there is no other purpose in life for me then to be an instrument in the hands of God. Gosthipurna heard about the dilemma of Ramanuja.
He called Ramanuja to his ashram and when Ramanuja again requested, Gosthipurna made him take a vow I can give you this mantra but you have to promise me, you will never repeat it to anyone as long as you live. This mantra is very pure and very sacred and is not to be heard by anyone. And then he spoke within ear the sacred mantra. Ramanuja with great humility and tears in his eyes, he lit up, he became effulgent with joy. Again and again and again he thanked his Gurumaharaj for his causeless mercy, and leaving his Gurumaharaj’s ashram he began to return to Sri Rangam for his place of residence but on the way he saw many many people on the road side and he was thinking that my gurudev has said that this mantra is so potent that anyone who hears it will be liberated from material sufferings and attain love of God, look at this how much people are suffering. So he began to call out to all the people that please come to the temple to Lord Vishnu and I will deliver to you most precious of all precious jewels, and as he was calling them out thousands and thousands and thousands of people began to follow him. Then he climbed to highest tower of the temple and there he said who here wants to hear the most priceless of all jewels and all of them began to cheer with great eagerness. By this time there were masses, thousands of people and he said that this jewel upon hearing and chanting will deliver you from all the sufferings of material life and establish in your heart pure love and devotion for the Supreme Lord Narayan. Now who wants it? Be this time they were very eager. The qualification for receiving the mercy of Guru is the eagerness to receive it. People were jumping, raising their arms and saying please please shower upon us the mercy of the Lord, shower upon us the mercy of the Lord. And then Srila Ramanujacharya began to call out now all of you repeat after me, ‘Om namoh Narayana’ and everyone tumultuously filled the atmosphere with the sound ‘Om Namoh Narayana’. Everyone together ‘Om namoh Narayana’ (audience chants….) and they all chanted three times, and because they were so eager to hear this mantra, the mantra had immediate effects and they all felt great ecstasy within their hearts and realized that the doors to the ultimate liberation has been opened in their lives. And they all with great humility bowed down, paid prostrated obeisance to the lotus feet of Sri Ramanujacharya. After sometime Ramanuja before leaving he decided he would go and visit his Gurumaharaj again. But of course his Gurumaharaj could hear this tumultuous chanting of this mantra from his ashram and he was raging with anger how could this nonsense disciple could have broken his vow not more then minutes after he received it. So Ramanujacharya came before his Gurudev and humbly bowed down before him and Gosthipurna looked at him and said ‘get out of here I do not want to see your sinful face again. Sinful abominable man that you are, you lied to me, you made a vow and you broke it, therefore, you are condemned to suffer in hell for million of births. Get out of this place you sinful man. Let me never see your face again. Ramanuja when he heard the words of his Gurudev was perfectly calm and peaceful. He said ‘my dear Gurumaharaj, but you are saying is very good but please try to understand, that I accept that I will go to hell for millions of births, but you told me that whoever hears this mantra would from material suffering, I am such an insignificant person, what is the loss if I go to hell for millions of years, but by doing it so, so many thousands of people would return back to Spiritual World to live for the pleasure of Lord Narayan. Certainly it is worthy for me to go to hell. After all what is my life for, save and except to show compassion to others.’ At that time Gosthipurna, all of his anger subsided and he became full of love and with his arms he embraced his disciple Ramanuja. He said ‘you are a greater man then me’. And this day my dear Ramanuja I had seen the true compassion of a real vaishnava and therefore I humbly accept you as my Guru. And Ramanuja after all this he said no no no gurumaharaj you are my eternal Guru, you have given me this mantra and even though I have performed this great sinful activity you are embracing me with your loving arms, and this is in itself the perfection of my life. Even the greatest demigods are longing and desiring to be embraced by your arms and here I have attained the greatest of all fortunes by your causeless mercy and then Gosthipurna gave his deepest most profound blessings to his disciple Ramanuja. And Ramanuja left that place to return to Sri Rangam where we find that every moment, every day and every year of his life was in the same spirit of the selfless sacrifice for the upliftment of suffering humanity. Ramanujacharya lived in this mood I believe for approximately 120 years and even in that old age he was full of energy and enthusiasm to profusely propagate the mercy of Sri Krishna.
The Easiest Process to get the Highest Benediction and Perfection of Life:
Yes, to hear with an open and submissive heart with eagerness, the story of the lives of the great devotees of the Lord, we become great. We never think ourselves great but great means we connect with the Supreme great, Sri Krishna. Krishna is all great and if we can simply connect to him then His greatness can shine each and everyone of us. And this is the process. By associating with the all great, that greatness becomes the very basis of our existence. What we associate with we become that. We are hearing the transcendental narration of the Lord and His devotees which are all pure and you become purified. ‘nasta prayesu abhadresu…..’ therefore it is very essential that we regularly hear the transcendental narrations of the Lord in the association of His devotees and then whoever we are, wherever we are coming from, makes no difference. When we reconnect with Krishna, yoga means to reconnect with Krishna, then we become Krishnaised. Srila Prabhupada use to tell us our goal in life is to become Krishnaised. We have to be so filled up with Krishna that everything coming in us and everything coming out of us is simply Krishna and it is very simple. Hearing and chanting His glories then we become Krishanised. Let us together take very seriously this great opportunity, the prime benediction for all humanity, hearing and chanting the glories and names of the SPG. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Is there any questins?? It impossible for you to still the mind but nothing is impossible for God. If you turn to Him, if you take shelter of Him, if you sincerely attempt to fix your mind upon Him, when He sees that you are sufficiently sincere, He will take it upon Himself to still your mind. ‘daivi hi esa guna mayi…….’ This material nature is very difficult to overcome. It the Maya potency that is keeping your mind always disturbed with alternatives other then Krishna Consciousness. Simply we must show Krishna that we sincerely want Him more then anyone else, simply one must show Krishna that we are sincere and eager to fix our minds on Him. By our efforts, by our apparently futile and easily conquered endeavors. Krishna says, ‘ananyas chintayanto mam …..’ that if you simply surrender to Me, I will preserve what you have and carry what lack. Krishna Himself will still your mind. All Krishna has to do is say to Maya STOP, leave My devotee alone, and she shall never touch you again. But He will not interfere with your independence, as long as you have separate desires He will not treat you in that way. When you really try to sacrifice your consciousness to try to hear His name, try to serve His devotees, then Krishna He conquer the insurmountable conditions and disturbances in your mind. That is the only hope. That even a child can do it.
Questions and Answers
Is there any questions?
Question: Hare Krishna Maharaj. Thank you for your wonderful class. Maharaj, how can we, being in family life be an instrument to show compassion to the whole world?
Answer: Because family life (grihastha ashram) is specially meant to produce children who are God Conscious for the uplift meant of the world. It is service to the Lord and they are very anxious to offer the service to the Lord. But really what do we have to offer. When you go to Ganges, you take water from mother Ganga, your offer the prayer, please accept this offering and you pour same water into the river. What you are offering? What Ganges has already given you. We cannot offer anything to Krishna because Krishna does not give us anything in the first place. But we can offer with love and that is what Krishna is thirsty for, that love.
Question: Maharaj I am practicing Krishna Consciousness since so many years but I don’t see any change in myself?
Answer: There is a change, if you just study what you are like then and what you are like now and what your values are your will feel there is a remarkable change, but the change is to the degree that we can understand the urgency of spiritual life now. Maharaj Parikshit saw no other purpose of his existence save and except to hear about Krishna. Krishna says, as you approach Me I reward you I will give myself accordingly. If you approach Krishna with half of your heart He will approach you with half of His heart. If you approach Krishna with full heart, eager to love Him, eager to hear Him, eager to serve Him, putting all other aspirations aside, then Krishna will fill your heart with His love. So we have to understand the great sense of urgency and the great eagerness with which Maharaj Parikshit was listening. If you can listen for seven days, if you can listen for one minute with that intensity, you will be liberated. Therefore we must learn that eagerness. We must accept what is favorable to develop that and reject anything unfavorable. He was a great soul, we are not so great. That is a gradual process, because our desires are so mixed up. His desire was fixed, he was resolute in purpose, his aim was one, that was his qualification to attain perfection of his consciousness in seven days. Maharaj Khatvanga attained that same perfection in one moment. It may take a moment, it may take millions of births, that is dependent not on Krishna but on us. He is willing and ready to give it at any moment to anyone if we want it that much. Any other questions.
Question: Maharaj sometimes people outside ask us have you seen God or have you experienced God. How can we answer such a question?
Answer: Just be honest with them, simply be honest. If you are Krishna conscious you have the personal experience of Godhead at every moment. If you are looking for God at every moment He will reveal Himself at every moment, even now, even today, the words that are spoken in Srimad Bhagvatam is the God personally speaking to you is it not personal experience here in it? When you come before the deity that is the Supreme Person standing before you when you are seeing Him and taking His form in your heart, is that not the personal experience to you? Everytime you recite with a sincere and attentive heart the Holy Name God is filling your whole life wit His mercy, is that not a personal experience? Everytime you offer any service to your Gurudev, the representative of God is reciprocating God mercy with you, is that not the personal experience? Krishna Consciousness is simply a question of being aware of what it is, what is the truth? Material consciousness is being blind to what is really profound. Many times in a news magazine there was one very very determined reporter. We some journalists they do not ask submissively but they give so many apparently respectful humble questions, they demand you to give the answer that they want. So this newsweek is one of the largest circulated magazines in the world. The came to interview Srila Prahbupada. This was in New York city. There was a room of perhaps a hundred devotees sitting with Prabhupada as the interview was going on. He was asking many many very very preconceived pointed and challenging questions. But he was doing it in a very very respectful way superficially. Swamiji please excuse me for asking this question but like that. So at one point he said, ‘swamiji’. Now Prabhupada now expert in taking every opportunity to preach the philosophy. You see, what the newspaper reporter did not know was Prabhupada was million of times better at this then what he was. A good journalist gets you to say what he wants you to say. But Prabhupada was expert, whatever questions he asked him he would say ‘I am very I have not asked the question properly.’ But my question is at what age did you first see God? I want to know what age, how old were you. Prabhupada explains, ‘what you want to know whether one is old that does not matter, but chanting of the holy name is so beautiful and so sublime that you see even the children they are dancing in ecstasy and through this process even they will understand God and see Him face to face. And even someone old and invalid he may not be able to do anything else but he could chant the holy names, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Swamiji thank you very much for that beautiful answer. But I think I have just not worded my question for your understanding, I am very very sorry. But my question is ‘how old were you when you first saw Krishna face to face.’ Pabhupada paused, and very quietly he said, ‘about 4 years old’. Then all the devotees said ‘Jai Prabhupada’ playing mridanga and kartala at this. When people ask you about your personal experiences it is good to be honest. But how should you be honest? You should be honest and humble but you should repeat the truth. You do not repeat the truth by not being honest. Truth means you should explain it according to the scriptures, and according to the teachings of your Gurumaharaj. Some day you become enlightened by your experience in Krishna Consciousness.
Question: Maharaj, sometimes Krishna Consciousness becomes a very pleasing process and sometimes it becomes really very difficult to carry on in Krishna consciousness, why?
Answer: That means that your heart is not sufficiently purified. When your heart is pure, that Krishna Conscious experience is like the sun that will eternally remain in your consciousness at all times but as long as we still have clouds in our heart sometimes that sunshine may be covered, sometimes the cloud will leave, then again they will cover, then again they will leave, then again they will cover. Sometimes we have divine experiences but because our heart is not that sufficiently purified, there are still clouds that will come and cover. Krishna says that constant practice and detachment, by following the regulative principles of we can cleanse our heart of all these clouds and then the sunshine of Krishna Consciousness raises within the horizon of our heart it is the eternal illumination of the Lords mercy. Narada muni had an experience but Krishna said you are not yet completely pure you cannot preserve and maintain this experience through your life you purify yourself and in your next life you know nothing but my love. So you have to work very very cautiously and with great determination to purify our hearts. How? By making the instructions of our Gurudev our life and soul.
Thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jai !!!