Ambrosial Srimad Bhagavatam

By Giriraj Das - 2.6 2017

O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.

(SB 1.1.3)

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

Please let us relish as we read, chew, nibble or feast upon the nectarean introduction of Srimad Bhagavatam by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura:

The cloud of Sri-caitanya has rained a sweet shower of mercy, producing a river of devotion to himself where the jivas play like elephants in the Ganga. May the dark cloud of Lord Krsna Caitanya, made golden with a flash of lightning, illuminate the sky of my mind!

I worship the one absolute truth, Krsna, who is eternal bliss and supreme consciousness, (Nityananda, Advaita-Caitanya), personified as the eternal Bhagavatam which is the complete form of Brahma-sutra, in its most embellished form and who resides with eternal bhakti and the eternal devotees in the eternal spiritual abode. I take shelter of the eternal form, name and qualities of Krsna known from Bhagavatam, which I studied for a long time by the mercy of guru. After having studied the Vaisnava-tosani of Sanatana and after having understood the conclusions of Lord Caitanya from the Sandarbhas of Jiva, by the mercy of Sridhara Svami, I produce this commentary to show the essence of Bhagavatam. I am not learned. Oh! I am rash in this attempt! The cause, being either my own foolishness or the causeless mercy of the Lord, gives rise to its manifestation, even in an unqualified person. If its cause is my foolishness, it will produce mockery, and if its cause is mercy of the Lord, it will produce bliss with every word for the devotees.

I offer myself and everything I have to the absolute Lord who is dearer than life to all the cowherd men and women, and to the service of his dear devotees. It is not so surprising that this popularly read scripture has qualities of the absolute entity brahman, comparable to the fruit of a desire tree, a lamp and the sun. I praise this work which assumes the form of Mohini in the assembly of devas and demons, giving the sweet topics of the Lord to the devotees, and denying them to the demons. Svayam Bhagavan, the sweet ocean of all auspicious qualities, the king holding the greatest power, the most splendid sun, shone and then disappeared at scheduled times over the earth. The meanings of the various scriptures, Puranas and Itihasas, placed in three groups just as men are classified into three groups, are like night watchmen (guarding the treasure of satisfaction of the heart), but through time, destiny, the appearance of irregularity, and even laziness, some of the meanings have fallen into deep sleep. Consequently, the great treasure – satisfaction of the heart of all people and the authors of the works – has been stolen by those who have appeared like thieves and given wrong interpretations to those scriptures. This is understood from the following:

jugupsitam dharma-krte ’nusasatah svabhava-raktasya mahan vyatikramah

The people in general are naturally inclined to enjoy, and you have encouraged them in that way in the name of religion. This is verily condemned and is quite unreasonable. (SB 1.5.15)

However, under these conditions the Lord makes his appearance:

yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata |

abhutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham ||

Whenever there is destruction in dharma, O Bharata, and a rise in adharma, I manifest my own body. (BG 4.7)

As well, according to the Gita, the Lord comes to save the devotees and destroy the demons. (BG 4.8) Just as he appears for these purposes as Matsya among the fish, as Varaha among the animals, as Hamsa among the birds, as svayam bhagavan Krsna among humans, and as Upendra among the devatas, so the Lord has now appeared as the crown jewel of the scriptures, Srimad-bhagavatam, among the Vedas, for restoring dharma and delivering the devotees.

krsne sva-dhamopagate dharma-jsanadibhih saha |

kalau nasta-drsam esa puranarko ’dhunoditah ||

This Bhagavata Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krsna to his own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purana. (SB 1.3.4)

This indicates that Bhagavatam is another form of Krsna, similar to the oneness of I and mine (Krsna and the book about Krsna). Thus, it bears no comparison with other works. Krsna has appeared as Bhagavatam through Sukadeva and Pariksit, and like the sun among the planets, it shines among the Puranas. It has twelve forms (volumes), just as the sun has twelve forms for each of the months of the year. With eighteen-thousand verses like its leaves, it has appeared like a desire tree to fulfill the goals of the great devotees.

( Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary on the first verse of Srimad Bhagavatam)

If its description is so delightful and tempting then we can very well imagine how heavenly will be its taste if we were to serve Srimad Bhagavatam by carefully reading it every day for the rest of our life.