by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Copyright 1972-2003 Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, 3764 Watseka Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034, USA, www.Krishna.com.
HpSwami/ASA Annotated Copy (Annotated to %%%)
ASA General Summary
In Canto One we see a preface to the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. A preface explains the goal of the book, qualifications of the author, under what circumstances the book was written, how to read it and qualifications expected of the reader. Identity of M.P. and S.G, purpose, circumstances, are all in Canto One. Then in Canto Two M.P. begins his S.B.
Canto 1: Creation
SB 1.1: Questions by the Sages
SB 1.2: Divinity and Divine Service
SB 1.3: Kṛṣṇa Is the Source of All Incarnations
SB 1.4: The Appearance of Śrī Nārada
SB 1.5: Nārada's Instructions on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for Vyāsadeva
SB 1.6: Conversation Between Nārada and Vyāsadeva
SB 1.7: The Son of Droṇa Punished
SB 1.8: Prayers by Queen Kuntī and Parīkṣit Saved
SB 1.9: The Passing Away of Bhīṣmadeva in the Presence of Lord Kṛṣṇa
SB 1.10: Departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa for Dvārakā
SB 1.11: Lord Kṛṣṇa's Entrance into Dvārakā
SB 1.12: Birth of Emperor Parīkṣit
SB 1.13: Dhṛtarāṣṭra Quits Home
SB 1.14: The Disappearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa
SB 1.15: The Pāṇḍavas Retire Timely
SB 1.16: How Parīkṣit Received the Age of Kali
SB 1.17: Punishment and Reward of Kali
SB 1.18: Mahārāja Parīkṣit Cursed by a Brāhmaṇa Boy
SB 1.19: The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī
Analysis into Modules
Suta to Sages
3 Narada to Vyasa
6 Events After the Battle
12 Departure of Krsna
15 Appearance of SB
19 Chapter Summarys
[ ] NOTE – Organize into Modules
Ch. 1: Verses 1-3, are Prelude to SB then at Naimisaranya the Sages ask Suta Goswami (StG) six questions (4-22)
Ch. 2: StG answers first glorifying the acharyas of SB and the questions (1-6). Then he answers most of their questions (7-38) and...
Ch. 3: ...completes his answers by describing the Purusa Avataras (3.1-5), Lila and other Avatars (6-25). He then describes the general principles of Avatars, the transcendental situation beyond them (26-39) and presents SB as the current Avatar.
Ch. 4: Sages want to hear the history of SB (4-13). StG describes how Veda Vyasa wrote the Vedas (14-25) but still was not satisfied (26-31) then his guru, Narada Muni (NM) arrived (32).
Ch. 5: NM questions VV(2-4) who confesses his sadness (5-7). NM diagnoses the cause of VV disease (8-22), describes his contact with his own gurus (23-30), his own realization (31-33) and orders VV to write SB (40).
Ch. 6: VV asks for more detail of NM self-realization (1-4). NM described these (5-35), his renunciation of home (5-15), stages of developing love of God (16), vision of Lord Visnu (17-25), further wanderings, his death, and eternal life (26-29). Epilog and summary by SG (30-37).
Ch. 7-11 K > Dvaraka, 12-15 Dis. of K & App. of associates of SB.
Ch. 7: How VV wrote SB (1-13) beginning with a description of Asvattama's releasing a Brahmastra weapon at Arjuna (14-57) and ...
Ch. 8:… oblations for the departed warriors (1-8), K saves Uttara and Pariksit (P) (11-17). Queen Kunti's wonderful prayers (18-43) and Yuddhisthira (Y) lamentation over all the death (44-52).
Ch.9: Departure assembly for Bhisma (1-12): B pacifies Y (13-21), considers his own departure (22-24), instructs Y on political science (25-28), prepares to leave (29-30), offering wonderful prayers (32-42) and departs (43-45) as well as all assembled (46-49).
Ch. 10: Y rules the earth (1-6), K leaves for Dvaraka (D)with feelings of separation (7-20), the ladies offer beautiful prayers (21-30)and the trip to D is described (31-36).
Ch. 11: Feelings of yoga as K approaches D (1-5), prayers by the D folk (6-10), public ceremonies of reception (10-27) and intimate family reception and peaceful pastimes (28-39).
Ch. 12 More questions by the Sages (1-3), the glories of Y’s reign (4-6), P situation in the womb (7-11), his birth (12-15), predictions of his life (16-28) and his growth to maturity (29-36).
Ch. 13 Vidura's (V) returns to Hastinapur (1-17), delivers Dhrtarastra (DH) (18-28), who leaves home (29-30), discovering which Y is plunged into lamentation (31-38), Narada Muni calms him (__) and. DH & Gandhari quit their bodies (__).
Ch. 14: Y sees ill omens portending departure of K (1-22). At that time Arjuna returns from D and Y asks about Arjuna’s depression suspecting K’s departed (__).
Ch. 15: Arjuna steadies his mind by remembering K (1-21), gives the sad news of K and Yadu dynasty (22-26), Y et al depart (__).
Ch. 16-19, P Meets Sukadeva Gosvami (SG)
Ch. 16: P assumes the throne, meets Kali-Yuga (1-4), Sages are astonished that P did not kill Kali (5-9), P tours his empire (10-17) and concurrently Earth and Religion talk (18-36).
Ch. 17: P, Kali, Earth & Religion meet (1-16), P asks for a complaint, Religion declines discussing destiny with P(17-27), then P severely limits Kali (28-41)and P’s reign is described.
Ch. 18: More description P’s reign (1-11), Sages ask for more talks of K (12-17), StG glorifies their request (18-23), describes the insult of Samika Rsi by P, subsequent cursing by Srngi, (24-40) and Samika's lament upon hear this (41-50).
Ch.19: P laments over his unfortunate action (1-3), assembly on bank of Ganges (4-13), P welcomes them (14-26) asking them to engage in Krsna-katha (32-24), SG appears (25-31) and P asks him two questions (XX): What is the duty of a man during his life and especially at the time of death?
Suta to the Sages (Pref/Intro and Chapters 1-3)
ASA Notes - Written before Prabhupada left India. Is Preface a preface to all of Prabhupada’s efforts, life’s work? Lot of Text Two here, no? Can be printed for separate distribution, cited, studied.
[Question] We must know the present need of human society.
And what is that need? [Contrast] Human society is no longer bounded by geographical limits to particular countries or communities.
[Answer] Human society is broader than in the Middle-Ages, and the world tendency is toward one state or one human society.
The ideals of spiritual communism, according to Srimad-Bhagavatam, are based more or less on the oneness of the entire human society, nay, of the entire energy of living beings. The need is felt by great thinkers to make this a successful ideology.
[Implementation] Srimad-Bhagavatam will fill this need in human society. It begins, therefore, with the aphorism of Vedanta philosophy janmady asya yatah to establish the ideal of a common cause.
[Contrast] Human society, at the present moment, is not in the darkness of oblivion. It has made rapid progress in the field of material comforts, education and economic development throughout the entire world. But there is a pinprick somewhere in the social body at large, and therefore there are large-scale quarrels, even over less important issues. There is need of a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship and prosperity with a common cause. Srimad-Bhagavatam will fill this need, for it is a cultural presentation for the respiritualization of the entire human society.
[Implementation] Srimad-Bhagavatam should be introduced also in the schools and colleges, for it is recommended by the great student-devotee Prahlada Maharaja in order to change the demoniac face of society.
[ ] Check
kaumara acaret prajno
dharman bhagavatan iha
durlabham manusam janmatad
apy adhruvam arthadam
Disparity in human society is due to lack of principles in a godless civilization. There is God, or the Almighty One, from whom everything emanates, by whom everything is maintained and in whom everything is merged to rest. Material science has tried to find the ultimate source of creation very insufficiently, but it is a fact that there is one ultimate source of everything that be. This ultimate source is explained rationally and authoritatively in the beautiful Bhagavatam, or Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the transcendental science not only for knowing the ultimate source of everything but also for knowing our relation with Him and our duty toward perfection of the human society on the basis of this perfect knowledge. It is powerful reading matter in the Sanskrit language, and it is now rendered into English elaborately so that simply by a careful reading one will know God perfectly well, so much so that the reader will be sufficiently educated to defend himself from the onslaught of atheists. Over and above this, the reader will be able to convert others to accepting God as a concrete principle.
Srimad-Bhagavatam begins with the definition of the ultimate source. It is a bona fide commentary on the Vedanta-sutra by the same author, Srila Vyasadeva, and gradually it develops into nine cantos up to the highest state of God realization. The only qualification one needs to study this great book of transcendental knowledge is to proceed step by step cautiously and not jump forward haphazardly like with an ordinary book. It should be gone through chapter by chapter, one after another. The reading matter is so arranged with its original Sanskrit text, its English transliteration, synonyms, translation and purports so that one is sure to become a God-realized soul at the end of finishing the first nine cantos.
The Tenth Canto is distinct from the first nine cantos because it deals directly with the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna. One will be unable to capture the effects of the Tenth Canto without going through the first nine cantos. The book is complete in twelve cantos, each independent, but it is good for all to read them in small instalments one after another.
I must admit my frailties in presenting Srimad-Bhagavatam, but still I am hopeful of its good reception by the thinkers and leaders of society on the strength of the following statement of Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.11): tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api namany anantasya yaso 'nkitani yac chrnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah "On the other hand, that literature which is full with descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, form and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a transcendental creation meant to bring about a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though irregularly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest." Om tat sat A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Dated at Delhi December 15, 1962
The conception of God and the conception of Absolute Truth are not on the same level. The Srimad-Bhagavatam hits on the target of the Absolute Truth. The conception of God indicates the controller, whereas the conception of the Absolute Truth indicates the summum bonum or the ultimate source of all energies.
[First part of this Intro. discusses this contrast. Is well related to Text One].
There is no difference of opinion about the personal feature of God as the controller [Discussed now in detail] because a controller cannot be impersonal. Of course modern government, especially democratic government, is impersonal to some extent, but ultimately the chief executive head is a person, and the impersonal feature of government is subordinate to the personal feature. So without a doubt whenever we refer to control over others we must admit the existence of a personal feature [Control by Gravity?].
Because there are different controllers for different managerial positions, there may be many small gods. According to the Bhagavad-gita any controller who has some specific extraordinary power is called a vibhutimat sattva [Chapter Ten], or controller empowered by the Lord. There are many vibhutimat sattvas, controllers or gods with various specific powers, but the Absolute Truth is one without a second. This Srimad-Bhagavatam designates the Absolute Truth or the summum bonum as the param satyam [Cited from Text One].
The author of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Vyasadeva, first offers his respectful obeisances unto the param satyam (Absolute Truth), and because the param satyam is the ultimate source of all energies, the param satyam is the Supreme Person. The gods or the controllers are undoubtedly persons, but the param satyam from whom the gods derive powers of control is the Supreme Person. The Sanskrit word isvara (controller) conveys the import of God, but the Supreme Person is called the paramesvara, or the supreme isvara. The Supreme Person, or paramesvara, is the supreme conscious personality, and because He does not derive any power from any other source, He is supremely independent.
[¶] In the Vedic literatures Brahma is described as the supreme god or the head of all other gods like Indra, Candra and Varuna, but the Srimad-Bhagavatam confirms that even Brahma is not independent as far as his power and knowledge are concerned. He received knowledge in the form of the Vedas from the Supreme Person who resides within the heart of every living being. That Supreme Personality knows everything directly and indirectly. Individual infinitesimal persons, who are parts and parcels of the Supreme personality, may know directly and indirectly everything about their bodies or external features, but the Supreme Personality knows everything about both His external and internal features.
The words janmady asya [Also cited from Text One] suggest that the source of all production, maintenance or destruction is the same supreme conscious person. Even in our present experience we can know that nothing is generated from inert matter, but inert matter can be generated from the living entity. For instance, by contact with the living entity, the material body develops into a working machine. Men with a poor fund of knowledge mistake the bodily machinery to be the living being, but the fact is that the living being is the basis of the bodily machine. The bodily machine is useless as soon as the living spark is away from it. Similarly, the original source of all material energy is the Supreme Person. This fact is expressed in all the Vedic literatures, and all the exponents of spiritual science have accepted this truth. The living force is called Brahman, and one of the greatest acaryas (teachers), namely Sripada Sankaracarya, has preached that Brahman is substance whereas the cosmic world is category. The original source of all energies is the living force, and He is logically accepted as the Supreme Person. He is therefore conscious of everything [Also cited from Text One] past, present and future, and also of each and every corner of His manifestations, both material and spiritual. An imperfect living being does not even know what is happening within his own personal body. He eats his food but does not know how this food is transformed into energy or how it sustains his body. When a living being is perfect, he is aware of everything that happens, and since the Supreme Person is all-perfect, it is quite natural that He knows everything in all detail. Consequently the perfect personality is addressed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as Vasudeva, or one who lives everywhere in full consciousness and in full possession of His complete energy. All of this is clearly explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the reader has ample opportunity to study this critically.
[Finish Contrast Supreme Controller and Absolute Source Start Bio Lord Caitanya] In the modern age Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached the Srimad- Bhagavatam by practical demonstration. It is easier to penetrate into the topics of the Srimad-Bhagavatam through the medium of Sri Caitanya's causeless mercy. Therefore a short sketch of His life and precepts is inserted herein to help the reader understand the real merit of Srimad- Bhagavatam.
It is imperative that one learn the Srimad-Bhagavatam from the person Bhagavatam. The person Bhagavatam is one whose very life is Srimad- Bhagavatam in practice. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Absolute Personality of Godhead, He is both Bhagavan and Bhagavatam in person and in sound. Therefore His process of approaching the Srimad-Bhagavatam is practical for all people of the world. It was His wish that the Srimad- Bhagavatam be preached in every nook and corner of the world by those who happened to take their birth in India.
The Srimad-Bhagavatam is the science of Krsna, the Absolute Personality of Godhead of whom we have preliminary information from the text of the Bhagavad-gita. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that anyone, regardless of what he is, who is well versed in the science of Krsna (Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita) can become an authorized preacher or preceptor in the science of Krsna.
There is a need for the science of Krsna in human society for the good of all suffering humanity of the world, and we simply request the leaders of all nations to pick up this science of Krsna for their own good, for the good of society and for the good of all the world's people.
A Short Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Preacher of Srimad-Bhagavatam
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the great apostle of love of God and the father of the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord, advented Himself at Sridhama Mayapura, a quarter in the city of Navadvipa in Bengal, on the Phalguni Purnima evening in the year 1407 Sakabda (corresponding to February 1486 by the Christian calendar).
His father, Sri Jagannatha Misra, a learned brahmana from the district of Sylhet, came to Navadvipa as a student because at that time Navadvipa was considered to be the center of education and culture. He domiciled on the banks of the Ganges after marrying Srimati Sacidevi, a daughter of Srila Nilambara Cakravarti, the great learned scholar of Navadvipa.
Jagannatha Misra had a number of daughters by his wife, Srimati Sacidevi, and most of them expired at an early age. Two surviving sons, Sri Visvarupa and Visvambhara, became at last the object of their paternal affection. The tenth and youngest son, who was named Visvambhara, later became known as Nimai Pandita and then, after accepting the renounced order of life, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His transcendental activities for forty-eight years and then disappeared in the year 1455 Sakabda at Puri.
For His first twenty-four years He remained at Navadvipa as a student and householder. His first wife was Srimati Laksmipriya, who died at an early age when the Lord was away from home. When He returned from East Bengal He was requested by His mother to accept a second wife, and He agreed. His second wife was Srimati Visnupriya Devi, who bore the separation of the Lord throughout her life because the Lord took the order of sannyasa at the age of twenty-four, when Srimati Visnupriya was barely sixteen years old.
After taking sannyasa, the Lord made His headquarters at Jagannatha Puri due to the request of His mother, Srimati Sacidevi. The Lord remained for twenty-four years at Puri. For six years of this time He traveled continuously all over India (and especially throughout southern India) preaching the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Lord Caitanya not only preached the Srimad-Bhagavatam but propagated the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita as well in the most practical way. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krsna is depicted as the Absolute Personality of Godhead, and His last teachings in that great book of transcendental knowledge instruct that one should give up all the modes of religious activities and accept Him (Lord Sri Krsna) as the only worshipable Lord.
The Lord then assured that all His devotees would be protected from all sorts of sinful acts and that for them there would be no cause for anxiety.
Unfortunately, despite Lord Sri Krsna's direct order and the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, less intelligent people misunderstand Him to be nothing but a great historical personality, and thus they cannot accept Him as the original Personality of Godhead. Such men with a poor fund of knowledge are misled by many nondevotees. Thus the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita were misinterpreted even by great scholars. After the disappearance of Lord Sri Krsna there were hundreds of commentaries on the Bhagavad-gita by many erudite scholars, and almost every one of them was motivated by self-interest.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the selfsame Lord Sri Krsna. This time, however, He appeared as a great devotee of the Lord in order to preach to the people in general, as well as to religionists and philosophers, about the transcendental position of Sri Krsna, the primeval Lord and the cause of all causes. The essence of His preachingis that: Lord Sri Krsna, who appeared at Vrajabhumi (Vrndavana) as the son of the King of Vraja (Nanda Maharaja), is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is therefore worshipable by all.
Vrndavana-dhama is nondifferent from the Lord because the name, fame, form and place where the Lord manifests Himself are all identical with the Lord as absolute knowledge. Therefore Vrndavana-dhama is as worshipable as the Lord.
The highest form of transcendental worship of the Lord was exhibited by thedamsels of Vrajabhumi in the form of pure affection for the Lord, and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends this process as the most excellent mode of worship.
He accepts the Srimad-Bhagavata Purana as thespotless literature for understanding the Lord, and He preaches that the ultimate goal of life for all human beings is to attain the stage of prema, or love of God.
Many devotees of Lord Caitanya like Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura, Sri Locana dasa Thakura, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Sri Kavikarnapura, Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati, Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and in this latter age within two hundred years, Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Sri Syamananda Gosvami, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura and at last Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura (our spiritual master) and many other great and renowned scholars and devotees of the Lord have prepared voluminous books and literatures on the life and precepts of the Lord. Such literatures are all based on the sastras like the Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads, Ramayana, Mahabharata and other histories and authentic literatures approved by the recognized acaryas. They are unique in composition and unrivaled in presentation, and they are full of transcendental knowledge. Unfortunately the people of the world are still ignorant of them, but when these literatures, which are mostly in Sanskrit and Bengali, come to light the world and when they are presented before thinking people, then India's glory and the message of love will overflood this morbid world, which is vainly searching after peace and prosperity by various illusory methods not approved by the acaryas in the chain of disciplic succession.
The readers of this small description of the life and precepts of Lord Caitanya will profit much to go through the books of Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura (Sri Caitanya-bhagavata) and Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta). The early life of the Lord is most fascinatingly expressed by the author of Caitanya-bhagavata, and as far as the teachings are concerned, they are more vividly explained in the Caitanya-caritamrta. Now they are available to the English-speaking public in our Teachings of Lord Caitanya.
The Lord's early life was recorded by one of His chief devotees and contemporaries, namely Srila Murari Gupta, a medical practitioner of that time, and the latter part of the life of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was recorded by His private secretary Sri Damodara Gosvami, or Srila Svarupa Damodara, who was practically a constant companion of the Lord at Puri. These two devotees recorded practically all the incidents of the Lord's activities, and later on all the books dealing with the Lord, which are above mentioned, were composed on the basis of kadacas (notebooks) by Srila Damodara Gosvami and Murari Gupta.
So the Lord advented Himself on the Phalguni Purnima evening of 1407 Sakabda, and it was by the will of the Lord that there was a lunar eclipse on that evening. During the hours of eclipse it was the custom of the Hindu public to take bath in the Ganges or any other sacred river and chant the Vedic mantras for purification. When Lord Caitanya was born during the lunar eclipse, all India was roaring with the holy sound of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.These sixteen names of the Lord are mentioned in many Puranas and Upanisads, and they are described as the Taraka-brahma nama of this age. It is recommended in the sastras that offenseless chanting of these holy names of the Lord can deliver a fallen soul from material bondage. There are innumerable names of the Lord both in India and outside, and all of them are equally good because all of them indicate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But because these sixteen are especially recommended for this age, people should take advantage of them and follow the path of the great acaryas who attained success by practicing the rules of the sastras (revealed scriptures).
The simultaneous occurrence of the Lord's appearance and the lunar eclipse indicated the distinctive mission of the Lord. This mission was to preach the importance of chanting the holy names of the Lord in this age of Kali (quarrel). In this present age quarrels take place even over trifles, and therefore the sastras have recommended for this age a common platform for realization, namely chanting the holy names of the Lord. People can hold meetings to glorify the Lord in their respective languages and with melodious songs, and if such performances are executed in an offenseless manner, it is certain that the participants will gradually attain spiritual perfection without having to undergo more rigorous methods. At such meetings everyone, the learned and the foolish, the rich and the poor, the Hindus and the Muslims, the Englishmen and the Indians, and the candalas and the brahmanas, can all hear the transcendental sounds and thus cleanse the dust of material association from the mirror of the heart. To confirm the Lord's mission, all the people of the world will accept the holy name of the Lord as the common platform for the universal religion of mankind. In other words, the advent of the holy name took place along with the advent of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
When the Lord was on the lap of His mother, He would at once stop crying as soon as the ladies surrounding Him chanted the holy names and clapped their hands. This peculiar incident was observed by the neighbors with awe and veneration. Sometimes the young girls took pleasure in making the Lord cry and then stopping Him by chanting the holy name. So from His very childhood the Lord began to preach the importance of the holy name. In His early age Lord Sri Caitanya was known as Nimai. This name was given by His beloved mother because the Lord took His birth beneath a nimba tree in the courtyard of His paternal house.
When the Lord was offered solid food at the age of six months in the anna-prasana ceremony, the Lord indicated His future activities. At this time it was customary to offer the child both coins and books in order to get some indication of the future tendencies of the child. The Lord was offered on one side coins and on the other the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Lord accepted the Bhagavatam instead of the coins.