[So we came from full Rasa with Krsna? NOD is detailed discussion of Rasa] Therefore, one who attains full knowledge of these different rasas, which are the basic principles of activities, can understand the false representations of the original rasas which are reflected in the material world. The learned scholar seeks to relish the real rasa in the spiritual form. In the beginning he desires to become one with the Supreme. Thus, less intelligent transcendentalists cannot go beyond this conception of becoming one with the spirit whole, without knowing of the different rasas.
In this sloka, it is definitely stated that spiritual rasa, which is relished even in the liberated stage, can be experienced in the literature of the Srimad-Bhagavatam due to its being the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. By submissively hearing this transcendental literature, one can attain the full pleasure of his heart's desire.
But one must be very careful to hear the message from the right source. Srimad-Bhagavatam is exactly received from the right source. It was brought by Narada Muni from the spiritual world and given to his disciple Sri Vyasadeva. The latter in turn delivered the message to his son Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami delivered the message to Maharaja Pariksit just seven days before the King's death. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami was a liberated soul from his very birth. He was liberated even in the womb of his mother, and he did not undergo any sort of spiritual training after his birth. At birth no one is qualified, neither in the mundane nor in the spiritual sense. But Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, due to his being a perfectly liberated soul, did not have to undergo an evolutionary process for spiritual realization. Yet despite his being a completely liberated person situated in the transcendental position above the three material modes, he was attracted to this transcendental rasa of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is adored by liberated souls who sing Vedic hymns. The Supreme Lord's pastimes are more attractive to liberated souls than to mundane people. He is of necessity not impersonal because it is only possible to carry on transcendental rasa with a person. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are narrated, and the narration is systematically depicted by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. Thus the subject matter is appealing to all classes of persons, including those who seek liberation and those who seek to become one with the supreme whole.
In Sanskrit the parrot is also known as suka. When a ripened fruit is cut by the red beaks of such birds, its sweet flavor is enhanced. The Vedic fruit which is mature and ripe in knowledge is spoken through the lips of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, who is compared to the parrot not for his ability to recite the Bhagavatam exactly as he heard it from his learned father, but for his ability to present the work in a manner that would appeal to all classes of men.
The subject matter is so presented through the lips of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami that any sincere listener that hears submissively can at once relish transcendental tastes which are distinct from the perverted tastes of the material world. The ripened fruit is not dropped all of a sudden from the highest planet of Krsnaloka. Rather, it has come down carefully through the chain of disciplic succession without change or disturbance. Foolish people who are not in the transcendental disciplic succession commit great blunders by trying to understand the highest transcendental rasa known as the rasa dance without following in the footsteps of Sukadeva Gosvami, who presents this fruit very carefully by stages of transcendental realization.
One should be intelligent enough to know the position of Srimad-Bhagavatam by considering personalities like Sukadeva Gosvami, who deals with the subject so carefully. This process of disciplic succession of the Bhagavata school suggests that in the future also Srimad-Bhagavatam has to be understood from a person who is factually a representative of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. A professional man who makes a business out of reciting the Bhagavatam illegally is certainly not a representative of Sukadeva Gosvami. Such a man's business is only to earn his livelihood. Therefore one should refrain from hearing the lectures of such professional men. Such men usually go to the most confidential part of the literature without undergoing the gradual process of understanding this grave subject. They usually plunge into the subject matter of the rasa dance, which is misunderstood by the foolish class of men. Some of them take this to be immoral, while others try to cover it up by their own stupid interpretations. They have no desire to follow in the footsteps of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami.
One should conclude, therefore, that the serious student of the rasa should receive the message of Bhagavatam in the chain of disciplic succession from Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, who describes the Bhagavatam from its very beginning and not whimsically to satisfy the mundaner who has very little knowledge in transcendental science. Srimad-Bhagavatam is so carefully presented that a sincere and serious person can at once enjoy the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge simply by drinking the nectarean juice through the mouth of Sukadeva Gosvami or his bona fide representative.
[O.K. You’ve read half the Chapter. You’ve made GREAT spiritual advancement. Take you time. Don’t rush] TEXT 4
satram svargaya lokaya
SYNONYMS naimise--in the forest known as Naimisaranya; animisa-ksetre--the spot which is especially a favorite of Visnu (who does not close His eyelids); rsayah--sages; saunaka-adayah--headed by the sage Saunaka; satram-- sacrifice; svargaya--the Lord who is glorified in heaven; lokaya--and for the devotees who are always in touch with the Lord; sahasra--one thousand; samam--years; asata--performed.
TRANSLATION Once, in a holy place in the forest of Naimisaranya, great sages headed by the sage Saunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord and His devotees. PURPORT The prelude of the Srimad-Bhagavatam was spoken in the previous three slokas. [Dictionary definition of Prelude?] Now the main topic of this great literature is being presented.
Srimad-Bhagavatam, after its first recitation by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, was repeated for the second time at Naimisaranya.
[What is Naimisaranya? We have been there a few times. So much to say!]
In the Vayaviya Tantra, it is said that Brahma, the engineer of this particular universe, contemplated a great wheel which could enclose the universe. The hub of this great circle was fixed at a particular place known as Naimisaranya. Similarly, there is another reference to the forest of Naimisaranya in the Varaha Purana, where it is stated that by performance of sacrifice at this place, the strength of demoniac people is curtailed. Thus brahmanas prefer Naimisaranya for such sacrificial performances.
The devotees of Lord Visnu offer all kinds of sacrifices for His pleasure. The devotees are always attached to the service of the Lord, whereas fallen souls are attached to the pleasures of material existence. In Bhagavad-gita, it is said that anything performed in the material world for any reason other than for the pleasure of Lord Visnu causes further bondage for the performer. It is enjoined therefore that all acts must be performed sacrificially for the satisfaction of Visnu and His devotees. This will bring everyone peace and prosperity.
The great sages are always anxious to do good to the people in general, and as such the sages headed by Saunaka and others assembled at this holy place of Naimisaranya with a program of performing a great and continuous chain of sacrificial ceremonies.
Forgetful men do not know the right path for peace and prosperity. However, the sages know it well, and therefore for the good of all men they are always anxious to perform acts which may bring about peace in the world. They are sincere friends to all living entities, and at the risk of great personal inconvenience they are always engaged in the service of the Lord for the good of all people.
Lord Visnu is just like a great tree, and all others, including the demigods, men, Siddhas, Caranas, Vidyadharas and other living entities, are like branches, twigs and leaves of that tree. By pouring water on the root of the tree, all the parts of the tree are automatically nourished. Only those branches and leaves which are detached cannot be so satisfied. Detached branches and leaves dry up gradually despite all watering attempts. Similarly, human society, when it is detached from the Personality of Godhead like detached branches and leaves, is not capable of being watered, and one attempting to do so is simply wasting his energy and resources. The modern materialistic society is detached from its relation to the Supreme Lord. And all its plans which are being made by atheistic leaders are sure to be baffled at every step. Yet they do not wake up to this.
In this age, the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord is the prescribed method for waking up. The ways and means are most scientifically presented by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and intelligent persons may take advantage of His teachings in order to bring about real peace and prosperity. Srimad-Bhagavatam is also presented for the same purpose, and this will be explained more specifically later in the text.
ta ekada tu munayah
sat-krtam sutam asinam
papracchur idam adarat
SYNONYMS te--the sages; ekada--one day; tu--but; munayah--sages; pratah-- morning; huta--burning; huta-agnayah--the sacrificial fire; sat-krtam-- due respects; sutam--Sri Suta Gosvami; asinam--seated on; papracchuh-- made inquiries; idam--on this (as follows); adarat--with due regards.
TRANSLATION One day, after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and offering a seat of esteem to Srila Suta Gosvami, the great sages made inquiries, with great respect, about the following matters.
Morning is the best time to hold spiritual services.
The great sages offered the speaker of the Bhagavatam an elevated seat of respect called the vyasasana, or the seat of Sri Vyasadeva. Sri Vyasadeva is the original spiritual preceptor for all men. And all other preceptors are considered to be his representatives. A representative is one who can exactly present the viewpoint of Sri Vyasadeva. Sri Vyasadeva impregnated the message of Bhagavatam unto Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, and Sri Suta Gosvami heard it from him (Sri Sukadeva Gosvami). All bona fide representatives of Sri Vyasadeva in the chain of disciplic succession are to be understood to be gosvamis. These gosvamis restrain all their senses, and they stick to the path made by the previous acaryas. The gosvamis do not deliver lectures on the Bhagavatam capriciously. Rather, they execute their services most carefully, following their predecessors who delivered the spiritual message unbroken to them.
Those who listen to the Bhagavatam may put questions to the speaker in order to elicit the clear meaning, but this should not be done in a challenging spirit. One must submit questions with a great regard for the speaker and the subject matter. This is also the way recommended in Bhagavad-gita. One must learn the transcendental subject by submissive aural reception from the right sources. Therefore these sages addressed the speaker Suta Gosvami with great respect.
tvaya khalu puranani
akhyatany apy adhitani
dharma-sastrani yany uta
SYNONYMS rsayah--the sages; ucuh--said; tvaya--by you; khalu--undoubtedly; puranani--the supplements to the Vedas with illustrative narrations; saitihasani-- along with the histories; ca--and; anagha--freed from all vices; akhyatani--explained; api--although; adhitani--well read; dharmasastrani-- scriptures giving right directions to progressive life; yani-- all these; uta--said.
TRANSLATION The sages said: Respected Suta Gosvami, you are completely free from all vice. You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in the Puranas and the histories as well, for you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them.
PURPORT A gosvami, or the bona fide representative of Sri Vyasadeva, must be free from all kinds of vices. The four major vices of Kali-yuga are (1) illicit connection with women, (2) animal slaughter, (3) intoxication, (4) speculative gambling of all sorts. A gosvami must be free from all these vices before he can dare sit on the vyasasana. No one should be allowed to sit on the vyasasana who is not spotless in character and who is not freed from the above-mentioned vices.
He not only should be freed from all such vices, but must also be well versed in all revealed scriptures or in the Vedas. The Puranas are also parts of the Vedas. And histories like the Mahabharata or Ramayana are also parts of the Vedas. The acarya or the gosvami must be well acquainted with all these literatures. To hear and explain them is more important than reading them. One can assimilate the knowledge of the revealed scriptures only by hearing and explaining. Hearing is called sravana, and explaining is called kirtana. The two processes of sravana and kirtana are of primary importance to progressive spiritual life. Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject.
yani veda-vidam srestho
anye ca munayah suta
SYNONYMS yani--all that; veda-vidam--scholars of the Vedas; sresthah-- seniormost; bhagavan--incarnation of Godhead; badarayanah--Vyasadeva; anye--others; ca--and; munayah--the sages; suta--O Suta Gosvami; paravara-vidah--amongst the learned scholars, one who is conversant with physical and metaphysical knowledge; viduh--one who knows.
TRANSLATION Being the eldest learned Vedantist, O Suta Gosvami, you are acquainted with the knowledge of Vyasadeva, who is the incarnation of Godhead, and you also know other sages who are fully versed in all kinds of physical and metaphysical knowledge.
PURPORT Srimad-Bhagavatam is a natural commentation on the Brahma-sutra, or the Badarayani Vedanta-sutras. It is called natural because Vyasadeva is author of both the Vedanta-sutras and Srimad-Bhagavatam, or the essence of all Vedic literatures.
Besides Vyasadeva, there are other sages who are the authors of six different philosophical systems, namely Gautama, Kanada, Kapila, Patanjali, Jaimini and Astavakra. Theism is explained completely in the Vedanta-sutra, whereas in other systems of philosophical speculations, practically no mention is given to the ultimate cause of all causes.
One can sit on the vyasasana only after being conversant in all systems of philosophy so that one can present fully the theistic views of the Bhagavatam in defiance of all other systems.
Srila Suta Gosvami was the proper teacher, and therefore the sages at Naimisaranya elevated him to the vyasasana. Srila Vyasadeva is designated herein as the Personality of Godhead because he is the authorized empowered incarnation.
vettha tvam saumya tat sarvam
bruyuh snigdhasya sisyasya
guravo guhyam apy uta
SYNONYMS vettha--you are well conversant; tvam--Your Honor; saumya--one who is pure and simple; tat--those; sarvam--all; tattvatah--in fact; tat--their; anugrahat--by the favor of; bruyuh--will tell; snigdhasya--of the one who is submissive; sisyasya--of the disciple; guravah--the spiritual masters; guhyam--secret; api uta--endowed with.
TRANSLATION And because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favors bestowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all that you have scientifically learned from them.
PURPORT The secret of success in spiritual life is in satisfying the spiritual master and thereby getting his sincere blessings. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has sung in his famous eight stanzas on the spiritual master as follows: "I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master. Only by his satisfaction can one please the Personality of Godhead, and when he is dissatisfied there is only havoc on the path of spiritual realization."
It is essential, therefore, that a disciple be very much obedient and submissive to the bona fide spiritual master.
Srila Suta Gosvami fulfilled all these qualifications as a disciple, and therefore he was endowed with all favors by his learned and self-realized spiritual masters such as Srila Vyasadeva and others. The sages of Naimisaranya were confident that Srila Suta Gosvami was bona fide. Therefore they were anxious to hear from him.
SYNONYMS tatra--thereof; tatra--thereof; anjasa--made easy; ayusman--blessed with a long duration of life; bhavata--by your good self; yat--whatever; viniscitam--ascertained; pumsam--for the people in general; ekantatah-- absolutely; sreyah--ultimate good; tat--that; nah--to us; samsitum--to explain; arhasi--deserve.
TRANSLATION Please, therefore, being blessed with many years, explain to us, in an easily understandable way, what you have ascertained to be the absolute and ultimate good for the people in general.
[1st Question?] PURPORT In Bhagavad-gita, worship of the acarya is recommended. The acaryas and gosvamis are always absorbed in thought of the well-being of the general public, especially their spiritual well-being. Spiritual wellbeing is automatically followed by material well-being. The acaryas therefore give directions in spiritual well-being for people in general.
Foreseeing the incompetencies of the people in this age of Kali, or the iron age of quarrel, the sages requested that Suta Gosvami give a summary of all revealed scriptures because the people of this age are condemned in every respect.
The sages, therefore, inquired of the absolute good, which is the ultimate good for the people. The condemned state of affairs of the people of this age is described as follows.
kalav asmin yuge janah
manda-bhagya hy upadrutah
SYNONYMS prayena--almost always; alpa--meager; ayusah--duration of life; sabhya--member of a learned society; kalau--in this age of Kali (quarrel); asmin--herein; yuge--age; janah--the public; mandah--lazy; sumanda-matayah--misguided; manda-bhagyah--unlucky; hi--and above all; upadrutah--disturbed.
TRANSLATION O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.
PURPORT The devotees of the Lord are always anxious for the spiritual improvement of the general public. When the sages of Naimisaranya analyzed the state of affairs of the people in this age of Kali, they foresaw that men would live short lives.
In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits.
By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another's mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened.
The people of this age are also very lazy, not only materially but in the matter of self-realization. The human life is especially meant for self-realization. That is to say, man should come to know what he is, what the world is, and what the supreme truth is. Human life is a means by which the living entity can end all the miseries of the hard struggle for life in material existence and by which he can return to Godhead, his eternal home. But, due to a bad system of education, men have no desire for self-realization.
Even if they come to know about it, they unfortunately become victims of misguided teachers. In this age, men are victims not only of different political creeds and parties, but also of many different types of sense-gratificatory diversions, such as cinemas, sports, gambling, clubs, mundane libraries, bad association, smoking, drinking, cheating, pilfering, bickerings, and so on.
Their minds are always disturbed and full of anxieties due to so many different engagements. In this age, many unscrupulous men manufacture their own religious faiths which are not based on any revealed scriptures, and very often people who are addicted to sense gratification are attracted by such institutions. Consequently, in the name of religion so many sinful acts are being carried on that the people in general have neither peace of mind nor health of body.
The student (brahmacari) communities are no longer being maintained, and householders do not observe the rules and regulations of the grhastha-asrama. Consequently, the so-called vanaprasthas and sannyasis who come out of such grhastha-asramas are easily deviated from the rigid path.
In the Kali-yuga the whole atmosphere is surcharged with faithlessness. Men are no longer interested in spiritual values. Material sense gratification is now the standard of civilization. For the maintenance of such material civilizations, man has formed complex nations and communities, and there is a constant strain of hot and cold wars between these different groups.
It has become very difficult, therefore, to raise the spiritual standard due to the present distorted values of human society. The sages of Naimisaranya are anxious to disentangle all fallen souls, and here they are seeking the remedy from Srila Suta Gosvami.
atah sadho 'tra yat saram
bruhi bhadraya bhutanam
SYNONYMS bhurini--multifarious; bhuri--many; karmani--duties; srotavyani--to be learned; vibhagasah--by divisions of subject matter; atah--therefore; sadho--O sage; atra--herein; yat--whatever; saram--essence; samuddhrtya-- by selection; manisaya--best to your knowledge; bruhi--please tell us; bhadraya--for the good of; bhutanam--the living beings; yena--by which; atma--the self; suprasidati--becomes fully satisfied.
TRANSLATION There are many varieties of scriptures, and in all of them there are many prescribed duties, which can be learned only after many years of study in their various divisions. Therefore, O sage, please select the essence of all these scriptures and explain it for the good of all living beings, that by such instruction their hearts may be fully satisfied.
PURPORT Atma, or self, is distinguished from matter and material elements. It is spiritual in constitution, and thus it is never satisfied by any amount of material planning. All scriptures and spiritual instructions are meant for the satisfaction of this self, or atma.
There are many varieties of approaches which are recommended for different types of living beings in different times and at different places. Consequently, the numbers of revealed scriptures are innumerable. There are different methods and prescribed duties recommended in these various scriptures.