Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Twelve The Topics of Srimad-Bhagavatam Summarized


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Chapter Twelve The Topics of Srimad-Bhagavatam Summarized

1. Suta Gosvami said: Offering my obeisances to the supreme religious principle, devotional service; to Lord Krsna, the supreme creator; and to all the brahmanas, I shall now describe the eternal principles of religion.

2. O great sages, I have narrated to you the wonderful pastimes of Lord Visnu, as you inquired about them from me. Hearing such narrations is the suitable engagement for a person who is actually a human being.

3. This literature fully glorifies the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari, who removes all His devotees' sinful reactions. The Lord is glorified as Narayana, Hrisekesa and the Lord of the Satvatas.

4. This literature describes the mystery of the Supreme Absolute Truth, the source of the creation and annihilation of this universe. Also presented are divine knowledge of Him together with the process of its cultivation, and the transcendental realization one achieves.

5. The following topics are also narrated: the process of devotional service together with its subsidiary feature of renunciation, and the histories of Maharaja Pariksit and the sage Narada.

6. Also described are saintly King Pariksit's sitting down to fast until death in response to the curse of a brahmana's son, and the conversations between Pariksit and Sukadeva Gosvami, who is the best of all brahmanas.

7. The Bhagavatam explains how one can attain liberation at the time of death by practicing fixed meditation in yoga. It also contains a discussion between Narada and Brahma, an enumeration of the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and a description of how the universe was created in progressive sequence, beginning from the unmanifest stage of material nature.

8. This scripture also relates the discussions Vidura had with Uddhava and with Maitreya, inquiries about the subject matter of this Purana, and the winding up of creation within the body of the Supreme Lord at the time of annihilation.

9. The creation effected by the agitation of the modes of material nature, the seven stages of evolution by elemental transformation, and the construction of the universal egg, from which arises the universal form of the Supreme Lord-all these are thoroughly described.

10. Other topics include the subtle and gross movements of time, the generation of the lotus from the navel of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and the killing of the demon Hiranyaksa when the earth was delivered from the Garbhodaka Ocean.

11. The Bhagavatam also describes the creation of demigods, animals and demoniac species of life; the birth of Lord Rudra; and the appearance of Svayambhuva Manu from the half-man, half-woman Isvara.

12. Also related are the appearance of the first woman, Satarupa, who was the excellent consort of Manu, and the offspring of the pious wives of Prajapati Kardama.

13. The Bhagavatam describes the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the exalted sage Kapila and records the conversation between that greatly learned soul and His mother, Devahuti.

14-15. Also described are the progeny of the nine great brahmanas, the destruction of Daksa's sacrifice, and the history of Dhruva Maharaja, followed by the histories of King Prthu and King Pracinabarhi, the discussion between Pracinabarhi and Narada, and the life of Maharaja Priyavrata. Then, O brahmanas, the Bhagavatam tells of the character and activities of King Nabhi, Lord Rsabha and King Bharata.

16. The Bhagavatam gives an elaborate description of the earth's continents, regions, oceans, mountains and rivers. Also described are the arrangement of the celestial sphere and the conditions found in the subterranean regions and in hell.

17. The rebirth of Prajjapati Daksa as the son of the Pracetas, and the progeny of Daksa's daughters, who initiated the races of demigods, demons, human beings, animals, serpents, birds and so on-all this is described.

18. O brahmanas, also recounted are the births and deaths of Vrtrasura and of Diti's sons Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakasipu, as well as the history of the greatest of Diti's descendants, the exalted soul Prahlada.

19. The reign of each Manu, the liberation of Gajendra, and the special incarnations of Lord Visnu in each manvantara, such as Lord Hayagriva, are described as well.

20. The Bhagavatam also tells of the appearances of the Lord of the universe as Kurma, Matsya, Narasimha and Vamana, and of the demigods' churning of the milk ocean to obtain nectar.

21. An account of the great battle fought between the demigods and the demons, a systematic description of the dynasties of various kings, and narrations concerning Iksvaku's birth, his dynasty and the dynasty of the pious Sudyumna-all are presented within this literature.

22. Also related are the histories of Ila and Tara, and the description of the descendants of the sun-god, including such kings as Sasada and Nrga.

23. The histories of Sukanya, Saryati, the intelligent Kakutstha, Khatvanga, Mandhata, Saubhari and Sagara are narrated.

24. The Bhagavatam narrates the sanctifying pastimes of Lord Ramacandra, the King of Kosala, and also explains how King Nimi abandoned his material body. The appearance of the descendants of King Janaka is also mentioned.

25-26. The Srimad-Bhagavatam describes how Lord Parasurama, the greatest descendant of Bhrgu, annihilated all the ksatriyas on the face of the earth. It further recounts the lives of glorious kings who appeared in the dynasty of the moon-god-kings such as Aila, Yayati, Nahusa, Dusmanta's son Bharata, Santanu and Santanu's son Bhisma. Also described is the great dynasty founded by King Yadu, the eldest son of Yayati.

27. How Sri Krsna, the Supreme personality of Godhead and Lord of the universe, descended into this Yadu dynasty, how He took birth in the home of Vasudeva, and how He then grew up in Gokula-all this is described in detail.

28-29. Also glorified are the innumerable pastimes of Sri Krsna, the enemy of the demons, including His childhood pastimes of sucking out Putana's life air along with her breast-milk, breaking the cart, trampling down Trnavarta, killing Bakasura, Vatsasura and Aghasura, and the pastimes He enacted when Lord Brahma hid His calves and cowherd boyfriends in a cave.

30. The Srimad-Bhagavatam tells how Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama killed the demon Dhenukasura and his companions, how Lord Balarama destroyed Pralambasura, and also how Krsna saved the cowherd boys from a raging forest fire that had encircled them.

31-33. The chastisement of the serpent Kaliya; the rescue of Nanda Maharaja from a great snake; the severe vows performed by the young gopés, who thus satisfied Lord Krsna; the mercy He showed the wives of the Vedic brahmanas, who felt remorse; the lifting of Govardhana Hill followed by the worship and bathing ceremony performed by Indra and the Surabhi cow; Lord Krsna's nocturnal pastimes with the cowherd girls; and the killing of the foolish demons Sankhacuda, Arista and Kesi-all these pastimes are elaborately recounted.

34. The Bhagavatam describes the arrival of Akrura, the subsequent departure of Krsna and Balarama, the lamentation of the gopis and the touring of Mathura.

35. Also narrated are how Krsna and Balarama killed the elephant Kuvalayapida, the wrestlers Mustika and Canura, and Kamsa and other demons, as well as how Krsna brought back the dead son of His spiritual master, Sandipani Muni.

36. Then, O brahmanas, this scripture recounts how Lord Hari, while residing in Mathura in the company of Uddhava and Balarama, performed pastimes for the satisfaction of the Yadu dynasty.

37. Also described are the annihilation of each of the many armies brought by Jarasandha, the killing of the barbarian king Kalayavana and the establishment of Dvaraka City.

38. This work also describes how Lord Krsna brought from heaven the parijata tree and the Sudharma assembly hall, and how He kidnapped Rukmini by defeating all His rivals in battle.

39. Also narrated are how Lord Krsna, in the battle with Banasura, defeated Lord Siva by making him yawn, how the Lord cut off Banasura's arms, and how He killed the master of Pragjyotisapura and then rescued the young princesses held captive in that city.

40-41. There are descriptions of the powers and the deaths of the King of Cedi, Paundraka, Salva, the foolish Dantavakra, Sambara, Dvivida, Pitha, Mura, Pancajana and other demons, along with a description of how Varanasi was burned to the ground. The Bhagavatam also recounts how Lord Krsna relieved the earth's burden by engaging the Pandavas in the Battle of Kuruksetra.

42-43. How the Lord withdrew His own dynasty on the pretext of the brahmanas' curse; Vasudeva's conversation with Narada; the extraordinary conversation between Uddhava and Krsna, which reveals the science of the self in complete detail and elucidates the religious principles of human society; and then how Lord Krsna gave up this mortal world by His own mystic power-the Bhagavatam narrates all these events.

44. This work also describes people's characteristics and behavior in the different ages, the chaos men experience in the age of Kali, the four kinds of annihilation and the three kinds of creation.

45. There are also an account of the passing away of the wise and saintly King Visnurata [Pariksit], an explanation of how Srila Vyasadeva disseminated the branches of the Vedas, a pious narration concerning Markandeya Rsi, and a description of the detailed arrangement of the Lord's universal form and His form as the sun, the soul of the universe.

46. Thus, O best of the brahmanas, I have explained herein what you have inquired from me. This literature has glorified in full detail the activities of the Lord's pastime incarnations.

47. If when falling, slipping, feeling pain or sneezing one involuntarily cries out in a loud voice, "Obeisances to Lord Hari!" one will be automatically freed from all his sinful reactions.

48. When people properly glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead or simply hear about His power, the Lord personally enters their hearts and cleanses away every trace of misfortune, just as the sun removes the darkness or as a powerful wind drives away the clouds.

49. Words that do not describe the transcendental Personality of Godhead but instead deal with temporary matters are simply false and useless. Only those words that manifest the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord are actually truthful, auspicious and pious.

50. Those words describing the glories of the all-famous Personality of Godhead are attractive, relishable and ever fresh. Indeed, such words are a perpetual festival for the mind, and they dry up the ocean of misery.

51. Those words that do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered to be like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows, and are never resorted to by those situated in transcendental knowledge. The pure and saintly devotees take interest only in topics glorifying the infallible Supreme Lord.

52. On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes and so on of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world's misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.

53. Knowledge of self-realization, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible [God]. What, then, is the use of even the most properly performed fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilized for the devotional service of the Lord?

54. The great endeavor one undergoes in executing the ordinary social and religious duties of the varnasrama system, in performing austerities, and in hearing from the Vedas culminates only in the achievement of mundane fame and opulence. But by respecting and attentively hearing the recitation of the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord, the husband of the goddess of fortune, one can remember His lotus feet.

55. Remembrance of Lord Krsna's lotus feet destroys everything inauspicious and awards the greatest good fortune. It purifies the heart and bestows devotion for the Supreme Soul, along with knowledge enriched with realization and renunciation.

56. O most eminent of brahmanas, you are all indeed extremely fortunate, since you have already placed within your hearts Lord Sri Narayana-the Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller and the ultimate Soul of all existence-beyond whom there is no other god. You have undeviating love for Him, and thus I request you to worship Him.

57. I also have now been fully reminded of the science of God, which I previously heard from the mouth of the great sage Sukadeva Gosvami. I was present in the assembly of great sages who heard him speak to King Pariksit as the monarch sat fasting until death.

58. O brahmanas, I have thus described to you the glories of the Supreme Lord Vasudeva, whose extraordinary activities are most worthy of glorification. This narration destroys all that is inauspicious.

59. One who with undeviating attention constantly recites this literature at every moment of every hour, as well as one who faithfully hears even one verse or half a verse or a single line or even half a line, certainly purifies his very self.

60. One who hears this Bhagavatam on the Ekadasi or Dvadasi day is assured of long life, and one who recites it with careful attention while fasting is purified of all sinful reactions.

61. One who controls his mind, fasts at the holy places Puskara, Mathuraor Dvaraka, and studies this scripture will be freed from all fear.

62. Upon the person who glorifies this Purana by chanting or hearing it, the demigods, sages, Siddhas, Pitas, Manus and kings of the earth bestow all desirable things.

63. By studying this Bhagavatam, a brahmana can enjoy the same rivers of honey, ghee and milk he enjoys by studying the hymns of the Rg, Yajur and Sama Vedas.

64. A brahmana who diligently reads this essential compilation of all the Puranas will go to the supreme destination, which the Supreme Lord Himself has herein described.

65. A brahmana who studies the Srimad-Bhagavatam achieves firm intelligence in devotional service, a king who studies it gains sovereignty over the earth, a vaisya acquires great treasure and a sudra is freed from sinful reactions.

66. Lord Hari, the supreme controller of all beings, annihilates the accumulated sins of the Kali age, yet other literatures do not constantly glorify Him. But that Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing in His innumerable personal expansions, is abundantly and constantly described throughout the various narrations of this Srimad-Bhagavatam.

67. I bow down to that unborn and infinite Supreme Soul, whose personal energies effect the creation, maintenance and destruction of the material universe. Even Brahma, Indra, Sankara and the other lords of the heavenly planets cannot fathom the glories of that infallible Personality of Godhead.

68. I offer my obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the eternal Lord and the leader of all other deities, who by evolving His nine material energies has arranged within Himself the abode of all moving and nonmoving creatures, and who is always situated in pure, transcendental consciousness.

69. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, the son of Vyasadeva, Sukadeva Gosvami. It is he who defeats all inauspicious things within this universe. Although in the beginning he was absorbed in the happiness of Brahman realization and was living in a secluded place, giving up all other types of consciousness, he became attracted by the pleasing, most melodious pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna. He therefore mercifully spoke this supreme Purana, Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is the bright light of the Absolute Truth and which describes the activities of the Lord.

Chapter Thirteen The Glories of Srimad-Bhagavatam

1. Suta Gosvami said: Unto that personality whom Brahma, Varuna, Indra, Rudra and the Maruts praise by chanting transcendental hymns and reciting the Vedas with all their corollaries, pada-kramas and Upanisads, to whom the chanters of the Sama Veda always sing, whom the perfected yogis see within their minds after fixing themselves in trance and absorbing themselves within Him, and whose limit can never be found by any demigod or demon-unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead I offer my humble obeisances.

2. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as Lord Kurma, a tortoise, His back was scratched by the sharp-edged stones lying on massive, whirling Mount Mandara, and this scratching made the Lord sleepy. May you all be protected by the winds caused by the Lord's breathing in this sleepy condition. Ever since that time, even up to the present day, the ocean tides have imitated the Lord's inhalation and exhalation by piously coming in and going out.

3. Now please hear a summation of the verse length of each of the Puranas. Then hear of the prime subject and purpose of this Bhagavata Purana, the proper method of giving it as a gift, the glories of such gift-giving, and finally the glories of hearing and chanting this literature.

4-9. The Brahma Purana consists of ten thousand verses, the Padma Purana of fifty-five thousand, Sri Visnu Purana of twenty-three thousand, the Siva Purana of twenty-four thousand and Srimad-Bhagavatam of eighteen thousand. The Narada Purana has twenty-five thousand verses, the Markandeya Purana nine thousand, the Agni Purana fifteen thousand four hundred, the Bhavisya Purana fourteen thousand five hundred, the Brahma-vaivarta Purana eighteen thousand and the Linga Purana eleven thousand. The Varaha Purana contains twenty-four thousand verses, the Skanda Purana eighty-one thousand one hundred, the Vamana Purana ten thousand, the Kurma Purana seventeen thousand, the Matsya Purana fourteen thousand, the Garuda Purana nineteen thousand and the Brahmanda Purana twelve thousand. Thus the total number of verses in all the Puranas is four hundred thousand. Eighteen thousand of these, once again, belong to the beautiful Bhagavatam.

10. It was to Lord Brahma that the Supreme Personality of Godhead first revealed the Srimad-Bhagavatam in full. At the time, Brahma, frightened by material existence, was sitting on the lotus flower that had grown from the Lord's navel.

11-12. From beginning to end, the Srimad-Bhagavatam is full of narrations that encourage renunciation of material life, as well as nectarean accounts of Lord Hari's transcendental pastimes, which give ecstasy to the saintly devotees and demigods. This Bhagavatam is the essence of all Vedanta philosophy because its subject matter is the Absolute Truth, which, while nondifferent from the spirit soul, is the ultimate reality, one without a second. The goal of this literature is exclusive devotional service unto that Supreme Truth.

13. If on the full moon day of the month of Bhadra one places Srimad-Bhagavatam on a golden throne and gives it as a gift, he will attain the supreme transcendental destination.

14. All other Puranic scriptures shine forth in the assembly of saintly devotees only as long as that great ocean of nectar, Srimad-Bhagavatam, is not heard.

15. Srimad-Bhagavatam is declared to be the essence of all Vedanta philosophy. One who has felt satisfaction from its nectarean mellow will never be attracted to any other literature.

16. Just as the Ganga is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Sambhu [Siva] the greatest of Vaisnavas, so Srimad-Bhagavatam is the greatest of all Puranas.

17. O brahmanas, in the same way that the city of Kasi is unexcelled among holy places, Srimad-Bhagavatam is supreme among all the Puranas.

18. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless Purana. It is most dear to the Vaisnavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the paramahamsas. This Bhagavatam reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion. Anyone who seriously tries to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam, who properly hears and chants it with devotion, becomes completely liberated.

19. I meditate upon that pure and spotless Supreme Absolute Truth, who is free from suffering and death and who in the beginning personally revealed this incomparable torchlight of knowledge to Brahma. Brahma then spoke it to the sage Narada, who narrated it to Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa. Srila Vyasa revealed this Bhagavatam to the greatest of sages, Sukadeva Gosvami, and Sukadeva mercifully spoke it to Maharaja Pariksit.

20. We offer our obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vasudeva, the all-pervading witness, who mercifully explained this science to Brahma when he anxiously desired salvation.

21. I offer my humble obeisances to Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, the best of mystic sages and a personal manifestation of the Absolute Truth. He saved Maharaja Pariksit, who was bitten by the snake of material existence.

22. O Lord of lords, O master, please grant us pure devotional service at Your lotus feet, life after life.

23. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Hari, the congregational chanting of whose holy names destroys all sinful reactions, and the offering of obeisances unto whom relieves all material suffering.


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