28th August 2020
Supreme Lord is the cause of all causes!
Hare Krishna! Devotees from 773 locations are chanting with us. We all are included in this number. All of you are welcome to this japa talk.
Gaura premanande hari haribol!
Are you all ready? We are all set. The Hindi-speaking devotees will listen to the japa talk and the English-speaking devotees will read the transcription of the japa talk.
om namo bhagavate vāsudevāya!
This is the second day of Śrīmad Bhāgavata katha by Śrīla Śukadeva Goswami Mahāraja. At this point, it is important to mention that the katha has been continuing since it started in the morning. It has not stopped. It was going on even during the night. It was not only 7 days katha, but also 7 nights katha.
tvayi me ’nanya-viṣayā
matir madhu-pate ’sakṛt
ratim udvahatād addhā
O Lord of Madhu, as the Ganges forever flows to the sea without hindrance, let my attraction be constantly drawn unto You without being diverted to anyone else. (ŚB 1.8.42)
As Kuntī Maharani says gaṅgevaugham, ogham means flows, "Let my devotion flow towards You continuously like the Ganga flows towards the sea." Śrīla Śukadeva Goswami is seated on the banks of Ganga and King Parikshit is listening to the katha, but he is not the only one, many sages are present there as they all got to know that King Parikshit was cursed by Samika Rsi's son, Sringi. He was a child, thus out of immaturity, he cursed King Parikshit. After this, King Parikshit immediately prepared to leave his Kingdom. He accepted the dress of an ascetic, a loincloth. King Parikshit was a righteous king and so this news spread like wildfire in the entire universe, not only in Hastinapur.
janma-lābhaḥ paraḥ puṁsām
The highest perfection of human life, achieved either by complete knowledge of matter and spirit, by practice of mystic powers, or by perfect discharge of occupational duty, is to remember the Personality of Godhead at the end of life. (ŚB 2.1.6)
We heard yesterday that many sages were present in the assembly to discuss what would be the best thing to be done by King Parikshit in these last 7 days so that he could remember the Lord at the time of his death. Then Śukadeva Goswami arrived there and started the katha from the second canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Great sages like Śrīla Vyasadeva, Narada Muni and Sūta Goswami were present in the assembly. The Katha that we read is actually delivered by Sūta Goswami as it is. Sūta Goswami is setting the scene in the first canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and Śukadeva Goswami is narrating the katha from the second canto. First canto has the setting of the scene preparations before Śukadeva Goswami reached the site and narrated the katha. Like in Bhagavad-gīta, the first chapter is setting the scene and the Lord speaks from the second chapter. From Second Canto onwards, the instructions of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam have been delivered by Sūta Goswami, which he has heard from Śukadeva Goswami. Sūta Goswami has delivered the same katha to sage Saunaka and other sages in Naimisaranya. It means the actual instructions of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam are given by Śukadeva Goswami from the second canto.
om namo bhagavate vāsudevāya!
In the beginning of the first canto, it is said by Sūta Goswami and in the beginning of Second canto, it is said by Śukadeva Goswami. The first 3 verses, of the first chapter, of the first canto are the Mangalāćaran of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Mangalāćaran is a compilation of some verses which are recited so that all auspiciousness is created.
janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth. (ŚB 1.1.1)
The first word of the Mangalāćaran is 'janmādasya yatah'. This is the first Vedanta Sutra,
athāto brahma jijñāsā
Now (in human life) one should inquire about Brahman - The absolute truth, the transcendental, spiritual nature. (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.1)
bhāshyo ayam brahmasutrā nāma
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is a commentary of Brahma Sutra or Vedanta Sutra. (Padma Purana)
Śrīla Prabhupāda said, "Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is a natural commentary on Vedanta Sutra." Śrīla Vyasadeva is the compiler of Vedanta Sutra. Sutra means brief or code language, Vedanta Sutra is written in code language which is difficult to understand. That's why Śrīla Vyasadeva wrote a commentary on the Vedanta Sutra to explain. That elaborated commentary is Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. In many other places also, it has been mentioned that Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is a commentary on Vedanta Sutra. And Vedanta Sutra and Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, are both written by Śrīla Vyasadeva. The first verse of Mangalāćaran further says, satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi, I meditate upon the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is the Lord Himself. Which is this Absolute Truth? This janmādasya yatah. This is the magnificence of the Lord. How is the Lord? janmādasya, Here janma-ādi means creation, sustenance and destruction. Lord is the one who creates, sustains and destroys the manifested universes. People address Him as GOD, where G is for Generator, O for Operator and D is for Destroyer of the universes. God made Shivji and Brahmaji the mediums, but the primeval cause is God Himself.
Hence, janmādasya yatah, I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord who is the cause of creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. Each and every word over here has so much depth and they are very meaningful that its description can go on. It is mentioned how is the absolute truth. abhijñaḥ svarāṭ, where abhi means full of and jñah means knowledge, thus, abhijñaḥ means fully cognisant or knowledgeable and svarāṭ means fully independent. govindam adi-purusham, He is the Primeval Lord.
ishvarah paramah krishnah
anadir adir govindaha
Krsna, Who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the Origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the Prime Cause of all causes. (Verse 1, Sri Brahma-samhita)
Krsna is the controller of the entire universe. In fact, He is the controller of all controllers. He is not controlled by anyone as He is svarāṭ, fully independent and He is the prime cause of all causes. We all have sources. Someone made us and our makers were also made by someone. But How is the Lord? He has not been made by anyone. He has no beginning, no source and no cause. There was no one before Him. He is Anantaśeśa, where An means no and anta means end. He is the one who has no end. He is eternal. He was there before creation came into existence. He is present during it's existence and He will be there even after this creation ceases to exist. satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi, I offer my respectful obeisances unto such a Personality of Godhead.
Once the katha started by Śukadeva Goswami, he did not stop till the narration of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam was completed. We are among the ones who take breaks. This is food for thought for you. Contemplate on this. Try to learn it by heart. Involve your heart, not only your tongue or throat.
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
By regular attendance in classes on the Bhāgavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact. (ŚB 1.2.18)
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted. (ŚB 1.2.17)
Read and study Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Its study will clean your hearts from all desires of material enjoyment. Be a saintly person by studying Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. All the inauspiciousness (abhadreṣu) and sinful thoughts are destroyed by Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. The name of this month is also Bhadra, Bhādra māsa. But when do we have to hear katha? nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā, We have to serve Śrīmad Bhāgavatam regularly, on a continuous basis. Some work we need to do on regular basis. It also includes reading and hearing Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and Śrīla Prabhupāda books and chanting minimum 16 rounds. Śrīla Prabhupāda designed the morning programme for all of us - either full time devotees or congregational devotees. It includes Mangal Arati, Tulasi Vandana, chanting Hare Krishna, Deity Worship, Sringāra Darsana, Guru Puja and then Śrīmad Bhāgavatam class. This is to be done daily from 4:30 to 9:30 am. Then there is maha-prasade govinde, honoring mahāprasāda. These all are nitya (regular) sadhana. It is to be done sincerely and regularly. Some may be able to give more time or some may give less. It's practice. We need to do it without interruption. Read Śrīmad Bhāgavatam daily as a part of nitya sadhana.
You have already been informed that ISKCON Holy Name Ministry is going to organise the World Holy Name Week from 17 to 23 September. There is also an Education Ministry of ISKCON. It has also planned a festival for a week named Śravanotsava. It may be from 3 to 10 September wherein all the followers of ISKCON, all the Prabhupādanugas are reminded to read and study Śrīla Prabhupāda books daily. We are supposed to do it daily, but since many of us don't, this is a reminder festival. GBC has stipulated that this festival should be celebrated every year for a week to remind us that along with distribution, reading Śrīla Prabhupāda books is also very important. We are meant to read them. Take an oath to read Śrīmad Bhāgavatam daily. When we develop this practice of reading sincerely and regularly, we will become pure devotees and bhagavaty uttama-śloke, since the Lord is also known as uttama-śloka, we will find our consciousness fixed at the lotus feet of the Lord. We will become niśthāvān (sincere). This is a promise by Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.
Okay, we shall stop here. If you wish to write something, the chat session is open for the next few minutes.
guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva
Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one’s mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another.( Verse 4, Nectar of Instruction)
You can share your thoughts, realizations, resolutions or questions with the other devotees here in this conference.