Srimad Bhagavatam teaches us know the Lord

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Srimad Bhagavatam teaches us know the Lord
Krishna Lila Vrindavan Pastime Part 3
Venue: Durban, South Africa
11 07 2007

Hare Krishna, say ‘Hare Krishna!’ Thank you for coming again and again and again you could come . This is good, coming again and again to see Lord Krishna, to His lotus feet. May you be never tired of coming and hearing, haribol!!!

We shouldn’t only come to the temple for darsana of the Lord. His darsana becomes more possible in the pages of Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita. That’s the way to see the Lord, not with the eyes but with the ears, that’s how we see Krishna. In the very beginning of Bhagavatam there’s talk even of Lord’s returning to His abode and the statement says,

krsna sva dhamopagate dharma jnanadibhih saha (S.B 1.3.43)

He took everything, even jnana, the knowledge, everything He took everything with Him and as a result there was a total darkness. That was the age of kali. Darkness was everywhere, not being able to see. See but not see at the same time. Seeing the world, seeing the matter is not really seeing. See beyond the matter or see beyond the material existence. See something that is out of this world.

The first time I came to South Africa and visited this temple, as I entered I kind of understood the term that we use ‘Something out of this world’, haribol!!!. The first time I came in here (shouts of haribol)! In the airport and then on the way to the temple, that was the world, that is the world but then when I came in here and had darsana of the deities and all that which we are seeing here, I thought ‘This is out of this world!’ So eyes could see things beyond matter, a personality who is the source of this matter, a personality who is the controller of this matter.
So when Lord departed, when He took everything with Him.
Kalau nashta drisam esha [S.B 1.3.43]

Some people lost their eyesight and at that time the Lord kindly arranged

puranarko ‘dhunoditah [S.B 1.3.43]

This Purana, Srimad Bhagavad Puran, is described as brilliant as sun. Bhagavatam which is brilliant as sun appeared over the horizon. It appeared in this world. The Lord returned or disappeared and Bhagavatam appeared in place of the Lord. This is as good as the Lord and can try to give us better eyesight but what do we see with our eyes or glasses? Not much. We need ‘divya chakshu, castra chakshu, Srimad Bhagavatam’ to acquire that vision.
Srimad Bhagavatam ki Jai!

I am trying to say something to glorify Bhagavatam. One time North America devotees were travelling, preaching and distributing books. One particular party they had so many books for carrying that they had no additional space for deities to be carried, so that devotees could offer arati to the deities. So they approached Srila Prabhupada, the whole thing is full of books! Gita and Bhagavatam so there is no room to have deities to be worshipped.’ Prabhupada said ‘Put the books on the alter and worship the books, worship Bhagavatam’ [Haribol]. So that is as worshipping the Lord. So Sukadeva Goswami ki jai!

As he was about to begin recitation of Bhagavatam, he was going to do that for seven days and seven nights. Sometimes (they ask) why seven days? The solution to a big problem of dying. We all die within seven days you would be all, me included would leave in these seven days.

Means someone will die on Monday, someone Tuesday, Monday, Friday, that means in seven days everyone dies [laughter]. So if you hear Bhagavatam for seven days then no more birth, no more death. A kind of reward that we get. And just the liberation is not the goal of recitation of Bhagavatam. Demigods probably found that way so when they got the news that King Parikshit, ‘he has been cursed to die within seven days!’ Then they rushed to Hastinapur and by that time, Sukadeva Goswami he had already taken his asana to recite Bhagavatam and the Demigods arrived. They said ‘We have Amrita, we have nectar.’ With churning of the ocean, the demigods did a big churning of the ocean and different items emerged. Finally the amrita was there. Kumbha mela time the amrita comes back again and everyone comes, hundreds and thousands of, millions of people come to get that nectar. So they said ‘We have some of that nectar! Please offer this to king Parikshit and in exchange you could give us Bhagavatam, Bhagavatamrit. We have amrit so in exchange of this amrita you give this to king Parikshit to become immortal and give us Bhagavat in exchange.’

Sukadeva Goswami said ‘Get lost, you do not understand the value of Bhagavatam.’ It is not meant only for becoming amar or attaining moksha, becoming immortal. Bhagavatam gives something beyond mukti and that is bhakti. We were discussing yesterday how bhakta gets Bhagavan through bhakti. This bhakti sastra, by doing bhakti we get Bhagavan.
Granth Raj Srimad Bhagavatam Ki Jai.

sachidanand rupaya vishvotpatyadi hetve
tapatraya vinashaya shri krsnaya vayam namah

The Lord is Sac-cid-anand. He is the cause of creation, maintenance and destruction of this whole existence, and He could also become the cause of tapatraya. The three kinds of miseries are adhyatmika, adhidaivika and Adhibhautika. Sri k???aya vayam namah, to such Sri Krishna who could pray to make us free from tapa traya vinasaya. Unto such Lord Sachidananda, Sri Krishna vayam namah, we offer our most humble obeisance’s.

King Parkshit, of course he had seven days then he was hearing Bhagavatam for seven days. If you have seven months you should be reciting Bhagavatam for seven months and if you have seventy years at your disposal, you should be reciting Srimad Bhagavatam, hearing Srimad Bhagavatam for all those seventy years. Nityam Bhagavata Sevaya is in fact the recommendation.

nityam bhagavata sevaya
bhagavaty uttama sloke
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki

Recite Bhagavatam constantly, all the time. Bhaktir bhavati- you will achieve bhakti. Irreversible, the listener of Bhagavatam gets established his relationship with the Lord and he doesn’t get any further U-turn, becoming mouse again. He keeps going, moving forward because he achieves bhakti which is nistha. Yesterday we said in the beginning that there is a need of shraddha, but shraddha could be komal shraddha – tender.

By hearing Srimad Bhagavatam we become dridha shraddha, nisthavan. Dridha shraddha becomes nisthavan by reciting Srimad Bhagavatam. The goal for King Parikshit and each one of us is to ‘ante narayana smrtih.’ ante – at the time of death, remembrance of Narayan, if you could remember Narayan at the last breath. It does become difficult during those last moments.

kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te [Mukunda Mala Stotra 33]

Translation: When my voice would get choked up by kanthavarodhana – mucus, kanthe ghura ghurayate – it becomes tough to remember the Lord as of course one king, king Kulasekhar says ‘now is the time my dear Lord. Let my mind settle in thinking of you.

krsna tvadiya pada pankaja panjarantam
adyaiva me visatu manasa raja hamsah [Mukunda Mala Stotra 33]

My mind, he is comparing his mind with a swan and ‘dear Lord, with your lotus feet, your feet which are lotus-like and my mind which is swan like, let them be together, lotus and swan. Now is a good time for remembering you my Lord.’

So ante narayana smrtih, remembrance of the Lord.

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg 8.6}

So what we remember at the time of death determines our future. So we need to practice remembrance of the Lord. It won’t just happen {clicks fingers}. Practice, we are remembering the Lord. Practice could make us ladies and gentlemen perfect. We sent few devotees, they were in Haridwar and they saw that some big free coca-cola distribution was going on, free coca cola. Devotees were seeing so some were enquiring that ‘how come? There’s also Ganga jal here, you can have water and nimbu pani also’ [lemon water]. ‘Those kinds of things including charanamrita so why is coca-cola on free distribution?’ So as devotees were a little curious they found that a few brothers were there ‘Our father departed you know’ they said ‘our father died.’

They said ‘that’s fine but what has that got to do with the coca-cola distribution?’ So the brothers they said ‘You know at the time of our father’s departure he was remembering coca-cola. He was a devotee of Bhola, Shiva.’ So they said ‘We kind of kept reminding him that ‘father father please say Bhola. You only have a few more breaths to go so say ‘Bhola.’

‘No, no get coca-cola.’ His sons were really endeavoring, making a special appeal ‘Daddy, daddy please, please say Bhola.’ The last thing daddy said was ‘coca cola.’ So the sons were kind of executing the will of last minute, what he said it was ‘coca cola.’ Anyway their father went to Coca-Cola loka [laughter].

The goal is ante narayana smrtih, Krishna smrtih, and Bhagavatam helps us to remember the Supreme Lord all the time including the time of the last breath as well.

Grantha Raj Srimad Bhagavatam Ki Jai!

If you say ‘just remember the Lord’ it would be difficult. But if you say ‘Do you remember my friend?’ ‘Oh, which friend are you talking about? Where does he stay? How does he look like? Please tell me all this and then I can tell whether I remember him, whether I have met him before.’ So how could anyone remember the Lord? Remembering the Lord is remembering his name, fame, glories.

sri radhika madhavayor apara madhurya lila guna rupa namnam
prati ksanasvadana lolupasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam [Guru Astaka ]

Our acaryas, predecessor acaryas have set an example before us. Prati ksanasvadana lolupasya, at every moment they have become addicted, addiction for hearing. What do they hear?

Radha madhavayor apara, Radha Madhava or Radha Radhanath guna rupa namnam.

His name, His qualities, His pastimes, His abode. So Srimad Bhagavatam helps us. ‘Here is how the Lord looks like!’ And then you could remember the Lord, by seeing His form you could remember the Lord. ‘These are His qualities, His wonderful qualities.’ So we do not know and we do not love the Lord, maybe not enough because we do not know Him enough. The more we know Him, the more we would love Him. He is the most lovable object in the form and not just any and every form, we have an eternal relationship with that person Sri Krishna. This is just revival, by hearing Bhagavatam, our relationship is revived and established and further solidified. The bonds of relationship and love and affection become stronger as we hear about the Lord. Chant His holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

So chanting the holy names and hearing Lord’s pastimes, worshipping the Lord and His form and rendering lots of services unto the Lord. As we said that the Srimad Bhagavatam is a bhakti sastra so it teaches us how to first understand the Lord, know the Lord, serve the Lord.

So yesterday we heard of the Lord’s appearance in this world, how many years ago? Probably there are 300 different answers [laughter].I couldn’t process all those. The Lord appeared, He exists. The world is still debating that ‘Does God exist?’ All debate going on and here we are talking that the Lord appeared. So here is the exact date, the year and everything. We need to know, it’s available, the knowledge is available. You could even go to those places where Krishna performed His pastimes, the hill that He lifted. The Govardhan hill is there. Seeing is believing, go see the footprints of Krishna here and there all over Vrndavan. You are very close ‘Oh! Footprints of Krishna right over here!’ Some devotees try to touch, their hands tremble as they try to touch that spot and then they take that dust and they smear that all over their bodies. ‘They eat some of that dust that Krishna entered. Oh! This rock was touched by Krishna’s lotus feet and this dust is touching that footprint, let this dust enter me.’ Then they take a little pinch and eat, Krishna enters them in that way.

Vrindavan dham ki jai!
Gokul Dham ki Jai!