Bhagavad Saptaha (III)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A short summary of Srimad Bhagavattam
Let us now discuss about the skandas (chapters) of Srimad Bhagavattam. On thing you should always remember that in Srimad Bhagavatam there are 18 thousand slokas enjoined by 32/32 words anustup chanda (Sanskrit and poetical metre). If Bhagavattam is recited in Sanskrit, than it will not possible to complete it before 30 hours. The first skanda of Srimad Bhagavattam is Adhikari skanda, how will be its listeners and how will be its speaker that is what described in the first skanda. In the first skanda one who is Suta, he is the yagnik (priest who is doing Vedic sacrifice) and when there is pariplaba karma (overwhelmed activities) at that time he becomes jajman (one on whose behalf a priest worship). One who accompanies him they are given to hear the speeches of Puranas. The rule of a jagnik is, wherever yagna is performed, at the time of leisure, without speaking anything else he should only speak about Bhagavattam.
            Here Saunaka and all other rishis are performing yagna and hearing Bhagavattam and by fulfilling it Suta followed by Saunaka and other rishis attains bhakti. Saunaka etc. rishis are so much endowed in bhakti that they began to say “As we were engaged in the activities of yagna, smoke entering into our eyes, ears, mouth had made our antahkaran smoky but Sri Sutamuni you are making us succulent by letting us drink the immortal nectar of the lotus feet of Govinda”. In this way after hearing Srimad Bhagavat Mahapuran, bhakti devi appeared in the hearts of Saunaka etc. rishis.
            But here Bhagavat is recited in the form of yagna-anga (limb of Vedic sacrifice) and so Bhagavat is secondary here and yagna becomes primary. One who recites becomes Suta and those who listens becomes Saunaka etc. rishis.
            Now arrives the second preface, Sri Vyasdev who is devoted to public welfare becomes eager, he is the divider of the Vedas. To make the intentions of Upanishads clear he creates Brahmasutra by dint of which even a common man can understand the mysteries of life, mysteries of bhakti, mysteries of desire, wealth, salvation etc. For this purpose, he even composes Mahabrarata. There is no topic or subject which is not there in Mahabrata. Thus it is said that neither there is and nor there will be any literature in the creation of this universe equivalent to Mahabharata.
            But as Sri Vyasdev could not be satisfied even after creating 17 Puranas he then creates Srimad Bhagavattam and fully accomplishes dharma.
            The Lord Himself incarnates as Brahma to spread His creation, as Narada to spread bhakti and that same Lord appears in the bangmay (full of words) form to fasten the shortcomings of dharma, artha, kama, moksha (religion, wealth, lust and salvation). And this same Lord, to reveal His Bhagavata form appears as Sri Sukdev. That Parabrahma (superior to Brahma) who reveals as Brahma, Narada, Sukhdev and Vyasdev that Parabrama exposes Himself as Srimad Bhagavattam. One consciousness, one principal spiritual cognition but has various names – Narayan, Brahma, Narada, Sukhdev and Vyasdev. After Vyasdev completes Srimad Bhagavattam then only he attains complete peace.
            Sri Naradji reminds Vyasji that you have written many shastras describing about, how will be the husband, how will be the wife, king-citizen how will they be, how will be their conduct, how will they clash, how will they mock, how all these problems be solved, everything you have described, but the glories of the Lord, as it should be, that you could not properly illustrate. So Vyasji you remember the Lord.
            Hereafter Naradji explains about his own life’s experiences and says that I have rebuked the Mahabhagavats (prime devotees of the Lord) and became the son of a maid-servant, than became Brahma’s manash-putra (son who emerges from the mind). In this way the description of three previous life of Naradji is there in Bhagavattam. He says to Vyasji that when I was the son of maid-servant, in the house of those brahmana whom my mother served, there those brahmanas were observing four months penance and there I had the opportunity of their good association resulting attainment of taste towards dharma. I did bhajan, and got darshan of the Lord. He provides me a bina (lyre) by which I began to sing His glories.
            Sutaji says to Saunaka etc. rishis that Sri Naradji is blessed, playing his vina, glorifying the Lord, wandering all over the universe endows happiness to all.
            Such Devarshi Narada is the speaker and Vyasdev is the listener. Among Saunaka etc. rishis there is thought of preservation of duty, but Vyasdev only had one intention, and that is public welfare. Maharaj Parikhit is such a hearer who was nirguna (beyond material qualities), his mind was desire less. He had a familial purity in him. So here, while briefly describing the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas it was said that at the end of the war Asathama severs the head of five minor sons of Draupadi. What a strange and pitiful view. Arjuna in the chariot and Krishna as charioteer quickly follows and catches Aswathama. The person who had severed five sleeping child when he was brought in front of Draupadi, she says “Leave him, leave him, he is a brahmana, our guru, as I am wailing for my childs’ death, don’t let Aswathama’s mother also suffer the same”. Now in this condition, Bhima is saying, don’t let him go, kill him and Draupadi saying, let him go and Yudhisthira also takes the side of Draupadi. Bhagavan prevents both of them.
            You all know that this Daupadi is the grandmother of Parikhit. In such a grandmother’s family Maharaj Parikhit was born. To be continued
(A part of the Summary of Srimad Bhagavattam translated from the diary of Sri Gurudeb)