Monday, May 5, 2008

Srimad Bhagavatam: Pearl 3

The gopis or cowherdesses of Vrindavan have been acclaimed as the supreme devotees of Lord Krishna in this draft of pearl 3.

Chapter 47, Verse 61:
Two verses of the ‘Bhagavatam’ are overly popular. One of them is BRAHAPEDAM NATWARVAP ( chapter 21,verse5) which transported Mahatma Shukdevji from the forest to his father Vedvyasji for listening to this katha or tale, wherein the gopis glorify the song of Krishna’s flute. The other one is AASAMAHO CHARANRENU ......MRIGYAM. Here Uddhavaji humbly pleads to Lord Krishna' hungering devotees, the gopis or the cowherd girls:

"Oh, let me be incarnated as anyone of the shrubs, creepers or herbs in the woodlands of Vrindabvn, catching the dust of feet of these blessed gopis who successfully trod the path of devotion leading to Lord Krishna -the path which is still to be strenuously sought for even by the Upanishads ......"

We analyse this prayer of Uddhavaji carefully:

  • Initially Lord Sri Krishna endorsed gopis as being the highest of devotees, now Uddhavaji the best counsellor of Vrsni dynasty and the direct disciple of Lord Brhaspati (chapter 46,verse1) vouches for it.
  • This means, Lord Krishna' appraisal of the gopis was not merely sentimental because In contemporary times even an intellectual Uddhavaji has seconded it.
  • Later on when Lord Balramji, power incarnate and attractor of all, visits Vrindavan to console the gopis he exalts them on a similar pedestal (Chapter 65,verses15-16). In short the three basic elements of the heart namely; emotion intellect and strength propagate the gopis as supreme devotees.

Chapter 50, Verse 7-14: Lord Krishna repeats the ‘Gita’s’ famous words "Yada yada hi dharmasya ......" which means “To protect good people and annihilate demons, I do incarnate from time to time.” In verse 12 for the very first time, we find a reference to his Vishnu form, replete with four arms and resplendent with his famous divine arsenals. Verses 29-30 clarify that when the Lord plays pranks as a child, we narrate these playful dalliances enthusiastically. In the next 51stChapter, Lord Krishna's form adorned with four arms, eyes like lotuses, wearing a garland of forest flowers and extremely handsome, is consolidated when he appears before King Mucukunda (verse 1-2).

Chapter 51,Verse 38: Here Lord Krishna clarifies that the greatest Sages enumerate his births and activities which take place throughout the three phases of time but never do they reach the end of them. The non-devotees are ignorant about his millions of other names and leelas. The Lord therefore repeats similar words of Guru Gargacharyaji (In the ‘Gita’, too He proclaims Janmam Karmam Ch Me Divyam, 9/IV ........). reflecting the deep respect Lord Krishna has ........a unique quality of Prabhu or Bhagwan.

Chapter 51, Verse 41: Since earlier he was born to King Vasudevji of Yaduvansh dynasty, Lord Krishna will be addressed as ‘VASUDEV’ too.

Chapter 51, Verse 43: We very well know that Lord Krishna is BHAKTAVATSAL which means most graceful to his devotees. He vouches for this quality in the verse to King Mucukunda, “One who has satisfied Me need never lament again.” In verses 50-51 later on, the King is reminded of Lord Krishna's Gita-Gyan which ascertains that every man is mortal and after death, his degrees, kingdom, bravery and other assets are all futile.

Chapter 51, Verse 61: A quote from Lord Krishna verbatim to King Mucukanda:Yunjanam Bhaktaanaam Pranayam adibhimanah, Akshinvaasnam raajan drishyate punrutthita. The excerpt means that if one is not the Lord's devotee, just breath-control may not suffice to keep his mind away from vices, “Hence Kings worship Me”. During the course of Sata, Treta and Dwapar eras the demons Hiranyakashipu, Ravan and Kamsa were physically robust but morally very corrupt. Consequently the Lord had to incarnate himself as Narsingh Bhagwan, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna to put an end to their reign of terror


Chapter 51, Verse 62: Killing of living beings by King Mucukunda, a Kshatriya, is considered highly sinful, so he has to atone for these sins by penance and only then strive to become a Brahmin. The episode also endorses the fact that a Brahmin Yoni is very tough to attain and we must always revere it.

Since the Xth canto is a vast one composed of up to 90 chapters, we shall continue spotting pearls in the ocean of the ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’.

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