Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Srimad Bhagavatam: Pearl 6

Dredging up old memories, I remember an interesting episode.

In the environs of Vrindavan, Saint Ushaji, often asked me to bring betel or paan leaves coupled with areca-nut parings, catechu and cardamoms during the days of Holi for Thakurji's bhog .

One fine day, a relative questioned its significance. Consequently Saint Ushaji clarified that savouring betel-leaves or tambool, once a while was good for health and improved blood-circulation. Furthermore, they should be relished with a proper quotient of various ingredients for best results. In the celebrated epic ‘Ramayana’ there is a reference to betel leaves being offered to Dashrathji, the Gods and all those who attended Lord Rama and Sitaji’s marriage ceremony. The same scenario is replicated in the city of Dwarka when Rukmaniji's father offers tambool or paan to Lord Krishna and Balramji on the auspicious occasion of marriage in verse 48 of chapter 53, Xth canto of the ‘Bhagavatam.’

Now we shall talk about pearl no. 6 from ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ 10th canto:

Chapter 54, verse 56:
On Lord Rama’s reaching Ayodhya, Diwali was celebrated with great fanfare. But this verse throws light on a different Diwali described by Mahatma Shukhdevji. “The city of the Vr
̣ṣṇis appeared most beautiful: there were tall, festive columns, and also archways decorated with flower garlands, cloth banners and precious gems. Arrangements of auspicious, full waterpots, aguru-scented incense, and lamps graced every doorway,” to welcome Lord Krishna and Rukmaniji soon after their marriage.

Chapter 55, verse 7: – In the celebrated epic ‘Ramayana’, Goswami Tulsidassji reveals that when the incarnation of Lord Krishna shall take place in the Dwapar era, Rati, Cupid’s renowned wife, will get back her husband in the form of Krishna’s son Pradyumna. Shukdevji sincerely honours this commitment and narrates the story of their reunion. “Māyāvatī was in fact Cupid's renowned wife, Rati. While waiting for her husband to obtain a new body — his previous one having been burnt up — she had been assigned by Śambara to prepare vegetables and rice. Māyāvatī understood that this infant was actually Kāmadeva, and thus she began to feel love for Him."

This grand miracle throws light on the correlation between the divine scriptures of the ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Bhagavatam’,

Chapter 56, verse 32: Jambavan born in the Ramayan era is reborn during the course of the Dwapar period as he offers his daughter Jambavanti to Lord Krishna. In verses 27-28. Jambavan, the strongest of the strong, authenticates that Lord Krishna is the very same as Lord Vishnu or Lord Rama who crossed the sea to fight Ravana! Truly speaking the entire scenario is the outcome of a divine question put up by King Parikshit to Shukdevji earlier in verse 2 of the chapter, as to why did King Satrajit give his fair daughter, Satyabhama, to the Supreme Lord and divine questions inevitably lead to divine answers.

Chapter 57, verse 24:
Shukdevji recollects Mithilapuri of Sitaji as Lord Balrama, the beloved descendant of Yadu, visits it to meet King Videha. He also affirms in verse 42 that whosoever sincerely reads or concentrates on chapters 56 to 58 of the Xth canto, replete with descriptions of Lord Vishnu’s prowess, gets rid of sinful reactions and bestows all auspiciousness, driving away his own infamy coupled with an expiation of his sins, and attains peace.

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