Srimad Bhagavatam – The Crest Jewel…
“The first and second cantos of Bhagavatam are Sri Krishna’s feet. The third and fourth cantos are His thighs. The fifth canto is His navel. The sixth canto is His chest. The seventh and eighth cantos are His arms. The ninth canto is His throat. The tenth canto is His beautiful lotus-face. The eleventh canto is His forehead. The twelth canto is His head. I bow down to that Lord , the ocean of mercy whose color is like that of a tamala tree and who appears in this world for the welfare of all. I worship Him as the bridge for crossing the unfathomable ocean of material existence. The Bhagavata has appeared as His very Self.” – Padma Purana
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the King of all literature. It is the essence of all Vedanta philosophy. It is also said that one who has felt satisfaction from its nectarean mellow will never be attracted to any other literature. This Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, irrespective of color, caste or creed, and it is all-successful, all-blissful and all-perfect. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has declared that Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless sound representation of all Vedic knowledge and history. Srimad-Bhagavatam should therefore be worshiped as respectfully as we worship the Lord. Thereby we can derive the ultimate blessings of the Lord through its careful and patient study. One who gives full attention and respect to hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam achieves unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord, the giver of salvation. It is said to be the mature fruit of all the Vedic trees of literatures. From beginning to end, Srimad-Bhagavatam is full of narrations that encourage renunciation of material life, as well as nectarean accounts of Lord Hari’s transcendental pastimes, which give ecstasy to the saintly devotees and demigods.
Words that do not describe the transcendental Personality of Godhead but instead deal with temporary matters are simply false and useless. Such words are considered to be like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows, and are never resorted to by those situated in transcendental knowledge. Words that glorify the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord are actually truthful, auspicious and pious. Sooner or later, all material literature and discussion must fail the test of time. On the other hand, the transcendental descriptions of the Supreme Lord can free us from the bondage of illusion and restore us to our eternal status as loving servants of the Lord. Indeed, such words are a perpetual festival for the mind, and they dry up the ocean of misery.
By hearing to the recitation of the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord, as described in Bhagavatam, with respect and care, one can remember His lotus feet. Remembrance of Lord Krishna’s lotus feet destroys everything inauspicious and awards the greatest good fortune. It purifies the heart and bestows devotion for the Supreme Soul, along with knowledge enriched with realization and renunciation. One who with undeviating attention constantly recites this literature at every moment of every hour, as well as one who faithfully hears even one verse or half a verse or a single line or even half a line, certainly purifies his very self.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing in His innumerable personal expansions, is abundantly and constantly described throughout the various narrations of this Srimad-Bhagavatam. Suta Gosvami says “I meditate upon that pure and spotless Supreme Absolute Truth, who is free from suffering and death and who in the beginning personally revealed this incomparable torchlight of knowledge to Brahma. Brahma then spoke it to the sage Narada, who narrated it to Krishna-dvaipayana Vyasa. Srila Vyasa revealed this Bhägavatam to the greatest of sages, Shukadeva Gosvami, and Shukadeva mercifully spoke it to Maharaja Parikshit.” In other words, whenever saintly devotees vibrate Srimad-Bhagavatam, it is to be understood that Lord Krishna Himself is speaking the Absolute Truth through the agency of His pure representatives. So, let’s pray “O Lord Krishna, please engage all of us in pure devotional service unto You, in constantly hearing about Your ever nectarean pastimes.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the crest-jewel among the Puranas and the wealth of the Vaisnavas. It describes that pure knowledge, dear to the paramahamsas, and illuminates the path of detachment along with Bhakti, Jnana, and Vairagya. Those, who hear, read or meditate on its meaning, are liberated. This nectar is not available in heaven, Satya-loka, Kailasa or Vaikuntha. Therefore, O fortunate listeners, please drink it again and again, and never leave it.
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