- Ugrasrava [Suta Gosvami], the son of Romaharsana, being fully satisfied by the perfect questions of the brahmanas, thanked them and thus attempted to reply.
- Srila Suta Gosvami said: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto that great sage [Sukadeva Gosvami] who can enter the hearts of all. When he went away to take up the renounced order of life [sannyasa], leaving home without undergoing reformation by the sacred thread or the ceremonies observed by the higher castes, his father, Vyasadeva, fearing separation from him, cried out, “O my son!” Indeed, only the trees, which were absorbed in the same feelings of separation, echoed in response to the begrieved father.
- Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto him [Suka], the spiritual master of all sages, the son of Vyasadeva, who, out of his great compassion for those gross materialists who struggle to cross over the darkest regions of material existence, spoke this most confidential supplement to the cream of Vedic knowledge, after having personally assimilated it by experience.
- Before reciting this Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is the very means of conquest, one should offer respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Narayana, unto Nara-narayana Rsi, the supermost human being, unto mother Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and unto Srila Vyasadeva, the author.
- O sages, I have been justly questioned by you. Your questions are worthy because they relate to Lord Krishna and so are of relevance to the world’s welfare. Only questions of this sort are capable of completely satisfying the self.
- The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.
- By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.
- The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.
- All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification.
- Life’s desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one’s works.
- Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan.
- The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-sruti.
- O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one’s own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.
- Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.
- With sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the binding knots of reactionary work [karma] by remembering the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, who will not pay attention to His message?
- O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva.
- Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.
- By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.
- As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature’s modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy.
- Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness, the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord gains positive scientific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead in the stage of liberation from all material association.
- Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the self as master.
- Certainly, therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self.
- The transcendental Personality of Godhead is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely passion, goodness and ignorance, and just for the material world’s creation, maintenance and destruction He accepts the three qualitative forms of Brahma, Visnu and Siva. Of these three, all human beings can derive ultimate benefit from Visnu, the form of the quality of goodness.
- Firewood is a transformation of earth, but smoke is better than the raw wood. And fire is still better, for by fire we can derive the benefits of superior knowledge [through Vedic sacrifices]. Similarly, passion [rajas] is better than ignorance [tamas], but goodness [sattva] is best because by goodness one can come to realize the Absolute Truth.
- Previously all the great sages rendered service unto the Personality of Godhead due to His existence above the three modes of material nature. They worshiped Him to become free from material conditions and thus derive the ultimate benefit. Whoever follows such great authorities is also eligible for liberation from the material world.
- Those who are serious about liberation are certainly nonenvious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Visnu and His plenary portions.
- Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance worship the forefathers, other living beings and the demigods who are in charge of cosmic activities, for they are urged by a desire to be materially benefited with women, wealth, power and progeny.
- 29. In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion [dharma] is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.
- In the beginning of the material creation, that Absolute Personality of Godhead [Vasudeva], in His transcendental position, created the energies of cause and effect by His own internal energy.
- After creating the material substance, the Lord [Vasudeva] expands Himself and enters into it. And although He is within the material modes of nature and appears to be; one of the created beings, He is always fully enlightened in His transcendental position.
- The Lord, as Supersoul, pervades all things, just as fire permeates wood, and so He appears to be of many varieties, though He is the absolute one without a second.
- The Supersoul enters into the bodies of the created beings who are influenced by the modes of material nature and causes them to enjoy the effects of these modes by the subtle mind.
- Thus the Lord of the universes maintains all planets inhabited by demigods, men and lower animals. Assuming the roles of incarnations, He performs pastimes to reclaim those in the mode of pure goodness.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
REFRESH PAGE FOR ANOTHER QUOTE
Chapter Two Divinity and Divine Service
Chapter One - Questions by the Sages
Lord Sri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, the all-pervading Personality,
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You with all my sincereity,
I meditate upon You as you are the Absolute Truth unquestionabily,
Primeval cause of all creation, sustenance, destruction universally.
- He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Sri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.
- Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.
- O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.
- Once, in a holy place in the forest of Naimisaranya, great sages headed by the sage Saunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord and His devotees.
- One day, after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and offering a seat of esteem to Srila Suta Gosvami, the great sages made inquiries, with great respect, about the following matters.
- The sages said: Respected Suta Gosvami, you are completely free from all vice. You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in the Puranas and the histories as well, for you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them.
- Being the eldest learned Vedantist, O Suta Gosvami, you are acquainted with the knowledge of Vyasadeva, who is the incarnation of Godhead, and you also know other sages who are fully versed in all kinds of physical and metaphysical knowledge.
- And because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favors bestowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all that you have scientifically learned from them.
- Please, therefore, being blessed with many years, explain to us, in an easily understandable way, what you have ascertained to be the absolute and ultimate good for the people in general.
- O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.
- There are many varieties of scriptures, and in all of them there are many prescribed duties, which can be learned only after many years of study in their various divisions. Therefore, O sage, please select the essence of all these scriptures and explain it for the good of all living beings, that by such instruction their hearts may be fully satisfied.
- All blessings upon you, O Suta Gosvami. You know for what purpose the Personality of Godhead appeared in the womb of Devaki as the son of Vasudeva.
- O Suta Gosvami, we are eager to learn about the Personality of Godhead and His incarnations. Please explain to us those teachings imparted by previous masters [acaryas], for one is uplifted both by speaking them and by hearing them.
- Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Krishna, which is feared by fear personified.
- O Suta, those great sages who have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord can at once sanctify those who come in touch with them, whereas the waters of the Ganges can sanctify only after prolonged use.
- Who is there, desiring deliverance from the vices of the age of quarrel, who is not willing to hear the virtuous glories of the Lord?
- His transcendental acts are magnificent and gracious, and great learned sages like Narada sing of them. Please, therefore, speak to us, who are eager to hear about the adventures He performs in His various incarnations.
- O wise Suta, please narrate to us the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Godhead’s multi-incarnations. Such auspicious adventures and pastimes of the Lord, the supreme controller, are performed by His internal powers.
- We never tire of hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Personality of Godhead, who is glorified by hymns and prayers. Those who have developed a taste for transcendental relationships with Him relish hearing of His pastimes at every moment.
- Lord Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, along with Balarama, played like a human being, and so masked He performed many superhuman acts.
- Knowing well that the age of Kali has already begun, we are assembled here in this holy place to hear at great length the transcendental message of Godhead and in this way perform sacrifice.
- We think that we have met Your Goodness by the will of providence, just so that we may accept you as captain of the ship for those who desire to cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which deteriorates all the good qualities of a human being.
- Since Sri Krishna, the Absolute Truth, the master of all mystic powers, has departed for His own abode, please tell us to whom the religious principles have now gone for shelter.