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The Power of Srimad Bhagavatam

Following is an excerpt from the lecture on The Power of Srimad Bhagavatam – Vraja Bihari Das. Reading from Shrimad Bhagavatam Canto 10 – Chapter 10 – The Killing of demon Agasura – Verse 06-11.

yadi dūraṁ gataḥ kṛṣṇo vana-śobhekṣaṇāya tam
ahaṁ pūrvam ahaṁ pūrvam iti saṁspṛśya remire

kecid veṇūn vādayanto dhmāntaḥ śṛṅgāṇi kecana
kecid bhṛṅgaiḥ pragāyantaḥ kūjantaḥ kokilaiḥ pare

vicchāyābhiḥ pradhāvanto gacchantaḥ sādhu-haṁsakaiḥ
bakair upaviśantaś ca nṛtyantaś ca kalāpibhiḥ

vikarṣantaḥ kīśa-bālān ārohantaś ca tair drumān
vikurvantaś ca taiḥ sākaṁ plavantaś ca palāśiṣu

sākaṁ bhekair vilaṅghantaḥ saritaḥ srava-samplutāḥ
vihasantaḥ praticchāyāḥ śapantaś ca pratisvanān

itthaṁ satāṁ brahma-sukhānubhūtyā dāsyaṁ gatānāṁ para-daivatena
māyāśritānāṁ nara-dārakeṇa sākaṁ vijahruḥ kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ

Translation –
Sometimes Krishna would go to a somewhat distant place to see the beauty of the forest. Then all the other boys would run to accompany Him, each one saying, “I shall be the first to run and touch Krishna! I shall touch Krishna first!” In this way they enjoyed life by repeatedly touching Krishna.

All the boys would be differently engaged. Some boys blew their flutes, and others blew bugles made of horn. Some imitated the buzzing of the bumblebees, and others imitated the voice of the cuckoo. Some boys imitated flying birds by running after the birds’ shadows on the ground, some imitated the beautiful movements and attractive postures of the swans, some sat down with the ducks, sitting silently, and others imitated the dancing of the peacocks. Some boys attracted young monkeys in the trees, some jumped into the trees, imitating the monkeys, some made faces as the monkeys were accustomed to do, and others jumped from one branch to another. Some boys went to the waterfalls and crossed over the river, jumping with the frogs, and when they saw their own reflections on the water they would laugh. They would also condemn the sounds of their own echoes. In this way, all the cowherd boys used to play with Krishna, who is the source of the Brahman effulgence for jyanis desiring to merge into that effulgence, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead for devotees who have accepted eternal servitor-ship, and who for ordinary persons is but another ordinary child. The cowherd boys, having accumulated the results of pious activities for many lives, were able to associate in this way with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can one explain their great fortune?

Purport –
As recommended by Srila Rupa Goswami, tasmāt kenāpy upāyena manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.4). Somehow or other, whether one thinks of Kṛishna as an ordinary human child, as the source of the Brahman effulgence, as the origin of Paramatma, or as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one should concentrate one’s full attention upon the lotus feet of Krishna. That is also the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā (18.66): sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the easiest way of directly approaching Krishna. Īśvaraḥ sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate ’tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt (Bhāg. 1.1.2). Diverting even a little of one’s attention toward Krishna and activities in Krishna consciousness immediately enables one to achieve the highest perfection of life. This is the purpose of the Krishna consciousness movement. Lokasyājānato vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām (Bhāg. 1.7.6). The secret of success is unknown to people in general, and therefore Śrīla Vyasadeva, being compassionate toward the poor souls in this material world, especially in this age of Kali, has given us the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-bhāgavataṁ purāṇam amalaṁ yad vaiṣṇavānāṁ priyam (Bhāg. 12.13.18). For Vaiṣṇavas who are somewhat advanced, or who are fully aware of the glories and potencies of the Lord, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is a beloved Vedic literature. After all, we have to change this body (tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ). If we do not care about Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we do not know what the next body will be. But if one adheres to these two books—Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—one is sure to obtain the association of Krishna in the next life (tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna [Bg. 4.9]). Therefore, distribution of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam all over the world is a great welfare activity for theologians, philosophers, transcendentalists and yogīs (yoginām api sarveṣām [Bg. 6.47]), as well as for people in general. Janma-lābhaḥ paraḥ puṁsām ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ (Bhāg. 2.1.6): if we can somehow or other remember Krishna, Narayana, at the end of life, our life will be successful.

These verses shares the pastime of Krishna, where how Krishna friend, the Gopas, played with Krishna. They played a game where everybody was trying to touch Krishna first. What is important to know is that what was the mood behind playing this game. None of the Gopas played for winning, they played for two things, first to inspire each other to touch Krishna and second making Krishna happy by inspiring everyone to touch Krishna. This was highest form of service that the Gopas did for the pleasure of Krishna and in return they were also happy when Krishna turned happy as they are enjoying with Krishna.

What use to happen everyday, the Gopas would be restless every night before the sunrise and they stare at sky in the east direction eagerly waiting desperately for the Sun to rise so that they can go to Mother Yashoda house, meet and call Krishna to go to the forest so that they can play with Krishna. As soon the Sun came out, they would immediately get ready and go to Krishna’s house and they would happily dress him with his jewellery with his ankles and bracelet. And then they all would go with their 9 Lakh cows to the forest where the cow would graze the forest and the Gopas would play with Krishna. And as the sun would set, they would turn sad as they would be parting from Krishna and going to their home.

Meanwhile for the Gopis, it was the other way round, they would feel intense separation for Krishna during the day and thinking why is the Sun is not setting fast and why it is coming down so slow as they felt the separation from Krishna, when he left for the forest and they are waiting for Krishna so that Krishna can come back and they can feel happy by seeing the beautiful face of Krishna and then enjoy with him.

The Srimad Bhagavatam recited by Sukhadev Goswami in a poetic form where he talk about Krishna and how he enchanted the whole forest including all the tree and the forest when the nectar of Krishna lips touch his flutes. The Bhagavatam tells about the different flutes that Krishna had. He had the following Flutes
– ‘Venu,’ it was 6 inches long and it has 6 holes.
– ‘Murli,’ it was 18 inches long and it has 4 holes.
– ‘Vansi,’ It was 15 inches long and it has 9 holes.

And them, Krishna had many types of Vansi as well. There was Mahanandini, decorated with many Jewels. There was Summohini. There was Akarshani made of gold. There was Vamsili, the most enchanting flute. And like all flutes were beautifully described in the Bhagavatam.

Why are we discussing about the flute?
Sri Rupa Goswami in the Bhakti Rasamriti Sindhu tell us the 64 quality Krishna has. Lord Bramha, who is counted as a living entity have 50 of these qualities. Lord Shiva is said to 55 of these qualities. Lord Vishnu have 60 of these qualities.

Only Krishna has all the 64 qualities and those 4 special qualities that Lord Krishna has more that Lord Vishnu are they are
1. Lila Madhuri – Sweetness of Krishna Pastimes referring to the pastimes with the Gopas.
2. Prema Madhuri – Sweetnness of Krishna Loves referring to the pastimes with Gopies
3. Rupa Madhuri – Sweetness of Krishna Beauty and his most charming form.
4. Venu Madhuri – Sweetness of the enchanted sound of Krishna flute when played by Krishna.

So, flute playing is the one of the most sweetest qualities of Krishna, When Krishna would play his flute, all demigods from higher planets would come to see and understand what Raga Krishna is playing. And Krishna would play such raga, that these upper planetary system who are expert in music cannot understand such ragas. So they just give up their intellect to identify the raga and start absorbing the ragas.

Krishna used to come back home while playing his flute and all the Gopies were mesmerised by hearing his flute. They were so mesmerised such that during the day they heard the sound of Krishna flute in their ears while Krishna was playing with Gopas in the forest.

As you are reading this, we have not covered more that 30% of this lecture cause the whole lecture itself is a summary of a huge number of beautiful pastimes of Lord Krishna and you can relish it only after listening to this whole lecture.

The conclusion to this whole lecture is said by Srila Prabhupada though the purport of these verses. He says “Study Srimad Bhagavatam and hear Srimad Bhagavatam regularly.” He explains that we do not know how our death will come, how our death would be. So read Srimad Bhagavatam and then we will go back to Krishna because that is the only way how you can develop love for Krishna.

The role of Srimad Bhagvatam is like a mirror, we come to know Krishna is Glorious and Srimad Bhagavatam exposes us an understanding that we are fallen and Krishna is so great and that develops humility in our heart.

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