In the Age Of Kali (part II)

Kali Yuga

Kali Yuga

Last week we did a post entitled In the Age of Kali and are continuing it here today. We begin with the description of the previous ages from Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.21 followed by further descriptions of the age from text 1.1.22.

One thing that jumped out at me from my reading this morning was from the purport to text22, wherein Srila Prabhupada points out: “…people do not realize that this brief life, is but a moment on our great journey towards self-realization.” That put things in perspective for me.

This age of Kali is not at all suitable for self-realization as was Satya-yuga, the golden age, or Tretā- or Dvāpara-yugas, the silver and copper ages. For self-realization, the people in Satya-yuga, living a lifetime of a hundred thousand years, were able to perform prolonged meditation. And in Tretā-yuga, when the duration of life was ten thousand years, self-realization was attained by performance of great sacrifice. And in the Dvāpara-yuga, when the duration of life was one thousand years, self-realization was attained by worship of the Lord. But in the Kali-yuga, the maximum duration of life being one hundred years only and that combined with various difficulties, the recommended process of self-realization is that of hearing and chanting of the holy name, fame, and pastimes of the Lord. (purport SB 1.1.21)

The age of Kali is very dangerous for the human being. Human life is simply meant for self-realization, but due to this dangerous age, men have completely forgotten the aim of life. In this age, the life span will gradually decrease. People will gradually lose their memory, finer sentiments, strength, and better qualities. …And so this age is very difficult for those who want to utilize this life for self-realization. The people are so busy with sense gratification that they completely forget about self-realization. Out of madness they frankly say that there is no need for self-realization because they do not realize that this brief life is but a moment on our great journey towards self-realization. (purport 1.1.22)

Full Text and purports More

Chanting Hare Krsna

visnujhana swami

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 Kṛṣṇa, which is feared by fear personified. (SB 1.1.14)

… It is stated herein that the name of Kṛṣṇa is feared even by fear personified. This indicates that the name of Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the name of Kṛṣṇa is as powerful as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Kṛṣṇa, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death. (from purport)

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Appearance of Lord Varaha

Varaha

Varahadeva lifts the Earth

Today marks Bhaimi Ekadasi (fast from grains & Beans), but it is a special Ekadasi in that we fast till noon today for Varahadeva, and feast tomorrow.

In honor of the Appearance of Lord Varahadeva [Varaha Dvadasi] tomorrow, we are posting the entire chapter entitled “The Appearance of Lord Varāha” from the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Three, Chapter 13

The Appearance of Lord Varāha

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One World Culture

chac_mool_cancn_mexico-normal

One thing I have often found interesting when reading books like the Srimad Bhagavatam and the Maha Bharata, is how far back the recorded oral histories go. Often Millions of Years. On our last visit to Mexico we were learning some about the Mayan culture, and how Millions of people vanished some 5,000 years ago. Which happens to coincide with the ancient Battle of Kurukestra which took place in India.

Also Srila Prabhupada has mentioned so many places in his books about how at one time, all the different parts of the world were ruled by one king.

…In the modern age people are under the impression that during the Vedic period or the prehistoric ages America and many other parts of the world had not been discovered, but that is not a fact. Pṛthu Mahārāja ruled over the world many thousands of years before the so-called prehistoric age, and it is clearly mentioned here that in those days not only were all the different parts of the world known, but they were ruled by one king, Mahārāja Pṛthu. (from purport to SB 4.21.12)

An interesting link ended up in my mailbox this morning which I share with all of you describing some of the common spiritual cultures on differing sides of the world.

Baffling Links to Ancient India: History is full of misnomers; one such term is the New World, as applied to the Americas. The landing of Columbus in 1492 undoubtedly created a new life on the continents, but it neither created nor discovered a new world. Many centuries ago Asian migrants had come to the western shore in substantial numbers. What if the popular idea that Tibetans and American Indians have much in common in terms of their spiritual culture is largely a result of another historical scenario?

What if Hindus and Hopis, Advantins and Aztecs, Tibetan Monks and Mayans were part of one world culture – a spiritual one?

Click on Link Links to Ancient India for more information

We also include a few brief excerpts form the Srimad Bhagavatam describing this one world culture which existed thousands of years ago.

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The Cause of All Causes

Narada and Lord Brahma

As we continue to update one of our other sites Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 2: “The Cosmic Manifestation”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter 5

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One Who is Sufficiently Intelligent…

1972 Original Srimad Bhagavatam cover

It seems that every time I start a new volume of the Srimad Bhagavatam, I open it and read the Preface first. I must have read the preface now many times, but every time I read it, it seems fresh and new. One could argue that it because my memory is poor, or, that is just the nature of transcendental literature. But what is interesting is to me this morning, is how I never looked up the verse that Srila Prabhupada quotes in his Preface:

kaumāra ācaret prājñodharmān bhāgavatān ihadurlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janmatad apy adhruvam arthadam (Bhāg. 7.6.1)

This morning I was curious, so I went to the Seventh Canto, Chapter 6, Text 1, and it read:

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life—in other words, from the tender age of childhood—to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.

Full text and purport follows the Preface More

The Process of Creation

LordVishnu creator of the material world

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As we continue to update our (one of our other sites) Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter Four

The Process of Creation

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Appreciating the Beauty of the Lord

Krsna and Arjuna

Certainly others who were fighters on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified by the onslaught of Arjuna’s arrows, and while seeing the lotuslike face of Kṛṣṇa, so pleasing to the eyes, they achieved the abode of the Lord. (SB 3.2.20)

This morning as I was reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the words “pleasing to the eyes of the seer” jumped out at me. And I was reminded again how just by appreciating the beauty of the Lord, one can attain success in life, as the following purport explains.

“…All the warriors who fought against Arjuna but who were able to see the lotuslike face of the Lord on the battlefront achieved the abode of the Lord, exactly as the devotees of the Lord do. The words “pleasing to the eyes of the seer” are very significant. When the warriors from the other side of the battlefield saw Lord Kṛṣṇa at the front, they appreciated His beauty, and their dormant instinct of love of God was awakened.

This love of God is awakened by the association of pure devotees of the Lord… Those who saw the beautiful face of the Lord on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified first by Arjuna when he made his onslaught with arrows… All the activities of a pure devotee are executed on behalf of the Lord because a pure devotee of the Lord has nothing to do for his personal interest. Arjuna’s killing was as good as killing by the Lord Himself. As soon as Arjuna shot an arrow at an enemy, that enemy became purified of all material contaminations and became eligible to be transferred to the spiritual sky… those who awakened to love of God were transferred to the planets of the transcendental sky.

Those whose love of God is awakened to the fullest extent go back to the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet in the spiritual sky, whereas persons who have just awakened to love of Godhead by accident or association are transferred to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Essentially there is no material difference between Goloka and Vaikuṇṭha, but in the Vaikuṇṭhas the Lord is served in unlimited opulence, whereas in Goloka the Lord is served in natural affection.” (from purport to SB 3.2.20)

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Unalloyed Affection in the Land of Vṛndāvana

Krsna splashing the gopis by Shyamarani devi

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport SB 3.2.14)

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Adhokṣaja

maitreya-buddha--ganden-monastery-tibet-craig-lovell

Adhokṣaja

If one were to do an image search on the Internet, of Maitreya; who is a character in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the main person in our Previous post entitled “Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya”, the images that come up are of the Maitreya Buddha. It is interesting to note that In the Vedas, Adhokṣaja is one of the twenty-four forms of Lord Viṣṇu. Also in the Srimad Bhagavatam in the First Canto, Chapter Three, entitled “Kṛṣṇa Is the Source of All Incarnations”, Buddha is one of the incarnations to appear in this age. I thought it interesting to do a post on Adhokṣaja with some selected text from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Maitreya Muni, who was experienced in the science of Transcendence, could understand that Vidura’s mind was fully absorbed in Transcendence. Adhokṣaja means that which transcends the limits of sense perception or sensuous experience. The Lord is transcendental to our sense experience, but He reveals Himself to the sincere devotee. Because Vidura was always absorbed in thought of the Lord, Maitreya could estimate Vidura’s transcendental value. He appreciated the valuable inquiries of Vidura and thus thanked him with great honor. (SB 3.5.18, Purport)

The Lord is explained here to be adhokṣaja, beyond the reach of all material calculation. Akṣaja means “the measurement of our senses,” and adhokṣaja means “that which is beyond the measurement of our senses.” (SB 3.19.25, Purport)

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The Damsels of Vraja

gopis of vrndavan

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In our attempt to stay focused on the childhood pastimes of Lord Krsna throughout this month of Damodara, we were reading from the Third Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, chapter 2, entitled; “Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa”. The great devotee Uddhava, was asked by Vidura, to speak on the messages of Lord Krsna. The following is but one of the verses and purports from this famous chapter.

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport to SB 3.2.14)

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Lord Rsabhadeva’s Teachings to His Sons

Lord Rsabhadeva

 

This morning by chance, I happened upon the teachings of Lord Rsabhadeva to His sons.  It was in an old notebook that I opened just to see what was inside.  Inside were prayers from the Vaisnava Songbook, the Brahma-samhita, Teachings of Pralada Maharaja, and these teachings of Lord Rsabhadeva.  It was Sri Gandhari’s old gurukula study notebook, and what she was studying 30 years ago was very useful and timely today.  It was just what I needed to read this morning and I share it with you today.  It is verses 1-27,  from the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter five.

 

Lord Ṛṣabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.

 

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Dharma : “That Which Sustains One’s Existence.”

wooden toolbox

This morning I awoke early, and before rising, I was just going over the dreams in my head. I was dreaming about the following verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam.

“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.” (SB 1.2.6)

I have been very much absorbed in my worldly occupation of late, writing up contracts, submitting bills, paying employees etc. and have mostly been waking up with thoughts of work. But this morning I was dreaming about a specific verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam. Interesting! So I went to the Bhagavatam, and read the purport to this verse.

…We have purposely denoted dharma as occupation because the root meaning of the word dharma is “that which sustains one’s existence.” A living being’s sustenance of existence is to coordinate his activities with his eternal relation with the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the central pivot of living beings, and He is the all-attractive living entity or eternal form amongst all other living beings or eternal forms. Each and every living being has his eternal form in the spiritual existence, and Kṛṣṇa is the eternal attraction for all of them. Kṛṣṇa is the complete whole, and everything else is His part and parcel. The relation is one of the servant and the served. It is transcendental and is completely distinct from our experience in material existence. This relation of servant and the served is the most congenial form of intimacy. One can realize it as devotional service progresses. Everyone should engage himself in that transcendental loving service of the Lord, even in the present conditional state of material existence. That will gradually give one the clue to actual life and please him to complete satisfaction.

Somehow I feel more satisfied, more complete, after my reading.

Full Verse and Purport More

Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

Pure Devotional Service

click on image to enlarge

As we continue to update our (one of our other sites) Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto 2, Chapter Three

Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

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The Krsna Consciousness Movement

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 077_-_BTG_Year-1970-1973_Volume-01_Number-48_Page_02

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The Krsna Consciousness Movement
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 1, No. 48

The Krsna consciousness movement is now being increasingly recognized throughout the world as a spiritual force of great potency, purity and importance to human society. With the simultaneous publication of the first two cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam and the complete 1,000-page edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the public is becoming increasingly aware that the boys and girls whom they see chanting and dancing on their city streets are students of a most serious discipline of God consciousness which is established on the basis of a philosophical system of considerable completeness, consistency and depth.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

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Radha is the beloved consort of Krsna

Radha Krsna

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So today being the appearance day of Srimati Radharani, my mind has been absorbed in thoughts of Radha and Krsna.  It is described that she is the beloved consort of Krsna,   Krsna’s pleasure potency, and the spiritual energy of Krsna.

…Lord Caitanya  requested Rāmānanda Rāya to explain something more:  “What are the transcendental features of Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī, and what are the transcendental features of the reciprocation of Their feelings, and what is the love between Them? If you kindly describe all this to Me, I will be very much obliged. But for you, no one can describe such things.” (Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 30)

…In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that when Kṛṣṇa comes before Rādhārāṇī, She becomes so much engladdened by seeing the beauty of Kṛṣṇa that She becomes more beautiful, and as soon as Rādhārāṇī becomes beautiful, Kṛṣṇa becomes engladdened and He becomes more beautiful. So unlimitedly there is competition of becoming more beautiful. That is the state. Competition. Because in the spiritual world everything is unlimited. So unlimitedly both of them becoming beautiful and both of them enjoying unlimitedly.   ((Lecture on SB 1.2.8   New Vrindaban, September 6, 1972)

…Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Rādhārāṇī is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association.  (Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 2, Chapter 3, Text 23)

…She is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa divided Himself into His energy and Himself. That energy, original spiritual energy, is Rādhārāṇī. ((Lecture on SB 2.1.1-5   Melbourne, June 26, 1974)

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The Birth of Lord Krishna

The Birth of Lord Krishna Janmastami

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With the advent of Lord Krsna’s birthday celebration (Janmastami) rapidly approaching, it seemed fitting that we do a post on the birth of Lord Krsna. So the following is the entire third chapter from the Krsna Book entitled “The Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa”.

…As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that His appearance, birth, and activities, are all transcendental, and one who understands them factually becomes immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The Lord’s appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds. The Lord’s appearance is explained in the Second Chapter: He appears out of His own sweet pleasure. When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the star known as Rohiṇī was also predominant because this star is considered to be very auspicious. Rohiṇī is under the direct supervision of Brahmā. According to the astrological conclusion, besides the proper situation of the stars, there are auspicious and inauspicious moments due to the different situations of the different planetary systems. At the time of Kṛṣṇa’s birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious. ( from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 3)

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The Lord in the Heart

Visnu Form

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter 2

The Lord in the Heart

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Goddess Worship

Sarasvati the Goddess of Learning

Sarasvatī, the Goddess of Learning

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The other day I was doing some service at the Hare Krishna Temple here in New Vrindavan, West Virginia, and I ran into some Indian guests. After we greeted each other one of them asked me “when did you become a Hindu?” “I never became a Hindu” I replied, “I am a Hare Krishna devotee, a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I am not a Hindu. I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

So just to make things a little clearer…both to myself and others, I did some research from Srila Prabhupada’s books to find the proper understanding of Goddess Worship, or worship of the demigods.

…Worship of demigods is discouraged herein because even the greatest demigods like Brahmā and Śiva only represent part of the opulence of the Supreme Lord. (Bg 10.42)

…The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, and all-powerful demigods like Brahmā and Śiva are engaged in the worship of Viṣṇu or Lord Kṛṣṇa; therefore who can be more powerful than Mukunda (Lord Kṛṣṇa) to be factually called the Supreme Personality of Godhead? The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmījī, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are not independently powerful; they are powerful as expansions of the Supreme Lord, and all of them are engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and so also are the living entities. (from purport SB 1.18.21)

…Both the living entity and the demigods are subordinate to the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead…not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Generally, persons who are distressed in the material world go to the demigods, as they are advised in the Vedic literature. A person wanting some particular thing may worship such and such a demigod. For example, a diseased person is recommended to worship the sun-god; a person wanting education may worship the goddess of learning, Sarasvatī; and a person wanting a beautiful wife may worship the goddess Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva. In this way there are recommendations in the śāstras (Vedic scriptures) for different modes of worship of different demigods. And because a particular living entity wants to enjoy a particular material facility, the Lord inspires him with a strong desire to achieve that benediction from that particular demigod, and so he successfully receives the benediction. The particular mode of the devotional attitude of the living entity toward a particular type of demigod is also arranged by the Supreme Lord. The demigods cannot infuse the living entities with such an affinity, but because He is the Supreme Lord or the Supersoul who is present in the heart of all living entities, Kṛṣṇa gives impetus to man to worship certain demigods. (from purport Bg 7.21)

…Everyone thinks that his intelligence is perfect. Sometimes one employs his intelligence in the worship of Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva, in order to obtain a beautiful wife. Sometimes, when one wants to become as learned as Lord Brahmā, he employs his intelligence in the worship of the goddess of learning, Sarasvatī. Sometimes, when one wishes to become as opulent as Lord Viṣṇu, he worships the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī.

Intelligence should be employed in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as one uses his intelligence in this way, the goddess of fortune automatically becomes favorable to him. The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, never remains without her husband, Lord Viṣṇu. Consequently, when one worships Lord Viṣṇu he automatically obtains the favor of the goddess of fortune. (from purport SB 4.25.28)

Full text and purports from above excerpts More

Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Krishna and Balarama tend the cows and bulls

click on image to enlarge

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam Third Canto, Chapter Two. It was so enlivening, that I read out-loud, the entire chapter. The following is just three verses and purports from the chapter entitled ” Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa”.

In His childhood, the Almighty Lord was surrounded by cowherd boys and calves, and thus He traveled on the shore of the Yamunā River, through gardens densely covered with trees and filled with vibrations of chirping birds. (SB 3.2.27)

…the Lord used to play His celebrated flute. The sound vibrated by His flute would give His friends such transcendental pleasure that they would forget all the talks of the brahmānanda which is so praised by the impersonalists. These cowherd boys, as will be explained by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, were living entities who had accumulated heaps of pious acts and thus were enjoying with the Lord in person and were hearing His transcendental flute. The Brahma-saṁhitā (5.30) confirms the Lord’s blowing His transcendental flute. (from purport to SB 3.2.29)

veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam
kandarpa-koṭi-kaminīya-viśeṣa-śobhaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

Brahmājī said, “I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who plays on His transcendental flute. His eyes are like lotus flowers, He is decorated with peacock plumes, and His bodily color resembles a fresh black cloud although His bodily features are more beautiful than millions of cupids.” These are the special features of the Lord.

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