The Essence of All Topics — The Topics of the Lord

Vidura and Maitreya

I have been reading, with rapt attention, from Volume One, of the Third Canto, of Srimad Bhagavatam, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, each morning. As I was reading this morning the words “…all-inclusive welfare service for the entire human society”, just kinda jumped out at me, as did the words “…greatest welfare service for the world”. I am reminded of the importance of hearing Srimad Bhagavatam every day, and of our good fortune to be able to partake in this transcendental conversation (kṛṣṇa-kathā). There are many topics for different persons in different modes of material nature, but the essential topics are those in relationship with the Supreme Lord.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Vidura, the best amongst the Kuru dynasty, who was perfect in devotional service to the Lord, thus reached the source of the celestial Ganges River [Hardwar], where Maitreya, the great, fathomless learned sage of the world, was seated. Vidura, who was perfect in gentleness and satisfied in transcendence, inquired from him. (SB 3.5.1)

The great sage Maitreya Muni is described here as bhagavān because he surpassed all ordinary human beings in learning and experience. Thus his selection of the greatest welfare service for the world is considered authoritative. The all-inclusive welfare service for the entire human society is devotional service to the Lord, and, as requested by Vidura, the sage described the same very appropriately. (purport 3.5.17)

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 3: “The Status Quo”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Three, Chapter Five, Text 1-17

Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

Pilgrims Progress

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With the coming of Spring I am always inclined to travel. Spring always seems like a good season to began a journey. With this in mind, I was reading this morning from the Srimad Bhagavatam about how Vidura left the home of his brother to devote himself completely to the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

Places of pilgrimages are meant for eradicating the sins of the pilgrims, and they are distributed all over the universe just to give facility to all concerned for attaining pure existence and God realization. One should not be satisfied, however, merely by visiting the places of pilgrimage and performing one’s prescribed duties; he should be eager to meet the great souls who are already there, engaged in the service of the Lord. In each and every place of pilgrimage, the Lord is present in His various transcendental forms.

In the land of Bhāratavarṣa (India) there are many hundreds and thousands of places of pilgrimage distributed all over the country, and by traditional practice the common man visits such holy places during all seasons of the year. Some of the arcā representations of the Lord situated in different places of pilgrimage… There are millions and billions of such arcā forms of the Lord distributed all over the universe. All these arcā-mūrtis are summarized in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta in the following words:

“The Lord has so distributed Himself all over the universe just to give pleasure to the devotees, to give the common man facility to eradicate his sins, and to establish religious principles in the world.” (from purports to SB 3.1.17-18)

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Dhṛtarāṣṭra Quits Home

Vidura and Dhrtarastra

When they saw Vidura return to the palace, all the inhabitants—Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, his younger brothers, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Sātyaki, Sañjaya, Kṛpācārya, Kuntī, Gāndhārī, Draupadī, Subhadrā, Uttarā, Kṛpī, many other wives of the Kauravas, and other ladies with children—all hurried to him in great delight. It so appeared that they had regained their consciousness after a long period.

With great delight they all approached him, as if life had returned to their bodies. They exchanged obeisances and welcomed each other with embraces.

Due to anxieties and long separation, they all cried out of affection. King Yudhiṣṭhira then arranged to offer sitting accommodations and a reception.

After Vidura ate sumptuously and took sufficient rest, he was comfortably seated. Then the King began to speak to him, and all who were present there listened… (SB 1.13.3-7)

King Yudhiṣṭhira was expert in reception also, even in the case of his family members. Vidura was well received by all the family members by exchange of embraces and obeisances. After that, bathing and arrangements for a sumptuous dinner were made, and then he was given sufficient rest. After finishing his rest, he was offered a comfortable place to sit, and then the King began to talk about all happenings, both family and otherwise. That is the proper way to receive a beloved friend, or even an enemy. According to Indian moral codes, even an enemy received at home should be so well received that he will not feel any fearful situation. An enemy is always afraid of his enemy, but this should not be so when he is received at home by his enemy. This means that a person, when received at home, should be treated as a relative, so what to speak of a family member like Vidura, who was a well-wisher for all the members of the family. Thus Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja began to speak in the presence of all the other members.
(SB 1.13.7 purport)

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