The Pāṇḍavas Retire Timely

Five Pandavas and Drapadi

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The following is the entire 15th chapter of the First Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam entitled “The Pandavas Retire Timely”. I so enjoy reading this First Canto, I read it over and over again. All of Srila Prabhupada’s purports are so laden with transcendental realization I feel as though I am there with Srila Sukadeva Goswami or with the Sages of Naimisaranya hearing this Srimad Bhagavatam spoken in its pure essence.

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

The Pāṇḍavas Retire Timely

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Gotta Serve Somebody

king rsabha

This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.12.6 about Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, who was the King and a liberated soul durning the time of Lord Krishna. How he did not take any pleasure in a his vast kingdom, good wife, obedient brothers, happy subjects and prosperous world. He was satisfied only by rendering loving service for the satisfaction of the Lord. As is stated in following verse:

O brāhmaṇas, the opulence of the King was so enchanting that the denizens of heaven aspired for it. But because he was absorbed in the service of the Lord, nothing could satisfy him except the Lord’s service.

As I was reading from the purport to this verse a song by Bob Dylan kept going through my head…

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

…which was kinda cool because it coincided with the reading. So I share with you, the complete verse and purport by Srila Prabhupada, as well as the song lyrics by Bob Dylan.

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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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The Whole System of Human Civilization is to Guide the People to Become God Conscious

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…But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that even caṇḍālas can be also raised to the platform of brāhmaṇa. Even if a caṇḍāla is trained up as a devotee, he can be better than a qualified brāhmaṇa. These are the shastric injunctions. The yavanas’ names are there also. Yavana-mleccha means generally they are meat-eaters, especially cow meat, cow flesh eaters. They are called yavana-mlecchas. So the higher caste, they cannot become meat-eaters. Meat-eating is there. That is for the lower class, not for the higher class. If anyone gives up meat-eating or the bad habits of lower class, illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, gambling, and if he’s trained how to become a qualified brāhmaṇa, then he can be accepted.

…So our this movement is not for the kṛpaṇas. It is meant for the brāhmaṇas. We want to become ourself brāhmaṇa, and we want to make others also brāhmaṇa. Because there is need of brāhmaṇa at the present moment. The whole human society is now running by the śūdras, all śūdras. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In this Kali-yuga, everyone is a śūdra. Maybe born of a brāhmaṇa family, but because he has no culture… The first culture is garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. If garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is not observed even in a brāhmaṇa family, he becomes immediately śūdra. This is the statement of the śāstra. So nobody is observing garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. Therefore, according to śāstra, everyone is a śūdra. Now because everyone is śūdra, therefore he cannot be trained up as brāhmaṇa? No. He can be trained up. Caṇḍālo ‘pi dvija-śreṣṭho hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ. If that śūdra or caṇḍāla can be turned into a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ, then under training he can become better than brāhmaṇa.

Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Māyāpura, June 15, 1973 More

No One Can Know the Plan of the Lord [Śrī Kṛṣṇa]

Bhishmadeva

Even a great fighter like Bhīṣma could not win the Battle of Kurukṣetra because the Lord wanted to show that vice cannot conquer virtue, regardless of who tries to execute it.

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Canto 1″Creation”, Chapter 9, Text 16
The Passing Away of Bhismadeva in the Presence of Lord Krsna

na hy asya karhicid rājan
pumān veda vidhitsitam
yad vijijñāsayā yuktā
muhyanti kavayo ‘pi hi

na—never; hi—certainly; asya—His; karhicit—whatsoever; rājan—O King; pumān—anyone; veda—knows; vidhitsitam—plan; yat—which; vijijñāsayā—with exhaustive inquiries; yuktāḥ—being engaged; muhyanti—bewildered; kavayaḥ—great philosophers; api—even; hi—certainly.

O King, no one can know the plan of the Lord [Śrī Kṛṣṇa]. Even though great philosophers inquire exhaustively, they are bewildered.

The bewilderment of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira over his past sinful acts and the resultant sufferings, etc., is completely negated by the great authority Bhīṣma (one of the twelve authorized persons). Bhīṣma wanted to impress upon Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that since time immemorial no one, including such demigods as Śiva and Brahmā, could ascertain the real plan of the Lord. So what can we understand about it? More

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