The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami and Maharaja Pariksit

Some time ago I started to re-read the Srimad Bhagavatam from the beginning. This morning I finished the first canto. It is with great pleasure I post the final chapter in the First Canto entitled “The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī”

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto 1,Chapter Nineteen

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Gajendra Returns to the Spiritual World

The Fourth Chapter of the Eight Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam describes the previous birth of Gajendra and the crocodile. It tells how the crocodile became a Gandharva and how Gajendra became an associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

…in his birth as an elephant, when he was dangerously attacked by the crocodile, he remembered his past life in devotional service and remembered a prayer he had learned in that life. Because of this prayer, he again received the mercy of the Lord.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī ends this chapter by describing the good fortune of the elephant. Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that by hearing the narration of Gajendra’s deliverance, one can also get the opportunity to be delivered.

“One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances unto You, is certainly a bona fide candidate for liberation.”

A devotee who tolerates everything in this material world and patiently executes his devotional service can become mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk, a bona fide candidate for liberation. The word dāya-bhāk refers to a hereditary right to the Lord’s mercy. A devotee must simply engage in devotional service, not caring about material situations. Then he automatically becomes a rightful candidate for promotion to Vaikuṇṭhaloka. The devotee who renders unalloyed service to the Lord gets the right to be promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, just as a son inherits the property of his father.

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