Meditation upon the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa

Narada muni meditates of Sri Krsna

This morning I was reading from the First Canto, sixth chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam entitled “Conversation Between Nārada and Vyāsadeva”. Here Śrī Nārada Muni is explaining how it is, he attained his present transcendental body, and his encounter with the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This is a beautiful chapter and I find myself reading it again and again.

After that, under the shadow of a banyan tree in an uninhabited forest I began to meditate upon the Supersoul situated within, using my intelligence, as I had learned from liberated souls.

As soon as I began to meditate upon the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead with my mind transformed in transcendental love, tears rolled down my eyes, and without delay the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared on the lotus of my heart.

O Vyāsadeva, at that time, being exceedingly overpowered by feelings of happiness, every part of my body became separately enlivened. Being absorbed in an ocean of ecstasy, I could not see both myself and the Lord.

The transcendental form of the Lord, as it is, satisfies the mind’s desire and at once erases all mental incongruities. Upon losing that form, I suddenly got up, being perturbed, as is usual when one loses that which is desirable.

I desired to see again that transcendental form of the Lord, but despite my attempts to concentrate upon the heart with eagerness to view the form again, I could not see Him any more, and thus dissatisfied, I was very much aggrieved.

Seeing my attempts in that lonely place, the Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental to all mundane description, spoke to me with gravity and pleasing words, just to mitigate my grief.

O Nārada [the Lord spoke], I regret that during this lifetime you will not be able to see Me anymore. Those who are incomplete in service and who are not completely free from all material taints can hardly see Me.

O virtuous one, you have only once seen My person, and this is just to increase your desire for Me, because the more you hanker for Me, the more you will be freed from all material desires.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
First Canto, Chapter 6, Text 15-22

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Anomalies in the Kali Age

Srimad Bhagavatam

The great sage Vyāsadeva saw anomalies in the duties of the millennium. This happens on the earth in different ages, due to unseen forces in the course of time.

The great sages like Vyāsadeva are liberated souls, and therefore they can see clearly past and future. Thus he could see the future anomalies in the Kali age, and accordingly he made arrangement for the people in general so that they can execute a progressive life in this age, which is full of darkness. The people in general in this age of Kali are too much interested in matter, which is temporary. Because of ignorance they are unable to evaluate the assets of life and be enlightened in spiritual knowledge.

…The unmanifested forces of time are so powerful that they reduce all matter to oblivion in due course. In Kali-yuga, the last millennium of a round of four millenniums, the power of all material objects deteriorates by the influence of time. In this age the duration of the material body of the people in general is much reduced, and so is the memory. The action of matter has also not so much incentive. The land does not produce food grains in the same proportions as it did in other ages. The cow does not give as much milk as it used to give formerly. The production of vegetables and fruits is less than before. As such, all living beings, both men and animals, do not have sumptuous, nourishing food. Due to want of so many necessities of life, naturally the duration of life is reduced, the memory is short, intelligence is meager, mutual dealings are full of hypocrisy and so on.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 4, Texts 16, 17-18

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Appearance Day of Lord Balarama

Balarama killing demon with plow

In honor of the Appearance Day of Lord Balarama, we are posting a chapter from the Krsna Book, entitled ” The Killing of Dantavakra, Vidūratha and Romaharṣaṇa”. Some of the pastimes the Lord performed during His advent was the killing of demons. As is stated in the Bhagavad-gita:

“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.” (Bg. 4.8)

The following chapter has some nice pastimes of Lord Balarama in His glorious role as Statesman, Sage, and Kṣatriya. In the above image from the Krsna Book, Lord Balarama is seen dragging the Deamon Balvala down with his plow.

“…Our dear Lord, there is a demon of the name Balvala. He is the son of Ilvala, but he visits this sacred place of sacrifice every fortnight on the full moon and moonless days and creates a great disturbance to the discharge of our duties in the sacrifice… The demon occasionally comes here and profusely throws upon us contaminated, impure things like pus, blood, stool, urine and wine, and he pollutes this sacred place by showering such filth upon us.”

All Glories to Lord Balarama and His plow!

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The Parampara System

Srila Prabhupada

..Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sungod, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system—namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him. There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to. (from letter to Dayananda: April 12, 1968)

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Transcendental Vision

…The unmanifested forces of time are so powerful that they reduce all matter to oblivion in due course. In Kali-yuga, the last millennium of a round of four millenniums, the power of all material objects deteriorates by the influence of time. In this age the duration of the material body of the people in general is much reduced, and so is the memory.

The great sage Vyāsadeva could see this by his transcendental vision. As an astrologer can see the future fate of a man, or an astronomer can foretell the solar and lunar eclipses, those liberated souls who can see through the scriptures can foretell the future of all mankind. They can see this due to their sharp vision of spiritual attainment. (from purport to SB 1.4.17-18)

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Spiritual Vision

When Vyasadeva was following his son, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, they came upon some damsels bathing in a pond, Sukadeva was also naked, yet the maidens did not cover themselves when he passed by. However, they did cover themselves when the fully-clad Vyasadeva approached. Astonished at the apparently inconsistent behavior of the young girls, Vyasadeva asked them to explain. “Your son is purified of all material contamination,” they said, “so when he looks at us he makes no distinction between male and female. But as a householder, you do make such distinctions. Therefore, while we feel no shame before your son, we must cover ourselves before you.

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I Meditate Upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Canto 1: “Creation”, Chapter 1, Text 1

Questions by the Sages

oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya

janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

om—O my Lord; namaḥ—offering my obeisances; bhagavate—unto the Personality of Godhead; vāsudevāya—unto Vāsudeva (the son of Vasudeva), or Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the primeval Lord; janma-ādi—creation, sustenance and destruction; asya—of the manifested universes; yataḥ—from whom; anvayāt—directly; itarataḥ—indirectly; ca—and; artheṣu—purposes; abhijñaḥ—fully cognizant; sva-rāṭ—fully independent; tene—imparted; brahma—the Vedic knowledge; hṛdā—consciousness of the heart; yaḥ—one who; ādi-kavaye—unto the original created being; muhyanti—are illusioned; yat—about whom; sūrayaḥ—great sages and demigods; tejaḥ—fire; vāri—water; mṛdām—earth; yathā—as much as; vinimayaḥ—action and reaction; yatra—whereupon; tri-sargaḥ—three modes of creation, creative faculties; amṛṣā—almost factual; dhāmnā—along with all transcendental paraphernalia; svena—self-sufficiently; sadā—always; nirasta—negation by absence; kuhakam—illusion; satyam—truth; param—absolute; dhīmahi—I do meditate upon.

TRANSLATION

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.

PURPORT

Obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, directly indicate Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the divine son of Vasudeva and Devakī. This fact will be more explicitly explained in the text of this work. Śrī Vyāsadeva asserts herein that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead, and all others are His direct or indirect plenary portions or portions of the portion. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has even more explicitly explained the subject matter in his Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha. And Brahmā, the original living being, has explained the subject of Śrī Kṛṣṇa substantially in his treatise named Brahma-saṁhitā. In the Sāma-veda Upaniṣad, it is also stated that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the divine son of Devakī. Therefore, in this prayer, the first proposition holds that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the primeval Lord, and if any transcendental nomenclature is to be understood as belonging to the Absolute Personality of Godhead, it must be the name indicated by the word Kṛṣṇa, which means the all-attractive. In Bhagavad-gītā, in many places, the Lord asserts Himself to be the original Personality of Godhead, and this is confirmed by Arjuna, and also by great sages like Nārada, Vyāsa, and many others. In the Padma Purāṇa, it is also stated that out of the innumerable names of the Lord, the name of Kṛṣṇa is the principal one. Vāsudeva indicates the plenary portion of the Personality of Godhead, and all the different forms of the Lord, being identical with Vāsudeva, are indicated in this text. The name Vāsudeva particularly indicates the divine son of Vasudeva and Devakī. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is always meditated upon by the paramahaṁsas, who are the perfected ones among those in the renounced order of life.

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Krsna is All Attractive


Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 5, Text 26

The Lord descends on this material world out of His causeless mercy and displays His various transcendental pastimes as a human being so that human beings attracted towards Him become able to go back to Godhead.

O Vyāsadeva, in that association and by the mercy of those great Vedāntists, I could hear them describe the attractive activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa And thus listening attentively, my taste for hearing of the Personality of Godhead increased at every step.

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, is attractive not only in His personal features, but also in His transcendental activities. It is so because the Absolute is absolute by His name, fame, form, pastimes, entourage, paraphernalia, etc. The Lord descends on this material world out of His causeless mercy and displays His various transcendental pastimes as a human being so that human beings attracted towards Him become able to go back to Godhead. Men are naturally apt to hear histories and narrations of various personalities performing mundane activities, without knowing that by such association one simply wastes valuable time and also becomes addicted to the three qualities of mundane nature. Instead of wasting time, one can get spiritual success by turning his attention to the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. By hearing the narration of the pastimes of the Lord, one contacts directly the Personality of Godhead, and, as explained before, by hearing about the Personality of Godhead, from within, all accumulated sins of the mundane creature are cleared. Thus being cleared of all sins, the hearer gradually becomes liberated from mundane association and becomes attracted to the features of the Lord. Nārada Muni has just explained this by his personal experience. The whole idea is that simply by hearing about the Lord’s pastimes one can become one of the associates of the Lord. Nārada Muni has eternal life, unlimited knowledge and unfathomed bliss, and he can travel all over the material and spiritual worlds without restriction. One can attain to the highest perfection of life simply by attentive hearing of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord from the right sources, as Śrī Nārada heard them from the pure devotees (bhakti-vedāntas) in his previous life. This process of hearing in the association of the devotees is especially recommended in this age of quarrel (Kali).

The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1:”Creation”
SB 1.19: The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī was certainly inspired by Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear voluntarily before Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the great devotee of the Lord, just to give him the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One can achieve the nucleus of the devotional service of the Lord by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Personality of Godhead. The spiritual master is the manifested representative of the Lord to help one achieve ultimate success. One who is not authorized by the Lord cannot become a spiritual master. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is an authorized spiritual master, and thus he was inspired by the Lord to appear before Mahārāja Parīkṣit and instruct him in the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Simply by such questioning and hearing, one can achieve the highest perfectional stage of life.

Text 37
You are the spiritual master of great saints and devotees. I am therefore begging you to show the way of perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die.

Purport
Unless one is perfectly anxious to inquire about the way of perfection, there is no necessity of approaching a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not a kind of decoration for a householder. Generally a fashionable materialist engages a so-called spiritual master without any profit. The pseudo- spiritual master flatters the so-called disciple, and thereby both the master and his ward go to hell without a doubt. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right type of disciple because he puts forward questions vital to the interest of all men, particularly for the dying men. The question put forward by Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the basic principle of the complete thesis of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Now let us see how intelligently the great master replies.

Text 38
Please let me know what a man should hear, chant, remember and worship, and also what he should not do. Please explain all this to me.

Text 40
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: The King thus spoke and questioned the sage, using sweet language. Then the great and powerful personality, the son of Vyāsadeva, who knew the principles of religion, began his reply.

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