Srimad-Bhagavatam, C. 3, Ch. 1, Questions By Vidura, T. 7-8. (Part 1)

Srimad-Bhagavatam, C. 3, Ch. 1, Questions By Vidura, T. 7-8. (Part 1)

THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM, CANTO 3, CHAPTER1, QUESTIONS BY VIDURA, TEXT 7-8, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI ON 19 MARCH 2008 IN ISKCON UJJAIN, INDIA.

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Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, chapter one, text eight. ‘Questions by Vidura.’

Text seven doesn’t have a purport, so although yesterday we did up to six but today the text that has been written on the board is verse eight. So, I’ll just read through text seven.

yada sabhayam kuru-deva-devyah
kesabhimarsam suta-karma garhyam
na varayam asa nrpah snusayah
svasrair harantyah kuca-kunkumani

Translation:
The King did not forbid his son Duhsasana’s abominable action of grabbing the hair of Draupadi, the wife of the godly King Yudhisthira, even though her tears washed the red dust on her breast.

Text eight:
dyute tv adharmena jitasya sadhoh
satyavalambasya vanam gatasya
na yacato ‘dat samayena dayam
tamo-jusano yad ajata-satroh

Synonyms:
dyute — by means of gambling; tu — but; adharmena — by unfair tricks; jitasya — of the vanquished; sadhoh? — a saintly person; satya-avalambasya — one who embraced truth as shelter; vanam — forest; gatasya — of the goer; na — never; yacatah — when asked for; adat — delivered; samayena — in due course; dayam — right share; tamah-jusanah — overwhelmed by illusion; yat — as much as; ajata-satroh — of one who had no enemy.

Translation:
Yudhisthira, who was born without any enemy, was unfairly defeated in gambling. But because he had taken the vow of truthfulness, he went off to the forest. When he came back in due course and begged the return of his rightful share of the kingdom, he was refused by Dhrtarastra, who was overwhelmed by illusion.

Purport:
Maharaja Yudhisthira was the rightful heir to his father’s kingdom. But just to favor his own sons, headed by Duryodhana, Dhrtarastra, Maharaja Yudhisthira’s uncle, adopted various unfair means to cheat his nephews of their rightful share of the kingdom. At last the Pandavas demanded only five villages, one for each of the five brothers, but that was also refused by the usurpers. This incident led to the War of Kuruksetra. The Battle of Kuruks?etra, therefore, was induced by the Kurus, and not the Pandavas.
As ksatriyas, the proper livelihood of the Pandavas was only to rule, and not to accept any other occupation. A brahmana, ksatriya or vaisya will not accept employment for his livelihood under any circumstances.
[End of Purport]

dyute tv adharmena jitasya sadhoh
satyavalambasya vanam gatasya
na yacato ‘dat samayena dayam
tamo-jusano yad ajata-satroh

Yudhisthira, who was born without any enemy, was unfairly defeated in gambling. But because he had taken the vow of truthfulness, he went off to the forest. When he came back in due course and begged the return of his rightful share of the kingdom, he was refused by Dhrtarastra, who was overwhelmed by illusion.

So, King Parikshit is about to leave his body and he is asking questions to Sukadeva Gosvami, who very mercifully arrived there at that time to benefit the king. We hear the expression ‘guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti lata bija.’ [CC Madhya 19.151] When one becomes qualified Krishna actually sends the spiritual master. Parikshit Maharaja was about to leave his body, so to prepare him for his death it’s Krishna actually who made this arrangement. Time and time again in Srimad Bhagavatam and other Vedic scriptures and other Puranas we see that happen. In some strange circumstances we see that the spiritual master arrives.

Like, Mrigari was a hunter and Narada Muni appeared to him. He was not only a hunter, he was a very cruel hunter. He used to derive pleasure by inflicting pain to the animals. He wouldn’t just kill the animals, he would make the animals suffer. He would leave them half dead so that they would ride in pain, ride in agony. But Narada Muni just appeared to him and he instructed Mrigari and Mrigari became a wonderful devotee of Krishna. A similar situation also we see with the dacoit Ratnakara Dasu. Ratnakara was a bandit. He was a dacoit. He used to loot people, kill people, travellers. But again Narada Muni appeared to him and we see due to Narada Muni’s association Ratnakara became a devotee. He became Valmiki. In this way we see so many people. Another such example is King Pracinabarhi. His sons, the Pracetas, were performing great austerities. They became great devotees of the Lord. They received the mercy of Lord Shiva and became great devotees. And Narada Muni felt that these boys are so advanced spiritually but look at their father! He is still a miserable enjoyer of sense gratification. So Narada Muni went to him and advised, and he became a devotee. So, one after another, we can think of so many such wonderful examples. Another example is King Citraketu. He was a king. He was the ruler of the entire earth planet but he didn’t have a son and as a result of that, although he had everything, it all amounted to nothing. So then by the grace of Angira Rishi he had a son, but that son died untimely. And then again, Narada Muni came and instructed him, and Citraketu became a great devotee. So, in this way we can see that how by guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti lata bija, by the mercy of Krishna one gets the guru and by the mercy of the guru one receives the seed of devotional service.

So here Sukadeva Gosvami is the spiritual master of Parikshit Maharaja. And he came. Krishna sent him. Krishna who is the Supersoul, residing in the hearts of everybody, He knows the right time and He sends the right person to guide the conditioned souls to the ultimate destination. Parikshit Maharaja also is a qualified disciple. What is the qualification of a disciple, qualification of a sincere seeker of spiritual life? He is a sincere seeker! He has his heart set in becoming free from the material bondage and achieving his spiritual destination.

[Altar curtains open] Jaya Sri Sri Krishna Balarama ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya!

So here Parikshit Maharaja is asking Sukadeva Gosvami what happened after Vidura left home? Vidura left home just before the battle of Kurukshetra began. When Vidura saw that all the endeavors failed then Vidura just left home after being insulted by Duryodhana. When he saw that all the endeavors to avert the war failed, he just tried to give the last advice to Dhrtarashtra, the blind king. But Duryodhana became very insulting so he just left. But when he left, he was just travelling to the places of pilgrimage and there he came across sage Maitreya, and a wonderful conversation took place between Vidura and Maitreya. And that has been recorded here in Srimad Bhagavatam.

These questions, these discussions are just a prelude to ‘Vidura-Maitreya Samvada’, the discussion between Vidura and Maitreya. So when he asked, “What did Vidura do? “, Sukadeva Gosvami is just relating to some incident that happened before that. And that incident was that, although Yudhisthira Maharaja was ajatashatru, here two qualities of Maharaja have been established: ajatashatru and satyavalambya, or rather satyavalambi. One who doesn’t have any friend, ajatashatru, whose friend is not born, or who was born without any enemy. It can be taken either way. One who is born without any enemy, or one whose enemy is not born. He never considered anyone to be his enemy. Of course, even though Yudhisthira Maharaja did not want to have any enemy, he didn’t see anyone as his enemy, but Duryodhana could not resist the temptation of becoming his enemy. Yudhisthira, although he was so pious, so compassionate, so merciful, so forgiving, he is endowed with all the good qualities, but still Duryodhana became his enemy. There are some people, they are like that. In this way we can see that in this world there are two types of people. One who is ajatashatru, who doesn’t have any enemy, and the other is who thinks that the most wonderful people in this world are his enemy. There are always people like Yudhisthira Maharaja and also there are people like Duryodhana. This is the material nature.

There is an incident when Dronacarya sent Yudhisthira Maharaja to bring the most sinful, the most evil person, and he sent Duryodhana also to find the most pious person, the best of the people. At the end of the day both of them came back. Yudhisthira Maharaja couldn’t find any bad person and Duryodhana couldn’t find any good person. So in this way we can see that ultimately it is a matter of our perception how we see things. Some people see that in this world everything is bad and some people see that in this world everything is good. This is the reality. It is not a fiction. It is not some story. Mahabharata is not just a story. Mahabharata is history, it happened. It happened. Duryodhana is Duryodhana. Yudhisthira is Yudhisthira. Dhrtarashtra is Dhrtarashtra. These are real personalities.

And the other thing that has been mentioned in this verse about Yudhisthira Maharaja, another quality, is that he is satyavalambi. He has taken the vow of sticking, adhering to truthfulness. It is very significant actually. This happened in, it was the end of Dvapara Yuga when Kali Yuga was about to begin, and at that time Dharma was standing on two legs. Dharma stands on four pillars. What are the pillars of Dharma? Austerity, mercy, cleanliness and truthfulness. So in Satya Yuga Dharma is intact, because all the four pillars of Dharma are intact. The people at that time followed these four activities, four qualities. They are austere, they are merciful, they are clean and they are truthful. But in Treta Yuga one leg, one pillar of Dharma breaks. The pillar of austerity breaks. Dharma is standing only on three legs: mercy, cleanliness and truthfulness. In Dvapara Yuga another leg of Dharma is broken, the mercy is broken. Dharma is standing on cleanliness and truthfulness. But in Kali Yuga Dharma stands only on one leg, truthfulness. All other three legs are broken. Austerity, mercy, cleanliness are broken. And the fourth leg is also dwindling. So in this way Dharma will be lost in this age and adharma will be established. And we can see that Yudhisthira Maharaja, knowing what is going to happen in the age of Kali, he was adhering to this one principle of Dharma, the leg of truthfulness. Dharma is just standing on one leg, because Dharma in the age of Kali is standing on one leg. And if that leg is also broken then everything will be lost.
But there is another principle. The other principle is that, [some people enter the temple room], Haribol, Hare Krishna! Welcome to Ujjain! Haribol. Because Dharma is actually the foundation of devotion to Krishna. So if devotion to Krishna is performed then Dharma is intact. That point also has been very wonderfully established through Mahabharata, or through the Vedic instructions. Yudhisthira Maharaja was adhering to Dharma by just sticking to, adhering to truthfulness. But at one point when Krishna instructed him to do something, in order not to break that principle of telling a lie or deviating from truthfulness, Yudhisthira Maharaja did not abide by the instruction of Krishna. And that was the only mistake Yudhisthira Maharaja ever performed in his entire life. That becomes very clear through the Srimad Bhagavatam or the teachings of the pure devotees. It was described in Mahabharata that Yudhisthira Maharaja had to go to hell, just he had to see hell. And the understanding is that because Yudhisthira Maharaja told a lie, that’s why he had to go to hell. But an in-depth analysis proves Yudhisthira Maharaja didn’t lie! Krishna told Yudhisthira Maharaja to tell that Ashvatthama is dead, and Yudhisthira Maharaja refused to say that because it was a lie. Then Krishna told Bhima that, “Bhima, okay, there is an elephant called Ashvatthama, so you kill that elephant. You kill that elephant, then probably our truthful brother will be able to tell the truth, to speak the truth.” So Bhima immediately went and killed that elephant. That was a ferocious, terrible elephant, but Bhima was so powerful that in a moment he just killed that elephant.  And then Krishna said, “Now you can tell that Ashvatthama is dead.” And Yudhisthira Maharaja then declared, “Ashvatthama is dead, the elephant.” So he didn’t lie. What is the lie? So that was not the mistake on Yudhisthira Maharaja’s part. He didn’t lie. The mistake was that Krishna told him something and he did not follow that. So the ultimate consideration is, whatever Krishna says, do it! To follow the instructions of Krishna is Dharma. Dharmam tu sakshad bhagavat-pranitam. [SB 6.3.19] Dharma is to follow the instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is what real dharma is. Following these principles is the foundation of dharma, but they are not Dharma itself. The Dharma is to follow the instructions of Krishna.

The bottom line is, the clear understanding is that if one is following these principles but does not accept the instructions of Krishna, they are not on the path of Dharma. The real Dharma is to follow the instructions of Krishna and that we find in Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna was being a very nice person. He was trying to adhere to all the principles, be nice to the superiors and respectful to the seniors, be compassionate, be concerned for the welfare of mankind and so and so forth. But just in one word Krishna wiped out all the reasons that Arjuna came with. Asocayan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase. [Bg 2.11] “You are lamenting over something that one should not lament about but you are speaking like a wise man.” So, just in one word. What is the real understanding? The real understanding is to become situated on the spiritual platform. And what is the spiritual platform? Spiritual platform is to abide by the instructions of Krishna. Krishna is telling, “Fight”, fight! And at the end of Bhagavad Gita we find that’s what Arjuna is saying. Krishna now left it up to Arjuna; “So now you tell Me what you want to do.”  And Arjuna’s reply was very clear: “Now that You have instructed Me, nasto mohah smrtir labdha, my illusion has been dispelled. I have regained my spiritual memory.” [Bg 18.73] And tvat-prasadan mayacyuta, “By Your mercy, Krishna. And now I am ready to karisye vacanam tava, I’ll just abide by Your instructions. Whatever You will tell me, I will do that. Just tell me what I need to do and I will do that.” So that is the very, very clear instruction, that is the bottom line of Bhagavad Gita. Just surrender unto Krishna. Whatever Krishna says, do that! And Krishna also is reiterating that, just surrender unto Me.
Surrender means what? Surrender means to abide by the instructions. Surrender doesn’t mean just bowing down, offering obeisances. Surrender is not just an external, artificial gesture. Surrender is a state of the consciousness, state of the spirit soul. Surrender means I will do whatever you ask me to do, irrespective of any other consideration. I don’t care what will happen as a result of that, but I will do it, and when we do that, to the Lord and His devotees, then our life becomes perfect. Life becomes perfect means? No more misery. There is only joy. That is the perfection of life. Imperfected life is full of misery. Perfected life means no suffering, only enjoyment, only joy. Perfection of life means no more death, eternal life. Perfection of life means pure Krishna consciousness. That’s what the perfection of life means.

So here we are seeing there are two sides. Two sides: good side and bad side. Duryodhana is representing the bad side. Yudhisthira Maharaja and the Pandavas are representing the good side. In Mahabharata this has been described very wonderfully that Duryodhana, how he was actually supported by the demons. At one point Duryodhana was prepared, Duryodhana was determined to give up his life. When the Gandharvas arrested Duryodhana along with his entourage, with his soldiers, with his wives, with his supporters, then Arjuna along with Bhima and Nakula and Sahadeva defeated the Gandharvas and rescued them. It was such an insult to Duryodhana that he decided to give up his life. He told Karna that, “I am going to give up my life. It is pointless now being alive. It’s such an infamy.” They were going to actually harass the Pandavas. Duryodhana went with his soldiers to harass the Pandavas in the forest when they were in exile, but on the way they were attacked by these Gandharvas. Actually Karna was such a great warrior, Karna ran away. He was defeated by the Gandharvas. He ran away and the Gandharvas arrested Duryodhana along with his associates and the soldiers, along with his army. And they were taking them in captive, and while they were taking them some of the soldiers who escaped, they went and reported to Yudhisthira Maharaja. And at that time Bhima didn’t want to, he said that, “It’s good that they have been defeated and arrested by the Gandharvas.”

[altar curtains close] Jaya Sri Sri Krishna Balarama ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana, Lalita Vishakha Devi ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

So those soldiers, those who escaped, they came and reported to Yudhisthira Maharaja. And Yudhisthira Maharaja decided to, told Arjuna and Bhima, “Go! Rescue your brothers.” Then Bhima was completely against that idea. At that time Yudhisthira Maharaja said a very wonderful thing. He said, “Bhima, when it is between us, then it is we are five and they are hundred. But when it is with outsiders then we are hundred and five and them. Then we are hundred and five. When we are dealing with others, outsiders, then we are one family.” And Duryodhana was rescued by Arjuna. And the Gandharva king, Citrasena, was a friend of Arjuna so he told Arjuna what happened. He said that, “You know, these rascals, what they are doing, they are just going to harass you, going to attack you and torment you. So don’t show any mercy on them.” Arjuna said, “No, after all, they are my family members. Any disgrace to them will reflect on the family. If their women are insulted it is a disgrace to our family.” And that shows the greatness of Arjuna, and meanness of Duryodhana. But Duryodhana also had some nobility, that he was so insulted, he felt so bad and insulted, that he decided to give up his life.

To be continued

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Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa

Audio reference :   click here