09 Apr Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10 Chapter 2 Text 29
THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CANTO TEN CHAPTER TWO TEXT TWENTY NINE, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI IN TOWACO USA ON 09 APRIL 2009.
namo om vishnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Srimad Bhagavatam. Tenth Canto. Chapter Two, Text Twenty Nine. This Chapter is entitled as ‘Prayers By The Demigods’.
bibharsi rupany avabodha atma
ksemaya lokasya caracarasya
satam abhadrani muhuh khalanam
bibharsi — You accept; rupani — varieties of forms, such as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Rama and Nrsimha; avabodhah atma — in spite of having different incarnations, You remain the Supreme, full of knowledge; ksemaya — for the benefit of everyone, and especially the devotees; lokasya — of all living entities; cara-acarasya — moving and nonmoving; sattva-upapannani — all such incarnations are transcendental (suddha-sattva); sukha-avahani — full of transcendental bliss; satam — of the devotees; abhadrani — all inauspiciousness or annihilation; muhuh — again and again; khalanam — of the nondevotees.
O Lord, You are always in full knowledge, and to bring all good fortune to all living entities, You appear in different incarnations, all of them transcendental to the material creation. When You appear in these incarnations, You are pleasing to the pious and religious devotees, but for nondevotees You are the annihilator.
This verse explains why the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears as an incarnation again and again. The incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead all function differently, but their main purpose is paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8] — to protect the devotees and annihilate the miscreants. Yet even though the duskrtis, or miscreants, are annihilated, this is ultimately good for them.
This verse explains why the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears as an incarnation again and again. The incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead all function differently, but their main purpose is paritran?aya sadhunam vinasaya ca dus?kr?tam [Bg. 4.8] – to protect the devotees and annihilate the miscreants. Yet even though the dus?kr?tis, or miscreants, are annihilated, this is ultimately good for them.
[End of Purport]
bibharsi rupany avabodha atma
ksemaya lokasya caracarasya
satam abhadrani muhuh khalanam
O Lord, You are always in full knowledge, and to bring all good fortune to all living entities, You appear in different incarnations, all of them are transcendental to the material creation. When You appear in these incarnations, You are pleasing to the pious and religious devotees, but for non-devotees You are the annihilator.
So, tenth Canto, second chapter is describing the prayers by the demigods. Krishna appeared in the womb of Mother Devaki. Devaki and Vasudeva were imprisoned by Kamsa. Kamsa became aware that Devaki’s eighth child is going to kill him. This is the eighth child of Devaki who is about to take birth and Kamsa is very, very worried.
So Kamsa is the personification of a gross materialist, a demon. All he knows is matter and doesn’t have any consideration about the spirit soul and the spiritual development, and as a result of that he doesn’t accept the Supreme Spiritual Personality, Krishna. That is the problem with materialistic people. Because they are completely absorbed in their sense perceptions, they cannot go beyond their senses. Therefore they cannot accept that there is another reality beyond our sense perceptions. [altar curtains open] Jaya Sri Sri Giridhari Gopala ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Sita Rama Lakshmana Hanumana ki Jaya!] And because they cannot conceive of anything beyond this material perception, material existence, they think that this life in this material nature is everything. And they want to enjoy this material nature to the fullest extent, and ultimately they want to become immortal so that they can continue to enjoy here forever.
But when one becomes exposed to the spiritual understanding, spiritual knowledge, then the first thing he understands is that this body is made of matter, matter is dead, therefore, the body is dead. Isn’t it a natural conclusion? A is equal to B and B is equal to C, therefore, A is equal to C. Matter is dead. The body is made of matter. Therefore this body is a dead body! Body made of dead matter is a dead body. But is it a dead body? No, it’s a living body. How come this dead body became alive? Because of the presence of the soul. So that is the first realization, the first preliminary understanding.
In Bhagavad Gita what did Krishna tell Arjuna? What’s the first instruction that Krishna gave to Arjuna? [audience member: you are not this body] Yes, you are spirit soul. He pointed out that your identity is not only limited to this body. The first instruction was that, “Arjuna, all the kings that have assembled here, and you and I, there was never a time we didn’t exist and there will never be a time that we will not exist.” That means we are eternal. Now, what is eternal? Is the body eternal? No. That point He actually made next: The body is changeable. You are thinking to make this body permanent, but to begin with the body is changeable. Which body you want to make permanent? It is changing at every moment. In this body new cells are being generated and old cells are being destroyed continuously. So the body is constantly changing.
Now, in spite of the changing of the body, you remain the same. You when you are five, when you are fifteen and you that you are today is a different you? Or the same you? Five year old you, is the same you? Fifteen year old you, same? And today’s you, is same as five year old, fifteen year old, twenty five year old you? So who is you? Your five year body is different, your fifteen year old body had been different and in this way the body has been constantly changing, but you are the same. So you cannot be the body, because the body is changing. In spite of change of the body you are the same. You are not affected by the change of the body. Therefore Krishna is drawing the conclusion. When the time will come when you will leave the body altogether, still you will continue to exist, because you are not this body. And you will get into another body. Dehantara-praptir [Bg. 2.13].
So, the soul is constantly transmigrating from one body to another. For the time being it remains in one body and that body constantly changes. And then, at some point, he completely rejects that body and leaves the body and goes into another body. So isn’t that the first instruction that Krishna gave to Arjuna, or to us? So what we have to understand first? We are not this body. We are spirit souls. It’s the spirit soul that makes the body alive. It’s the spirit soul that makes this body conscious. Consciousness comes not from the body, not from the senses, not from the brain, not from the mind. Consciousness comes from the soul. I am, because I am conscious. So where does this consciousness come from? From the soul. I am that soul. So that is the preliminary understanding.
Now, that is the difference between a materialistic person and a devotee. A materialistic person thinks that the body is everything and when the body will perish he’ll be finished. Therefore he doesn’t want to die. So that was the situation with Kamsa. When he heard that his sister’s son is going to kill him, he became extremely perturbed. And he became so vengeful that he wanted to kill his own sister! On the very day that she got married and she was just going to her husband’s house. And Kamsa very affectionately was driving the chariot as an expression of his love for his sister. So this is again another characteristic of a materialistic person. He is simply concerned about his own benefit. He doesn’t care about others’ feelings and no matter how affectionate he may be to that person, but if that person becomes an impediment to his sense gratification he doesn’t mind eliminating that person.
So this way we can see how materialistic people think and how they behave. Materialistic people, just general characteristic is that, they’re extremely selfish. In Bhagavad Gita it has been described, the demoniac nature, what is the demoniac nature. They’re simply concerned about their own benefit, own enjoyment, own sense gratification. And they are always concerned about how they are going to get rid of anybody who comes on his way to his sense gratification. Kamsa is a classic example of that. And they calculate everything from the materialistic point of view. He thought that if I can somehow or other prevent the birth of the eighth child then I’ll be safe. Because the eighth child is going to kill me, so if I can somehow prevent the birth of that child then I’ll be safe. And he took extreme precaution for that. The first thing he considered that let me prevent them from conceiving the child. In the prison they were actually separated. They were not together. They were shackled, chained. In one corner of the cell, a huge cell, a large cell, in one corner Vasudeva was tied up and the other corner Devaki was tied up. So he thought if they couldn’t come together then they won’t be able to conceive the child. But a demon may think in a certain way, but Krishna has His way of doing things.
One of the characteristics of Krishna is He can make impossible possible. And how did He make that impossible possible? Krishna was conceived from the heart of Vasudeva to the heart of Devaki. It was not, conception didn’t take place through some physical contact, but it was a spiritual transmission. Besides that, Krishna doesn’t even need to take birth. Many times Krishna appeared in a most amazing way. As Varaha Deva He just appeared from the nostril of Brahma. As Meena, He just appeared from nowhere, just a small, little fish. And that small little fish started to grow. And first it was on the hand and it grew then, he had to place Him into a bigger place and He grew and grew and grew. Ultimately he had to take Him to the ocean. And then He actually performed His wonderful pastimes of saving the Vedas at the time of annihilation. And Krishna appeared as Narasimhadeva from the pillar. Hiranyakasipu made a challenge, “Where is your Krishna? Where is your Hari?”, to Prahlada. Prahlada said, “He is everywhere.” “Everywhere? Is He in this pillar?” He said, “Yes, He is in the pillar also.” And completely enraged, Hiranyakasipu just went and with his fist he struck the pillar. And the stone pillar crumbled. And from that came out this very wonderful form, the Lord in a very wonderful form. He was half lion- half man.
So Krishna can come in any way He wants, but of all of Krishna’s pastimes the most wonderful pastimes is His human like pastimes. Krishnera yateka khela tara madhye nara-lila nara-vapu tahara svarupa [CC Madhya 21.101]. Of all the pastimes of Krishna His pastimes like that of human beings are the most wonderful, because His human like form is His Svarupa. In His actual identity, as His Original Supreme Identity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead looks like a human being. But it’s not that because He looks like a human being that He IS a human being. Many people think that because He looks like a human being, He is a human being. They think that because He has two arms, I have two arms, He has one head, I have one head and He has two legs and one belly, same as me, therefore He is equal to me or I am equal to Him, or I am greater than Him. If Krishna can become God, I can become God, because what Krishna looks like, I look the same. Maybe I look more handsome. [laughter]
So these are the demoniac understanding. The reality actually is, very mercifully the Lord has created man according to His own image. That’s a very relevant statement from Bible. Man has been created according to the image of God. There actually also it indicates that God’s form is two-armed. Man has been created according to the image of God. So God is, He looks like a human being. So now that He looks like a human being, He has to act like a human being also. So when He comes to the earth planet in order to perform His nara-lila, human like pastimes, He takes birth just like a human being. But although He takes birth like a human being His birth is transcendental, divine. His birth is not like our birth. His birth is rather unusual. Like, He takes birth, but He doesn’t need to take birth. Therefore in Bhagavad Gita Krishna is saying that those who understand that My birth and My activities are divine, they become free from the cycle of birth and death. That is the wonderful aspect of Krishna’s birth. If we can understand that Krishna’s birth is divine, divyam, then we will become free from the cycle of birth and death. Krishna takes birth like an ordinary human being, but if we understand that that birth of Krishna is divine, is non-material, is unnatural, then we become free from the cycle of birth and death ourselves. So that is a wonderful aspect of Krishna’s pastimes.
So here Krishna is about to take birth, because He has to come and perform His pastimes in Dvapara Yuga and He has to take birth. So Kamsa made arrangement. We can also see how painful it is. Krishna actually acts in such a wonderful way in order to churn the emotions of His devotees. The devotee’s business is to develop his love for Krishna and Krishna allows that love to become more and more intensified. Krishna acts in such a way that this love becomes more intensified. What actually causes the love to become intensified? One is when we see the object of our love is in difficulty and distress then the love becomes intensified. When we see that the object of our love is acting in a heroic way our love becomes intensified. When we see that the object of love is displaying so many wonderful qualities then our love becomes intensified. So in this way, through His pastimes, displaying His pastimes, Krishna allows His devotees to intensify their love for Him. Or naturally, their love for Him becomes intensified.
Now, how painful it is to see Krishna taking birth in prison when an ordinary… in our day to day life we see when a woman becomes pregnant everybody becomes so attentive towards her and takes care of her comfort. They go out of their way to make her comfortable. Then when the time comes, she is given the best facility, taken to the best nursing home, given to the best facility for the child birth. That’s a natural thing. But Krishna, when Devaki became pregnant, she is in prison, in such a difficult condition. Not only shackled, there was stone placed on her chest so that she couldn’t move. And then when Krishna was about to appear there was nobody to attend her. She was in such a difficult situation. Krishna makes these kinds of pastimes happen just to increase our love for Him and attachment to Him. The devotees may apparently be in a difficult situation, but the devotees do not really feel the pain at all, the devotees that Krishna uses. Like Devaki and Vasudeva are in the distressful situation, but by Krishna’s divine arrangement they are not affected by that.
And then Krishna is born, I mean, when Krishna is in the womb of the mother, the demigods came to offer prayers to Him. And this prayer, they are saying that, “You come to punish the miscreants and to favor, bestow Your favor upon Your devotees. You not only protect the devotees, You inundated Your devotees with all the affection in Your heart. And in this way You appear on this planet just to enable the devotees to have the opportunity to associate with You.” And whatever Krishna does is simply to enable His devotees to associate with Him. Krishna is born. Vasudeva took Him to Vraja, Vrindavana, in the house of Nanda Maharaja. Why? Because all the devotees are there in Vraja, waiting to have their loving exchange with Krishna. And actually, another Krishna was born already in Vraja, the son of Nanda Maharaja and Yashoda Mayi. One Krishna is born as the son of Devaki and Vasudeva and the other son is born as Yashoda and Nanda [‘s son]. She also gave birth to a daughter. When Vasudeva took Krishna to the house of Nanda Maharaja, Vasudeva did not see the son. She [He] just saw the daughter. And as he placed Krishna there, his son Krishna, that Vasudeva Krishna merged in Nandanandana Krishna. And Vasudeva picked up that daughter and came back to the prison.
And then Krishna performed His wonderful pastimes in Vrindavana for almost fifteen, sixteen years. Then He came to Mathura to kill Kamsa. Did the son of Nanda Maharaja Krishna come to kill Kamsa? No. This killing demons is not His business. Killing the demons, even in Vrindavana the demons that He was killing, He was not killing them. It is the Vishnu in Krishna, HIS business is to kill the demons. So He was killing, Vishnu was killing the demons. Krishna is Lila Purushottama, all He knows is to have fun. He doesn’t get involved in all these ghastly activities of killing the demons and all. So the son of Nanda Maharaja Krishna, Nandanandana, He never leaves Vrindavana. He doesn’t even take a step outside of Vrindavana. Vrindavana parityaja kutra kadapi na gacchati. He never goes anywhere, taking even a step outside of Vrindavan.
What actually happened? When Akrura came to take Krishna, when he came to the border of Mathura and Vrindavana, there Krishna and Balarama went to take bath. And when they were taking bath, Akrura saw Krishna in His four-armed form. So at that time this four-armed Krishna, that is Vasudeva Krishna, came and sat on the chariot and Nandanandana Krishna went back to Vrindavana.
Now a question may arise then, how come Krishna was missing from Vrindavana for so many years? Now Krishna was very much in Vrindavana. The residents of Vrindavana were having dealings with Krishna, but due to Yoga Maya’s arrangement when they were having direct dealings with Krishna they were thinking that they were dreaming, and that’s why they couldn’t really quite understand or make out that Krishna was still in Vrindavana. They thought Krishna had left Vrindavana. That was what was playing in the back of their minds, Krishna left Vrindavana, Krishna went to Mathura, and in this way they were submerged in an ocean of sorrow. But not that they were always submerged in an ocean of sorrow, they were having their exchange with Krishna. But at that time in their having their exchange with Krishna they thought that they were dreaming. When they saw Krishna they were thinking that they were dreaming and in their dream also they were having their encounter with Krishna. So they were not actually separated from Krishna, but there was this feeling of separation in order to churn out the mood of vipralambha, the mood of separation, because separation makes the union more relishable.
And then this Vasudeva Krishna, the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, went back to Mathura, killed Kamsa, then went to Sandipani Muni’s ashrama to study there for sixty four days, and then came back, fought against Sishupala, Dantavakra, Jarasandha and all that. And then they transferred His capital from Mathura to Dvaraka. But at the same time this Vasudeva Krishna was constantly yearning to go to Vrindavana. How can I go to Vrindavana? He was in a mood of separation from the residents of Vrindavana. And then finally He got an opportunity to meet with the devotees of Vrindavana during the time of the solar eclipse, which actually led to the festival of Chariot, Ratha Yatra, where the gopis kidnapped Krishna. And Krishna was happy that, “Oh, now I am finally getting a chance to go to Vrindavana.” And that is Lord Jagannatha. Krishna from Dvaraka is now going to Vrindavana. Krishna from Dvaraka is hankering to have the association of the devotees of Vrindavana. So it is not that the devotees hanker for the association of Krishna. Krishna’s yearning to be with the devotees is even more intense than the devotees’ desire.
So this is how Krishna has His loving exchange with His devotees. He’s always concerned about how to have the association of devotees, how to please His devotees, how to bring joy into the hearts of the devotees. So Krishna is constantly hankering for that. We think that we must love Krishna, but we can’t even imagine how much Krishna already loves us! That’s why, to develop our love affair with Krishna, develop our loving relationship with Krishna cannot possibly be difficult. When somebody already loves somebody will it be difficult to fall in love with him? He is already in love! Rather, our situation is Krishna is in love with us, but we don’t love Him.
Just consider a situation, the one loves the other, but the other doesn’t respond. Just let’s consider, a typical mundane situation. A boy is in love with a girl, but the girl doesn’t reciprocate. How does the boy feel? He feels terrible. He feels miserable. He just waits when the girl is going to respond to his love. And he feels that his life will become successful, will achieve his ultimate success if the girl responds his love. Then one day the girl responds. What is the response? The response is: I love you too! [laughs] And how does the boy feel? He starts to dance in ecstasy. [laughter] He thinks that he has conquered the entire universe.
Now here, Krishna is that lovelorn boy and we are those young girls who are not responding to His love. Now if one day, some day, if we just say, Krishna, I love You. And how to express our love to Krishna? We have to express our love, we must write our love letter or express our love in a very special language. [laughs] And that language is, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare! When we do that, this actually indicates a very simple expression; Krishna, I love you! Can you imagine how Krishna feels at that time? Therefore to fall in love with Krishna is not difficult, but it is, just we are not aware that this possibility is there and how wonderful it will be when this love affair becomes a reality.
So that is how Krishna is. He is prepared to do anything for His devotees who love Him. He’s already done so much for us. Just consider, all the arrangements that He has made for us. Doesn’t that indicate that how much He loves us? All the arrangements for food. Who made these arrangements for us? Who made these arrangements? Krishna. Why? Because He loves us. Just consider the water supply arrangement. The water is evaporated from the ocean, which is actually useless water, salty water. We can’t drink that. We can’t use that water for anything. We can’t use that water for cultivation. We can’t use that water for anything. So that water is distilled and then transferred to different corners in the form of cloud, transported to different corners or throughout the surface of the planet. And then, after the transportation took place in the form of cloud, then they’re condensed. They come down in the form of rain. So, all the water supply has been made possible in this way. Who made it possible? [audience: Krishna] Krishna. Why? [audience: because He loves us] Can anybody have any doubt about that? Why Krishna is taking so much trouble to make all these arrangements? We are breathing oxygen, giving out carbon dioxide. Now if the process continued the whole atmosphere would have been filled with carbon dioxide. Did it ever happen? Why not? Because the trees and plants are taking the carbon dioxide and giving back oxygen for us. Who made this arrangement? Accident? [laughter] Krishna made the arrangement. Why? Because He loves us. So who can doubt that Krishna loves us?
At every moment we can consider so many different wonderful arrangements that Krishna made simply because of His love for us. If He didn’t love then why would He care for us? Why should He make all these extensive arrangements? Consider another thing. What’s the shape of the earth like? It’s round. Where are we situated? On the surface of the earth. And the earth is moving with a tremendous speed. What would have happened to us in a normal condition? We would have been thrown out. Did it ever happen? Why not? Because Krishna had made that arrangement for gravity. Why? Because He loves us.
Now, another case scenario is, the earth is moving at a tremendous speed and we are situated on the surface of the earth. If the earth stopped to move for a moment, what would have happened? I mean, earth is moving at a speed of more than thousand kilometers. If it stopped for a moment, then what would have happened? The entire creation on the surface of the earth would have collapsed. Did it ever happen? Has there been a single instance when such an accident took place? So this is how Krishna is taking care of us.
We are so concerned about our safety, right? But did we ever consider this possibility of danger? And who can actually save us from this dangerous situation? Krishna made all these arrangements. Who can ever doubt that Krishna loves us? So He loves us. So when Krishna loves us, will it be difficult to fall in love with Krishna? He loves us, therefore, He is waiting for us to reciprocate. That’s why Krishna is just, Krishna is waiting for us to reciprocate and that’s why He becomes so happy when we respond to His love and express our love for Him in return. And Srila Prabhupada so wonderfully made this understanding clear to us and made this wonderful possibility a reality for us, through his books, through his all divine arrangements Srila Prabhupada is enabling us to develop our loving relationship with Krishna. And when we develop that love for Krishna, or when we reciprocate Krishna’s love for us, then our lives become successful. Our lives achieve its ultimate perfection.
Thank you very much! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Hari Haribol! [applause]
Does anybody have any question or comment? Yes?
Audience member: You were saying earlier that when we understand that Krishna’s is not an ordinary person, having that knowledge frees us from having to taking birth. Can you like give us a logical connection?
BCS: Logical connection? Okay, I can try. You see, to understand that Krishna’s birth is divine, which actually means that we understand that Krishna doesn’t need to take birth. We understand that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is not subjected to the laws of this nature. We are, but He is not, because He is the lawmaker. So lawmaker is not liable to follow the laws. But sometimes He may abide by the law. Now, because He is abiding by the law doesn’t mean that He is not the lawmaker. So He is abiding by the law, but at the same time to have the understanding that He is the lawmaker, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is not subjected to the laws of karmic reaction, then we become free from karmic reaction. You get the point? Okay, now let me make another step in between. We recognize that Krishna is God. When we recognize that Krishna is God, then what should we do? [audience member: worship Him] Very good! Yeah, worship Him. That means when you recognize that Krishna is God then you surrender unto Him, right? So when you surrender unto Him, then what happens? You know that. When you surrender unto Krishna then you become free from karmic reactions, right? No more karma, right? You are free from karmic reactions. So when you don’t have any karmic reactions you don’t have to take birth again. You’ll go back to the spiritual sky. Sounds logical?
Audience member: Yeah. That of the worship was the missing piece.
BCS: Yes. Thank you! Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa
Audio Version: click here