The Greatest Gift of Sri Vedavyas
Spoken by Om Vishnupad
Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
on 17 June 1992, during His Divine Grace's visit to Australia
Srimad Bhagavatam is the oldest and finest book of Krishna consciousness. It is composed by Vedavyas who had composed all eighteen Puranas, who presented the Vedas in a divided way. Before, the Veda used to be one scripture, but the jiva souls' memory is not so good in Kali-yuga, that is why, for their benefit, Vedavyas divided the Veda into four Vedas—Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Rig Veda, and Atharva Veda. Still, even though he divided the Vedas into four books, each of these Vedas is a very big book. After that, Vedavyas thought, "Oh, the jiva souls, especially the human form, do not get such a long life—even if they study the Vedas their whole life, they will not be able to understand the gist of these scriptures." So, he took the essence from all the Vedas and composed what is called Vedanta Darshan, or Vedanta Sutra. Vedanta Darshan is not very big. Still, Vedavyas thought that it was very hard for the jiva souls to understand. Then, he composed the Astadasa Purana (Eighteen Puranas) and Mahabharata. Mahabharata is commonly called the fifth Veda, this is the kind of position that Mahabharata takes.
Vedavyas had composed all these scriptures, but he still did not feel happiness in his heart. He had described everything in the scriptures, but he did not feel so happy. He started searching what had happened. He thought, "I have tried as much as possible to do something good for the jiva souls, the conditioned souls, but why am I not feeling satisfaction in my mind?" He felt sad. While he was thinking about this, suddenly one day Narad Goswami (the guru of Vyasadev) came to his Badarikasram, by his own will. Seeing his guru, Vyasadev fell down at his feet and said, "I am so fortunate that you have come here, my dear Lord. I cannot understand what has happened to me. I do not feel very happy in my mind..."
Narad Goswami said, "Yes, I understood it, that is why I have come to you."
Vedavyas was very happy to hear that. Then, he explained, "Prabhu, please tell me what has happened. How can I do something good for everybody? I thought I had done many things, but even after having written so many scriptures, I still do not feel any happiness in my mind. This makes me sorrowful."
Then, Narad Goswami spoke to Vedavyas in a little chastising way, "How will you get complete joy? You think that what you have given in this mundane world for the conditioned souls is sufficient, but is it really sufficient for them or not? What do you think?"
Vedavyas said, "I have composed many things giving some advice to the conditioned souls according to their qualification or position—someone's position is such that it is necessary for them to practise karma-yoga, and I have advised them how to practise it; someone's position is such that it is necessary for them to practise karma-misra bhakti-yoga, and I have given that kind of advice; someone's position is such that it is necessary for them to practise jnana-yoga, and I have described the process for them; and somebody's position is such that they need to practise bhakti-yoga, and I have given this advice too. I have given everything in these books!"
Narad Goswami said then, "Actually, what you have given is not sufficient. You have mixed everything and distributed it in your books, but you have not told anything in a particular way. Even when you told about bhakti-yoga, you first told about it but then you dishonoured bhakti-yoga by giving other advice. You have not given clearly in your books what is really necessary for all the conditioned souls, as well as all the liberated souls (what is really necessary after the souls attain liberation). You wanted to give something for their benefit, but you have not given that which is really necessary. Then, how will you get satisfaction in your mind?"
Then Vyasadev said, "But I have given bhakti-yoga in Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and Garuda Purana, Agni Purana, Padma Purana, in Mahabharata. I have described bhakti-yoga in all scriptures..."
Narad said, "Yes, you have described bhakti-yoga, no doubt, but you have taken all food, mixed it all together, and distributed it in this way. Such mixed food is not suitable for everybody! Actually, it is necessary to distribute everything separately, part by part, then they can understand what taste is there inside this food, inside the real bhakti-yoga, or exclusive devotion to Krishna. Where did you express it exclusively and extremely? You have expressed it somewhere, no doubt, but after expressing it, you have told many other things, then they forget what you have told before. This is not how the supreme quality of devotion is presented. That is why you will not feel happy."
Then, Vedavyas became a little shy. He said, "What do I do now, Prabhu?"
Narad then chastised him, "I can tell you that you are foolish! You expressed the glories of jnana-yoga presenting it as the supreme, but you know yourself what jnana leads to."
naiskarmyam apy achyuta-bhava-varjitam
"Knowledge of self-realization, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible God. What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilized for the devotional service of the Lord?"
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.5.12)
"Nothing except the mood of devotion will work or bear any fruit for both the conditioned souls and the liberated souls. You must start all over again. This is my request to you. Start from scratch and make only one book, not a thousand books—describe exclusive supreme devotion in that book, then you will feel happy in your heart and mind. Besides, if you do not give it, who else will give it? Everybody believes you, everybody has extreme faith in your word, and you hold full respect from everyone, then if it is necessary to change anything, only you can change it, nobodys else can do it—nobody can 'cross your pen.' You must change it yourself."
When Vedavyas heard his guru's words, he felt a little confused, so he asked Narad Goswami, "My idea is that I have already expressed everything. Can you give me some clue what to write now?"
Then, Narad Goswami gave Vedavyas four slokas as a clue, and through those four slokas Vedavyas composed Srimad Bhagavatam. After composing Srimad Bhagavatam, he felt much happiness in his heart. Then, he thought, "Who will be able to describe it in this mundane world? It is devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead—I have previously described everything in this mundane world and all the practising processes (jnana-yoga, bhakti-yoga, karma-yoga, etc.), so if I now give exclusive devotion, they may not believe me. If I am to make it work for the conditioned souls and liberated souls, I must find some other person to describe it." Then, Vyasadev suddenly remembered his son Sukadev, "Yes! Only an expert can distribute this exclusive devotion in this mundane world, and that expert is Sukadev Goswami, his position is so high."
When Sukadev was in his mother's womb, he had not come out of the womb for twelve years—he was a siddha soul (a liberated, self-realised soul) and had full knowledge of the Vedas. When everybody saw that he was not coming out of the womb, they became very worried, Vyasadev was worried too. Vyasadev asked the boy in womb, "Why are you not coming out of your mother's womb? Come out!"
The boy replied, "No, I shall not come out! I shall stay here! If I come out of my mother's womb, illusion will attack me. I know that illusion is very powerful—she has power to attack everybody in this mundane world."
Then, other rishis also came there, and they said to Vyasadev, "Why don't you check the illusion for five minutes? You have the power to do it, then the boy will come out."
They asked Sukadev if he would come out then, and Sukadev said from his mother's womb, "Yes, five minutes is sufficient. If you can stop the power of illusion for five minutes, I will come out."
Then, Vyasadev agreed, "Yes, I have such power, I can stop the action of illusion for five minutes..." When Vyasadev stopped the action of illusion, Sukadev immediately came out of his mother's womb and ran away to the jungle!
So, when Vyasadev had composed Srimad Bhagavatam, he thought, "That boy is not attracted by maya, illusionary environment; he is situated in brahma-jnana, i.e. his form exists in Brahma conception. So, if that boy preaches this Srimad Bhagavatam, everybody must accept it as their own religion." So, Vyasadev went out to search, "Where is that boy of mine?" Sukadev was about fifteen years old at that time.
Soon, Vedavyas found him. He tried to stop him, he tried calling out to him, "O my son! O my son! Please look at me! Please look at me!" but this boy looked neither at his father, nor at his mother, nor anything else—he had no interest in anything in this mundane world. Not only that. Sukadev was walking in front, and Vyasadev was hurrying behind him (Sukadev was young and walked fast, but Vedavyas was an old man, so he could not catch up with him). Somewhere on the way, there were some ladies bathing in a river. All this took place in the Himalayas—it always rains there, etc.—so it is a little difficult for people to bathe in their clothes. The ladies had kept their garments in a safe place and were bathing in the river naked. When they saw Sukadev passing the place, they did not feel shy because they knew that Sukadev actually had no eyes—he could not see anything in the material world. However, as soon as they saw Vyasadev coming behind him, they quickly covered themselves with some cloth. Vyasadev was a very old man—his beard must have been twelve feet at that time—but when they saw Vyasadev, they felt shy. Yet, when they saw Sukadev, a young man, they did not feel shy in front of him. Such was the position of Sukadev.
So, Vyasadev searched him out, got his darshan, but he could not convince him because Sukadev would not listen to anything he said. Then, Vyasadev has devised a tactic. He found some woodcutter boys in the jungle and taught them some slokas, an extract of Srimad Bhagavatam, for example:
"Glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is performed in the parampara system; that is, it is conveyed from spiritual master to disciple. Such glorification is relished by those no longer interested in the false, temporary glorification of this cosmic manifestation. Descriptions of the Lord are the right medicine for the conditioned soul undergoing repeated birth and death. Therefore, who will cease hearing such glorification of the Lord except a butcher or one who is killing his own self?"
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.1.4)
He had taught this kind of three-four slokas to the boys. Then, he instructed them, "When you see Sukadev, you must keep reciting these slokas. At some point, he must come within the sense of this world, then he will hear it. Tell him to find me."
The boys did that, and when Sukadev heard those slokas from them, he was suddenly startled in his mind, "I have never experienced this type of sweet and ecstatic service mood!" Then, Sukadev asked the woodcutter boys, "Where have you got this sloka?"
The boys said, "Oh, we have learnt it from Vyasadev."
"Where does he live now?"
The boys replied, "He lives on the bank of the Saraswati River, near Badarikashram."
Sukadev immediately turned round and went there. There, he met with Vyasadev. He said, "I have heard this sloka from some woodcutters. Please give me this knowledge. I am thinking it is the supreme consciousness, superior to even Brahma consciousness. My form is situated in Brahma consciousness, nothing can attract my mind, but this sloka has attracted my mind—what I have heard in this sloka is much more exalted and beautiful. There is some power that can attract even more than the Brahma conception—please give that knowledge to me!"
Vyasadev achieved what he wanted. His desire was to teach this boy, so he very happily gave all the supreme knowledge of Srimad Bhagavatam to Sukadev. After that, Vyasadev waited for the time to come to distribute this knowledge of Srimad Bhagavatam to everybody. He knew, "If it is described and presented by Sukadev, everybody will take it because he lives in the highest position, in the highest order of renunciation, bhakti, etc. So, if he gives it to others, everybody will take this supreme knowledge of devotion without any hesitation."
Then, that day came.
Cursed by a brahmin boy, Pariksit Maharaj had to die within seven days. Pariksit Maharaj was a very great king, he was very devoted to the Lord. He had always ruled and maintained his whole kingdom all over the earth very affectionately and respectfully, with his full power. So, when he was cursed, so many great rishis and munis came to see him and give some advice how he could get liberation or a supreme chance after death. When they all gave their advice in the assembly of Pariksit Maharaj, Pariksit Maharaj was a little confused, " There are many advisers here, they all hold the highest position in their own sampradaya, their own school. Whose advice should I follow?"
In the meantime, by the will of Krishna, Sukadev came to this assembly of Pariksit Maharaj, and Sukadev Goswami's mood was miraculous—he did not look at anything or anyone, he did not see anything or anyone, he was only completely satisfied with his own property (nija-labha-purna), he was fully self-satisfied. He had come to the assembly of Pariksit Maharaj by the desire of Krishna, without any desire of his own. Vyasadev describes his appearance at the assembly in Srimad Bhagavatam, it is a very nice description. Sukadev wore no garments at all, not even a piece of cloth, he looked like a mad boy, but he did not behave mad—he was always absorbed in the thoughts of Paramatma. When he came to the assembly, many boys of his age were following him and trying to disturb him taking him for a madman. They did not know who Sukadev was, and Sukadev did not care—he freely went wherever Krishna was guiding him to go.
So, when this Sukadev entered the grand assembly of Pariksit Maharaj and all the great personalities, all the great rishis who were present there saw Sukadev's face and figure, they immediate guessed, "Oh, he must be the son of Vedavyas!" Many of them had been present at the time of his birth when Vedavyas stopped the illusory environment for five minutes and Sukadev came out, so they knew about him, and it was also obvious who he was from his face and figure. So, when they saw Sukadev and understood who it was, they all stood up to see him, but the miracle is that Sukadev did not show any respect to anybody because he was not within his senses—who will he pay dandavat to? But his father, his grandfather, his great-grand father, so many great rishis, munis, were present at that assembly,
atrir vasisthas chyavanah saradvan
"From different parts of the universe there arrived great sages like Atri, Chyavana, Saradvan, Aristanemi, Bhrgu, Vasistha, Parasara, Visvamitra, Angira, Parasurama, Utathya, Indrapramada, Idhmavahu, Medhatithi, Devala, Arstisena, Bharadvaja, Gautama, Pippalada, Maitreya, Aurva, Kavasa, Kumbhayoni, Dvaipayana and Bhagavan Narada."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.19.9-10)
Narad himself was also there; Vyasadev himself was there; Vyasadev's father, Parasara, the authority in scriptures was there. All the assembled personalities were actually authorities in their own scriptural school. Atri Risi, Vasistha Risi, Chyavan Risi, Saradvan Risi, Aristanemi, Bhrigu Risi, Angira Risi, Gavastinemi, et. al. There were so many rishis present there who hold a high position in their own scriptural school, and they all had long, long beards—somebody's beard was five feet, somebody's six feet, eight feet, ten feet, etc. Everybody was sitting at the assembly, and Sukadev, a young boy of sixteen, walked in naked without having any sense in his eyes (he could not see anything in the material world).
So, when Sukadev came, everybody told Pariksit Maharaj, "O Maharaj, you are so fortunate that this boy has come! He is Vedavyas's son. What he will say is final for everybody—it will be good for your lifetime and for any life after that. Even we will be very happy to hear it if he says something to you. We all agree with whatever conception he tells."
Then, Pariksit Maharaj gave an asan (seat) to Sukadev, and Sukadev calmly sat on that asan without giving honour to anybody—he could not see anybody there, he only saw Pariksit; later, he saw there were many rishis assembled there, but he did not know who they were). Then, Pariksit Maharaj immediately offered some puja to Sukadev and finally asked him, "Please, tell me what is good for me. I have only seven days to live, I must die any time within seven days from now, but I do not know what is good for my life. Everybody respects you, please advise me about the supreme goal of life."
Hearing Pariksit Maharaj's question, Sukadev spoke, "You are a good searcher, and I am happy to hear your question. Actually, there is only one question that is necessary for everybody to ask, there is no need to ask many questions, and the answer is also one, it is not necessary to give many answers." We can see many questions, thousands of questions in this mundane world, but only those who are involved with this illusionary environment will ask thousands of questions.
"Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, leave many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 2.1.2)
Those who have not seen themselves ask thousands of questions—many questions can arise in such people' minds, "How can I earn money? How should I maintain my family? How should I bestow blessing on my sons?" etc. So many questions can come, but all these questions are for the mundane world. But "How can I get from this mundane world to my real home as quickly as possible?"—this is the only question for those who can understand their own real form of soul. The conditioned souls have no idea about the path to their home, so they must ask this question, "What is the path to my home? This is not my house here, it is not my own property; I am a foreigner here—but where is my home? I do not know where that place is or what the path to that place is."
After that, Sukadev gave a lot of advice to Pariksit Maharaj. He elaborately described the mood of supreme devotion to Krishna. Later, Vedavyas collected all that description and composed a book. This book's name is Srimad Bhagavatam. Actually, Srimad Bhagavatam was recorded during the fourth sitting when this conception was presented. The first time was when Narad gave the mantram to Vedavyas; the second sitting was when Vedavyas gave this knowledge to Sukadev; the third sitting is when Sukadev gave this knowledge to Pariksit Maharaj; and the fourth time was in Naimisaranya. There was one sruti-dhar, a disciple of Sukadev named Suta Goswami, in the assembly of Pariksit Maharaj. Sruti-dhar means he can hear something once and memorise it. So, Suta Goswami was there when Sukadev spoke to Pariksit Maharaj, and he memorised everything. Later on, sixty thousand rishis were doing a fire sacrificed in Naimisaranya, and when Suta Goswami came there, the rishies requested him, "Our fire sacrifice has finished, please give us the knowledge that Sukadev had given to Pariksit Maharaj. You were there at that assembly, you know it." Then, Suta Goswami described everything again. At that time, Vedavyas was not there, but he had a yoga siddhi (mystic power) and he could see that assembly and hear Suta Goswami. So, he recorded this story and the supreme knowledge of devotion in the form of a book, and that book's name is Srimad Bhagavatam.
Having finished this book, he wrote some description of Srimad Bhagavatam saying, "In this book, I am describing the pastimes of Krishna, and this is the supreme goal of life of all liberated souls."
srimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaisnavanam priyam
Srimad Bhagavatam is the spotless Purana. It is most dear to the Vaishnavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the paramahamsas. This Bhagavatam reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion. Anyone who seriously tries to understand Srimad Bhagavatam, who properly hears and chants it with devotion, becomes completely liberated.
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 12.13.18)
And before that, there is also one peculiar sloka describing the essence of Srimad Bhagavatam,
nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
"O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Goswami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.1.3)
"O sons of nectar, sons of nectarean ocean! Please listen to this matter of subjective evolution which is the divine devotion to the Divine Master, Lord Sri Krishna, that has come down from the Goloka Dham to Narad Goswami, from Narad Goswami to me, and has appeared in this mundane world for you all through Sukadev Goswami. When it is Sukadev Goswami himself who is distributing it, it becomes sweeter and sweeter. Take it, be happy, be joyful, get love for Krishna—get the wealth of your transcendental life." Vedavyas describes Srimad Bhagavatam in this way. Also, at the end of Srimad Bhagavatam, he described the identity of Srimad Bhagavatam in this way, "When liberated souls (who have no attachment to this mundane world) practise this, they will get supreme happiness, joy, ecstasy, and attachment and service to Krishna. This is the actual fruit of practitioners' life." This is the description Vedavyas gives on the last page of Srimad Bhagavatam.
I cannot explain this sloka fully in English, but I can read that sloka to you. You may not know Sanskrit, but if you just hear this sloka, you will feel that it is very nice,
srimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaisnavanam priyam
"Srimad Bhagavatam is the spotless Purana. It is most dear to the Vaishnavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the paramahamsas. This Bhagavatam reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion. Anyone who seriously tries to understand Srimad Bhagavatam, who properly hears and chants it with devotion, becomes completely liberated."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 12.13.18)
"After you hear it, read it, and realise it, you will get supreme happiness of the transcendental world." This is an expression of Vedavyas—"supreme happiness." This is how the knowledge of Srimad Bhagavatam has come down to this world, and this knowledge is the main goal of life for everybody, not only liberated souls,
atmaramas cha munayo
"All different varieties of atmaramas [those who take pleasure in atma, or spirit self], especially those established on the path of self-realization, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead. This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including liberated souls."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.7.10)
The Lord's pastimes are like that: He attracts all conditioned souls and all liberated souls; He attracts everybody through the song of His flute. That is "Gayatri muralista-kirtana-dhanam Radha-padam dhimahi: Krishna's flute does not make any other tune except the glorification of Srimati Radharani, and that is the real meaning and gist of the Gayatri mantra." This expression of Srila Guru Maharaj (Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj) is very nice. Who should we worship, the Powerful or the Power? The Powerful is Krishna, and the Power is Radharani. Who should we worship and under whose guidance should we do it? This is the realisation of Srila Guru Maharaj, and that is the highest realisation supported by the Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Vedanta Darshan, Upanishadas, etc. We see this knowledge is supported everywhere.
So, after Srimad Bhagavatam had been revealed in this mundane world, the entire scriptural world began dancing and chanting the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam—they have got a new light. Why? Because everybody has some property, but it used to be a massacre, a chaos; and when Srimad Bhagavatam appeared in this world, everybody has got some position and could understand clearly, "Yes, this is what I have!" Before, they did not know so much, they had heard about their position in many places, "Yes, this is the highest, this is the lowest, this is in the middle, etc.", but they could not determine what was their position and how much property they had. So, when Bhagavatam appeared in this world, they could understand, "My destiny is up to this lever, here is my boundary line." Before, it used to be chaotic. That is why Narad Goswami had chastised Vedavyas, "You are an expert and you have given it in this way?! What is this?! You must now change the whole thing, otherwise you will be held guilty!"
jugupsitam dharma-krte 'nusasatam
"The people in general are naturally inclined to enjoy, and you have encouraged them in that way in the name of religion. This is verily condemned and is quite unreasonable. Because they are guided under your instructions, they will accept such activities in the name of religion and will hardly care for prohibitions." (Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.5.15)
Narad Goswami chastised Vedavyas heavily. He used the word "jugupsitam." It means giving some food that not only has no value but is also tasteless. "This type of food you have distributed to the masses, the food that has no value and is also tasteless! You must correct your cooking! Distribute opulent prasadam, it must be tasteful and healthy, but you have distributed to them what they do not want. People are hungry and you have given them a glass of water—what is this?! Give some food, and it must be solid food, for their stomaches. If you give only water, they will get a diarrhoea."
(This is what happens when you are very hungry and you often drink only water—something changes in the system, some enzymes die and whatever you eat turns into water in your stomach. And another disease is constipation—when you are thirsty and you are given only food without water, when you become used to eating in this way, in the end you get constipation. I have read it somewhere in ayurveda.)
So, Narad Goswami said, "What you have done is very nasty! Why am I saying you have done wrong? Because everybody believes you, everybody believes you will give what is good for others. So, when you have given something, they have already believed it. This is the type of prestige you hold in society. If you do not correct it now yourself, who will correct it? They not will believe anyone except you. If you correct your own work, they will believe your word." Narad Goswami chastised Vedavyas in this way in twelve slokas, it is recorded in the first chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam.
After that, Vedavyas presented Srimad Bhagavatam where he wrote,
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
"The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.6)
This is the final conclusion of Vedavyas. Devotion to the Krishna is the supreme religion, and this devotion is ahaituki and apratihata, causeless and cannot be controlled by any reason (irresistible). This type of devotion (bhakti) to Krishna is supreme for everybody, and the knowledge about this type of devotion is given in Srimad Bhagavatam.
Srimad Bhagavatam not only reveals the many pastimes of Krishna, but also explains them, and there is also a caution given to everyone,
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam cha visnoh
"Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrindavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.33.39)
These pastimes are performed only for the satisfaction of Lord Krishna, only out of devotion to Krishna.
naivatmanah prabhur ayam nija-labha-purno
"The Supreme Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is always fully satisfied in Himself. Therefore when something is offered to Him, the offering, by the Lord's mercy, is for the benefit of the devotee, for the Lord does not need service from anyone. To give an example, if one's face is decorated, the reflection of one's face in a mirror is also seen to be decorated."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.9.11, spoken by Prahlad Maharaj)
Vedavyas explained about Srimad Bhagavatam, "When you put a tilak on your forehead, you can see that tilak in a mirror. If you do not put a tilak on your forehead, you will not be able to see it in a mirror. In the same way, those who hear the pastimes of Krishna, get relief from all mundane attachment and environment, they can practise pure devotional life, no matter whether they live in this mundane world or transcendental world, anywhere. But do not imitate the pastimes of Krishna." This caution is given here,
naitat samacharej jatu
"One who is not a great controller should never imitate the behavior of ruling personalities, even mentally. If out of foolishness an ordinary person does imitate such behavior, he will simply destroy himself, just as a person who is not Rudra would destroy himself if he tried to drink an ocean of poison."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.33.30)
Do not try to practise the pastimes performed by Krishna. Do not try to imitate Him. Those who can lift Giriraj Govardhan with their finger, can do the rasa-lila, but you cannot hold even one ton of stone in your hand, then how will you do that which is done by Krishna? Do not imitate Him. Lord Siva had drunk poison and did not die—instead, he got an exalted position and the name Nilakantha because that poison now lives in his throat as a beauty spot (nila-kantha, 'a blue neck'). But if you take some cobra poison, you will immediately die. Eat according to your capacity—take the food that suits your stomach and digestion capacity. You are a conditioned soul, you cannot digest what a renounced man or a liberated soul can digest. So, do not imitate Krishna-lila—you must worship Krishna-lila, then one day you too can get a chance to enter that reality, those pastimes of Krishna where everything is very auspicious, where everything gives supreme happiness and joy...
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