Bhagawat Saptah– (26th June – 2nd July 2016)

Talks on “Srimad Bhagawatam” by Swami Abhedananda

Key Points from the Discourses

Day 1

To the hundreds of devotees who thronged ChinmayaShivam today, it was the most glorious morning of their lives as they witnessed the auspicious inauguration of SrimadBhagawatSaptah event.

Dedicated to PujyaGurudev in the year of his Birth Centenary celebrations, and in the newly inaugurated “Brahmaloka” auditorium, the SrimadBhagawatSaptah camp in Durban saw an overflowing audience of earnest devotees who came to drench themselves in the cool showers of Swamiji’s nectarine satsangs.

Amidst the powerful and reverberating vedic chants, Swami Abhedanandaji led the divine procession of the Yajamans carrying SrimadBhagavatam on their heads. The saptah was inaugurated by Swami Sharadanandaji, Vice President of Ramakrishna Mission South Africa, who showered great praise on the works of Swami Abhedanandaji and contribution of Chinmaya Mission South Africa in the society.

Below are a few highlights of the Day 1 of the nectarine satsang of the BhagawatSaptah:

1) Very few people know what they need in life and even fewer know what they desire in life. A samsari is the one who desires his needs and a sadhu is the one who needs his desires.

2) We are all emotional victims (EV) because our emotions have eaten us and our desires have engulfed us. The day bhakti (devotion), gyan (knowledge), vairagya (dispassion) become urgent requirement for us, that day we become a sadhu.

* Bhakti (Devotion) – Devotion is in maintaining the thought that ‘I belong to the Lord alone and the Lord will protect me.’ We fail to realize that devotion is our biggest requirement. One should give up his “myness” for the world and call the Lord alone as “mine”. We suffer in life because we depend on the world. All the assets in this world may seem as support but eventually they become a liability for us. World is not meant to be possessed and loved, it is meant to be served and left.

* Vairagya (Dispassion) – It is the state of seeing valueness in worldly objects and beings. There is nothing in this world that is worth holding on to. “Everyone is disloyal” – understanding this statement and realizing it in our life is dispassion. Dispassion means that the presence or absence of an object does not perturb our minds.

* Knowledge – The knowledge of the Self, the Lord and the world alone can take away our worries and induce Bhakti and Dispassion.

3) SrimadBhagawatMahatmya (Glory):

* SrimadBhagawat is the essence of all the upanishads and the vedas. If Vedas are the tree, then SrimadBhagwat is like a ripe, sweet mango that is touched by the beak of parrot called Shuka.

* Bhagawat has the power to increase one’s knowledge and dispassion.

* The place where SrimadBhagawatkatha is held, it becomes a pilgrimage.

* SrimadBhagwat is the manifested form of the Lord alone.

* There is nothing more purifying than SrimadBhagawat and only after the punyas of many births, one gets the opportunity to hear the Bhagawat. Fruit of SrimadBhagawat is unending.

4) Importance of Bhagawatsaptah (7 days):

In kalyug, it is difficult to find continuous time as there are so many attention seekers in everyone’s life. It is also not possible to confine oneself at one place for a long time. Hence Bhagawatsaptah is done so that one can listen to Lord’s katha in 7 days.

5) Life is meant for Spiritual gains. Spiritual gain is in detachment, tolerance, dispassion and in coming closer to the Lord. Outer world may give physical comfort, but only spiritual gain can give solace. Success of our life is that the Lord says ‘You are mine’.

6) Solution to all worries is to seek refuge in the Lord. When one devoutly approaches the Lord, the Lord either changes his situation or empowers his mind to handle the situation.

7) There are four kinds of desires (purusharth) in life:

– Artha (for preserving and accumulating)

– Kama (for physical and emotional enjoyment)

– Dharma (performing good actions for securing better fruits in future birth)

– Moksha (to get devoid of all the desires)

* When a person evolves, he realizes that this world is not meant for just artha and kama. He will always be insecure, unsatisfied and discontent if he focuses on artha and kama.

* Artha should be only for serving God and others and not for personal consumption alone.

* Kama should be only for sustaining oneself, not for enjoyment.

* Artha& Kama purusharth should take us to dharma and moksha purushartha.

Day 2

As the second day of the BhagawatSaptah commenced with the divine chantings of the YajmaanHawan, the devotees of Durban once again got drenched in the bliss showered by Swami Abhedanandaji through his mesmerizing talks on SrimadBhagawatam.

Below are some of the gems from today’s satsang for us to preserve:

1) The first canto of Srimad Bhagawatam elaborates on the qualifications of the listener of this divine text. More qualified is a listener, bigger will be the gain of hearing the Lord’s katha and faster will be his liberation.

2) Qualification means to be able to hold on to the higher thoughts with unwavering belief that sprout during the time of hearing the Lord’s katha. The thoughts produced during Bhagawat satsang have the power to remove all our illusions and bring out the reality pertaining to the world. These have the power to remove our wrong notions and plant the correct notions.

3) We cannot force ourselves to be happy or unhappy. Our happiness depends on how happy or unhappy the Lord is with us. The day a person thinks that I will make myself happy by making the Lord happy, he becomes a saint. Hence we should develop sensitivity towards God’s happiness. When the Lord is happy with us, He takes over all our actions and works through us.

4) Desire makes a person ‘pauper’. We unknowingly make our happiness dependent on a particular object or situation. Lord’s happiness is right now, right here! Hence we should offer our actions to the Lord and do our actions for Him alone.

5) The term ‘Kalyug’ refers to the external situations and also the internal condition of the mind. Kalyug first starts at the intellectual level when we don’t give highest priority to the Lord in our life. We have made various unimportant things as our priorities. Our first priority should be the Lord alone. This means that we work as per the Lord’s wish and for Lord’s joy and we submit to the rules of the Lord. We have wrongly made our priorities as sensual enjoyment, ego, honor, dishonor etc. This is called ‘shudravritti’ and such vritti alone attacks our Dharma.

6) Dharma is the one which upholds everything in this world. It is said that Dharma has four legs namely Tapa, Daya, Shauch, Satya. Tapa means going through austerities that are required for achieve anything big in life. Daya is to have compassion towards the lesser evolved. Shauch refers to the purity of the mind and the body. Satya is the quality that makes a person reliable and dependable. Without these four virtues, Dharma cannot be practiced.

7) Biggest proof that Lord is happy with us is that He sends someone in our life who makes us remember God. Just as the Lord sent Sri Sukadevji to King Parikshit to quench his intense desire to know the Lord and get closer to Him during the last seven days of his life.

Day 3

Another memorable day of spiritually elevating satsang welcomed the devotees of Durban to Chinmaya Mission Durban ashram, as they reveled together in Swami Abhedanandaji’s talks on SrimadBhagawatam. Below are some of the snippets from Swamiji’s soul stirring discourses:

**Peace of mind:

1. Peace of mind, Knowledge and Bhakti are all synonymous terms. It is said in SrimadBhagawatam that the biggest means to attain them is ‘Shravanam’ (Listening). Shravanam alone has the capacity to quieten our minds.

2. Things that are present but unseen can be revealed only when someone tells about it. Peace is present within us, but we don’t know it and thus we need someone to tell us. We have made imaginary fears and live with hallucinatory relations and in order to know their false nature we need listening.

**Glory of Listening:

1. Listening does not mean merely hearing. Listening creates a thought and how much one can retain the thought depends on the intensity of his listening.

2. SrimadBhagawat tries to put the painting of Truth on the canvas of mind and for this, the canvas needs to be stable. To prepare the mind to listen (from the deeper in us) we need to do dhyaanabhyaas (meditation before listening). Parikshitji got the highest fruit of listening because his mind was completely prepared. Satsang is heard in the innermost chamber of our heart.

**Reality about the World:

In Canto 2 of Bhagawatam, Sri Sukadevji elaborates about the world under two main topics namely Utapatti i.e., World by creation &Upapatti i.e., World by deduction.

(A) Utapatti (World by Creation):

1. The main purpose of describing the creation of the world is to reveal the real nature of the world and the problems faced by us. This world is full of problems for us because we constantly try to make the impossible as possible.

2. The process of creation as described in this is section is as below:

(i) Any creation is preceded by its un-manifest form. Hence the world must also exist in an un-manifest form.

(ii) There should also be a conscious entity that prompts the un-manifest to become manifest.

(iii) Similar to pregnancy period, there must also be a gestation period for the cosmos. And like the womb, the cosmos must also exist in liquid form in the beginning. This Consciousness conditioned in liquid form is called Vishnu.

(iv) This consciousness must be pervading the un-manifest form in order to act upon it and prompt it to manifest.

(v) The Lord declares in the SrimadBhagwatam that “I alone am”. Instead of seeing the object, one must shift his attention to the where the object is seen. It is then that one can know, whatever is perceived is nothing but ‘I’; the complete creation is Narayana alone.

(B) Upapatti (World is an appearance):

(i) When we see a flower is front of us, it is not the reality that we perceive because it is false. How? It is the mud alone that appears firstly as a plant and then as a flower and then over a period of time, eventually as the flower decays it again becomes mud. That which was absent and is going to be absent, is currently absent too. Thus the flower that is seen right now, is false. Similarly in the unborn state, our body was in un-manifested form and in a few years’ time it will go back to un-manifest form and thus the body too is false. It only appears as real because of Maya.

(ii) In the deep sleep state the infinite ‘I’ is without time and space whereas in waking state there is a projection of finite ‘I’ with time and space on the infinite substratum. Thus our body, our relations, the objects outside everything is nothing but the infinite ‘I’ alone.

(iii) Hence the knowledge about the world is necessary so that we can get away from the BhedBuddhi (sense of separateness).

(iv) The knowledge about the manvantars and the duration of one day of Bramhaji is for us to realize how trivial is our life. Knowing that the span of life is only a few years, and thus is not a very important event, helps one develop dispassion.

**Kapil Gita:

In Canto 3 of SrimadBhagawatam, a beautiful conversion takes place between KapilBhagavan and his mother Devhuti where Devhuti asks a few questions to which KapilBhagavan replies with profound messages such as:

1. Being Spiritual: A person should be adhyatmik (spiritual). Being adhyatmik means that he is able to see within and understand that the cause of all his joys and sorrows is the mind alone. Mind is the cause of attachment as well as mukti (liberation). Attachment always culminates in sorrow. If at all, we should develop attachment to satsang, puja, japa as these open the gate to liberation. We should be able to realize that there is infinite peace within us.

2. Glory of Sadhus: A Sadhu (saint) is the one who can tolerate a lot and has immense patience. Tolerating means not getting affected by others behavior and accepting everyone as they are. Another trait of a sadhu is that they always sing the glories of the Lord. Fruit of visiting sadhus is that we get to hear something good and seeing their purity, we also become pure.

3. Devotion: Devotion or Bhakti is the one that can digest all our negativities. With help of bhakti, we are able to share everything with the Lord. We need to develop the ability to listen to what our inner Lord is saying. Talking to Lord is prayer, but listening to Lord is meditation. The day we start seeing responses from the Lord, we become a devotee. Those who leave everything and come to the Lord, He takes them across the ocean of samsar. We should have lot of emotions for the Lord. More we can feel for the Lord, more our faults will go away.

4. Swadharma – One should always follow his swadharma and not act as per his vasanas. There are four types of vasanas that one can have – Bhogvasana (desire for sense gratification), Karma vasana (attachment to action), Gyanvasana (desire for Knowledge) and Tyagvasana (sacrifice). Swadharma is said to be followed when we minimize our Bhogvasana and Karma vasana and maximize our Gyanvasana and Tyagvasana. More a person is able to do his swadharm, more he will be fulfilled in life.

5. Attachment: KapilBhagavan speaks about how much pains are in this world. The birth of a child itself is a very painful process. After that, in childhood there is so much limitation of expression. At the end, there is old age which completely deforms a person. There are endless troubles pertaining to this body. The biggest misery is that even after so much suffering, we have the desire to be reborn and to get a new body.

**Ego:

In Canto 4 of SrimadBhagawatam, the story of PrajapatiDaksh comes. Daksh represents ‘Ego’. Ego is the inability to accept other’s bigness and our own mistakes. An egoistic person is an intolerant person. Depth of a person depends on his digestion power; how much bad words he can digest without even belching.

One should realize that the Lord alone is the giver of all the fruits of actions. Success of any action is only in God’s hands. There is an element of grace in all those endeavors where we have been successful.

Day 4

Through various stories that come in SrimadBhagawatam, Swami Abhedanadaji continued to unfold insightful teachings on the 4th day of BhagawatSaptah. Some of the highlights from today’s satsang are:

**Glory of King Prithu:

King Prithu was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu who was firm in his vows, truthful, served his elders and gave honour to everyone. His character teaches us many things such as:

  1. Lack of insistence: When Lord Brahma advised King Prithu to not complete his 99th Rajsuyayagna, in spite of his wish to continue, he obeyed Brahmaji’s advice and gave up his wish. Lesser a person has ego, easier it is for him to drop his insistences.

 

  1. This humility of King Prithu won him boons from Brahmaji and Lord Vishnu. The virtue of gratefulness and humility comes when one knows that he has received a lot.

 

  1. SamarpitBhog: King Prithu’s avatar was for establishing the Raj dharma and to show completeness of the grihastha life. He demonstrated the importance of “samarpitbhog”. One should do bhog only with the intention of offering it to the Lord. If the desire for bhog is still left then that shows that it has not been offered to the Lord.

 

  1. Renunciation & Reclusion: Best part of King Prithu’s character was that he was able to give up his kingdom and luxuries without any sorrow and go to the forest to live in reclusion. As we age, the spiritual demand within us should increase and the Arth and Kama Vasana should decrease.

 

  1. Uninterrupted thought flow towards the Lord demands an unobstructed environment. Reclusion is not merely an external action. When the thought of contemplation on the Lord becomes very thick and intense, it demands a conducive environment.

 

  1. If a person does not have the thirst for reclusion, it only indicates that he has not fulfilled his actions and duties properly.

 

**Story of Puranjan&Puranjini:

 

  1. Naradaji narrates a story to Prachinbarhi about a man named Puranjan and a woman named Puranjani describing the bondage of grihastha ashram. Puranjan was extremely attached to Puranjani; to the extent that whatever Puranjani used to do, Puranjan used to bindly follow. Because of his extreme attachment, Puranjan lost his discrimination completely.

 

  1. We too get very attached and dependent in our grihastha life. We start getting too much affected by the other person’s moods, success, failure etc. Loss of a person is loss of his independence. The whole spiritual science is to make us independent of our emotions.

 

**Rishubhdev Avatar:

 

In Canto 5, there comes a reference to Sri Rishubhdevji, who was the avatar of Lord Vishnu and a great king. The word “rishubh” means the one which shines by his own knowledge (gyan). At a very early age, he decided to leave his kingdom to his sons. Before leaving, he shared his wise teachings with his children as below:

 

  1. Human body is not meant for indulgence. Over indulgence leads to diseases, guilt and slavery.

 

  1. Even animals indulge in sense gratification then what would separate humans from animals? The human birth is meant for reveling in something bigger such as meditation, devotion, Guru bhakti etc.

 

  1. Tapasya is the act of voluntarily choosing to bear some physical and emotional pain prescribed by the scriptures. Doing some tapasy instills confidence in us and makes us realize that with firm resolve, we can also control our sense organs. In tapasya, we do not allow the mental level thought of enjoyment to express at the physical level.

 

  1. Sadhus are those who have a bigger heart and greater capacity to tolerate. They do not have anger, moods and whimsical nature.

 

  1. We should always look for opportunities to serve someone higher such as saints and sages. The company of saints allows us to correct ourselves and set a high standard in our lives.

 

  1. We should reduce dependence on our family and relations because the emotions like attachment, hate, aversion etc. become a cause for our fall.

 

**Story of Jadbharat:

 

In Canto 5 of SrimadBhagawatam, there comes an enlightening story of a great king named Bharat.

 

  1. It is said that Bharat, after having ruled his kingdom for a long time, decided to leave all the luxuries, his wife and children, to lead a life of reclusion. While in the forest, he was leading a meditative life until he came across a new born fawn whom he saved from a lion. As he started taking care of the fawn, he gradually got very attached to it, so much so that he left all his sadhana (puja, meditation etc.) and died with the thought of that deer in his mind.

 

  1. Because of his strong attachment, he himself got the body of deer in the next birth. The message that we need to learn from this story is that attachment can be very dangerous and it can became the cause of our downfall.

 

  1. Attachment makes us a lingering and attention seeking person whose joy is dependent on the other person. Contrary to this, loving makes us free as we accept the person as he is. Attachment makes us miserable while love makes us a king.

 

  1. When Bharat became a deer, he remembered his previous birth and repented greatly thinking about his downfall from human birth to deer birth. He burnt all his vasanas while repenting and in the next birth he was born as Jadbharat in a Brahmin family.

 

  1. Jadbharat used to constantly meditate on the Self and his knowledge was so firm that even when he was put to be sacrificed, he was totally uninterrupted.

 

**Glory of NaamSadhana:

 

  1. Every small thing searches for a bigger thing to sustain. Just the way a small child searches for his mother and feels secure; a small country seeks support and security from a powerful country everyone looks for a support from someone or at some place. But there is no one who can extend support beyond a point. It is the Lord alone who can give us support at all times.

 

  1. The sadhana by which we can get Lord immediately is “NaamSadhana”. Any other form of sadhana requires some means by which it can be performed but it is only the NaamSadhana which can be performed without any means. Even if one takes Lord’s name with less faith it bears the fruits and Lord showers His grace on him.

 

  1. The best way to leave this mortal body is by preparing oneself to do so much NaamSadhana that last thought remains of Lord alone. A great scholar like Ajamil who was born as high caste Brahmin but became a merciless dacoit under the influence of attachment for a low caste woman got liberation by just taking Narayan’s name. If one while leaving the body takes Lord’s name and does not hold any other thought he is assured to go atleast to a higher realm or can even attain liberation. Such is the power of taking Lord’s name.

 

  1. When we take Lord’s name we should try to bring three things in our remembrance: intensity, helplessness and ability to melt Lord’s heart. The way fire cannot leave its nature to burn even if one accidentally touches it, in the same manner, one cannot stay untouched by Lord’s grace by taking His name.

 

Day 5

Today, on the 5th day of BhagawatSaptah, as we celebrated the Birthday of our most revered Pujya Swami Tejomayanandaji, we also welcomed wholeheartedly Lord Shri Ram and Lord Shri Krishna during the Bhagawatkatha. Swami Abhedanandaji made the Lord manifest in the hearts of hundreds of devotees who reveled in the “Ram-Janmotsav” and “Krishna-Janmotsav” festivities.

 

Our heartfelt prostrations to the living God, Pujya Guruji & to the eternal Hero of Sanatana Dharma, Shri RamachandraBhagawan and the very embodiment of divine love, Bhagawan Shri Krishna!

 

Below are some glimpses from today’s celebration along with the gems of wisdom that Swamiji shared through numerous stories of the great devotees of the Lord.

 

**Glory of Lord’s Avatar:

 

  1. Lord does take Avatar; He talks, He eats, He walks, He laughs and He even cries for His devotees. We may not be able to go to the Lord but we can call Him as devotees with deep intensity and He is sure to manifest in our hearts.

 

  1. Bhagawan takes Avatar to fulfill the desire of His devotees. We should allow the God to love us and take charge of our minds and hearts.

 

**Glory of Lord’s Devotees:

 

(A) BhaktPrahlada:

 

  1. Prahladaji’s character, as depicted in the 7th canto of Bhagawatam is very beautiful and inspiring. It is said that Prahladaji had a lot of sheel i.e., he had a very good demeanor and his speech was very soft. His nature was self-controlled, non-imposing and non-hurting and exhibited immense quietness.

 

  1. Prahladaji used to serve the great people. In front of elders, he was ‘daasvat’, like a servant and he used to please everyone. The joy of living with elders is that we get a lot of blessings from them by remaining extremely humble in front of them.

 

  1. From the very young age, Prahladaji had extreme devotion for the Lord. He was possessed by Lord Vishnu. He used to laugh, dance and cry thinking about the Lord.

 

  1. He was never shattered in any kind of sorrow. He was completely unperturbed no matter how much he was insulted by Hiranyakashapu.

 

  1. Prahaladaji was made to go through numerous torturous situations but he had no fear or anger ever. His Ishwarakaarvritti (thought of Lord) was so developed that nothing affected him and he had the armor of the Lord around him at all times.

 

  1. It is said that after Lord Vishnu took the fierce form of Narasimha Avatar and killed Hiranyakashapu, His anger was not quieting until Prahladaji went in front of the Lord with folded hands and pacified His anger by chanting beautiful stuti of the Lord.

 

  1. NarasimhaBhagawan embraced little Prahlada and caressed him and asked for forgiveness as He was late in coming to Prahlada. Such is the glory of bhaktPrahlada!

 

(B) Gajendra:

 

  1. Gajendra was an intoxicated elephant full of pride. It is said that one day he casually tried to play with a crocodile, but the crocodile held his feet tightly and didn’t let go of him. Gajendra tried to free himself with all his might, but he failed. On finding himself completely helpless he called out for the Lord in desperation. It was this desperate call of Gajendra that forced the Lord to go to him & protect him.

 

  1. Gajendra in the previous birth was Indradyumna who was cursed by sage Agastya to become an elephant. As he had done the stuti (praise) of the Lord in his previous birth, he remembered the Lord while in despair, even in the animal body.

 

  1. Everyone of us is a Gajendra somewhere. Like Gajendra, we too casually go in the world and start interacting and mingling with the people but gradually we get caught by the crocodile called ‘attachment’.

 

  1. There comes many situations in life where we find ourselves helpless and during those times we need to call upon the Lord, who can provide all the support we need. Success in life is when there is a confluence of our helplessness and the Lord’s infinite power.

 

  1. Life does not run by qualifications, capability or power, but it is run by His power, thought and grace. If one has the art of calling the Lord, he can attain everything.

 

  1. A devotee’s life is miraculous. We should have the faith that when we call, the Lord does come. God is the only one who never disappoints us.

 

(C) King Bali:

 

  1. King Bali, though he belonged to the demon clan, was a righteous ruler and he attained a strong position with his intense upasana of Lord. A time came when Bali conquered even the swargloka (heaven) by defeating the devatas.

 

  1. It is said that the mother of devatas, Diti could not see the plight of her sons who were dragged out from their abode and she did upasana of the Lord with a desire to restore the authority of devatas in heaven.

 

  1. Pleased with her, Lord Vishnu took the beautiful form of a brahmachari as Vaman Avatar to win over Bali. As Vamanbhagawan preceded towards Bali, he saw the Lord and mesmerized by his brilliancy, Bali left everything and ran to offer his prostrations. He worshipped Lord’s feet and wanted to present something to the Lord. He made the best of offerings but the Lord refused to take. Vamanbhagawan told Bali that He wanted three strides of land.

 

  1. Upon hearing the wish of Vamanbhagawan, Shukracharya (Bali’s Guru) understood that in the form of brahmachari, it is none other than Lord Vishnu. He signaled to Bali to not submit to the desire of brahmcahari. But Bali was firm in his belief that as much joyous is Lord’s giving so much so is His taking.

 

  1. He happily surrendered to the Lord to take any three strides of land. Vamanbhagawan took a huge form and covered the whole earth in just two strides. There was no place left for Him to put His feet for third stride. Bali lovingly offered his head, thus keeping his word & giving everything away including himself.

 

  1. Vamanbhagwan was touched by Bali’s sacrifices and later revealed that He wanted Bali to take this test so that Bali’s glory can be unveiled and everyone could know how magnanimous one should be while giving. Balidaan means ‘Giving the Giver’.

 

(D) King Ambreesh:

 

  1. King Ambareesh was one of the great devotees of Lord Vishnu. He was highly spiritual, dispassionate and a realized person. His knowledge was firm & he was able to see the present as a dream. He used to view this entire world as a lump of clay.

 

  1. He had lot of love for saints and served them a lot. He loved hearing stories about the Lord and used to spend most of his time in doing puja, japa, yagna etc. While, he was busy serving the God, God used to rule on his behalf. Such was his glory!

 

  1. A story comes where sage Durvaasa insulted and cursed Ambareesh even when Ambreesh had not done anything wrong. Even after many abuses from the sage, Ambareesh was absolutely quiet and had no trace of anger or fear. Everyone is forced to face insults in life. We should be able to face them without losing our composure.

 

  1. Sage Durvaasa directed a demoness towards Ambreesh but since he was such a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, the moment the demoness tried to attack him, Lord’s sudarshan chakra came and killed the demoness.

 

  1. The sudarshan chakra then went after sage Durvaasa. He went to Lord Vishnu and requested forgiveness for his insult of Ambareesh. To which Lord Vishnu said that He protects his devotees who have surrendered to him. The moment we leave dependency on the world, God’s support takes over.

 

  1. It is said that Ambareesh did stuti of the sudarshan chakra so that it may spare the sage. When sage Durvaasa was out of fear, Ambareesh served him in the best possible manner, in spite of the abuses that were given to him. Such was the great character of one of the highest levels of devotee, King Ambareesh.

Day 6

Supremely blessed listeners of SrimadBhagawatam at CMSA Durban had another day of spiritually elevating satsang filled with enchanting leelas of Lord Krishna. We bring to you some golden nuggets from today’s discourses:

Lord alone is Ours:

1. We should never doubt whether Lord will respond to our calling or not. It is the shortcoming of our calling if He may not respond at times. In our lives, Lord is constantly acting behind the scenes, hiding Himself, loving us and supporting us unconditionally.

2. Requirement of our mind cannot be fulfilled by anyone other than the Lord. Nobody can understand us completely; nobody can be available for us and love us at all times. It is the Lord alone who is truly loyal to us, who can guide us and who will never forsake us.

3. World is not meant to be given our heart to. Jiva is of the nature of ignorance and therefore if we love jiva, it is bound to give pain. Lord takes Avatar so that we can leave all our fleeting love in the world and just get attached to Him alone. We should make our mind such that it gets absorbed in the ‘Ras’ of Krishna leela.

Brahmaji’sStuti (praise):

1. In the 10th Canto of SrimadBhagawatam, there comes a story where Brahmaji gets deluded upon seeing the love of the Lord towards the cowherd boys. Brahmaji decides to test the Lord but the Lord does some leela to take away Brahmaji’s delusion.

2 When Brahmaji realizes his mistake and comes to know the true nature of the Lord, he seeks forgives and does stuti of the Lord. Brahmaji says that the art of living is in discovering Lord’s grace and seeing the hidden messages of the Lord in all the situations. Contrary to this, the ugliness of living is in discovering dissatisfaction in every situation.

3. For instance, if we are insulted, we should use that insult to get dispassionate and test our sadhana. More one can hear bad words without getting affected, more is his sadhana.

4. Similarly, when we are praised we should not become proud; rather we should think that the Lord alone is loving us through the people around.

Plea of Yamala-arjuna Trees:

1. In the 10th Canto, a leela of the Lord is depicted where He gives liberation to two trees named as ‘Yamala-arjuna’. It is said that those trees where the sons of Kuber in their previous birth (Nalkuber and Manigreev) and they got cursed by Naradji to become trees because of their indecent behavior (playing in water without clothes and not giving due respect to Naradji).

2. Modesty is the beauty of a person while arrogance makes a person shameless. It is the emotion of shyness that makes a person presentable and protects his dignity.

3. The act of cursing represents – punishing the wrong thought. Fruit of doing wrong is the compulsion of being deprived of something. When we are deprived then guilt is born.

4. Both Nalkuber and Manigreev were intoxicated and that is why they had to go through so much suffering. During the 1000 years when they were trees, they repented a lot and used to remember the Lord all the time.

5. When the Lord liberated them they did stuti of the Lord saying that one’s speech should always talk about the Lord, ears should hear the words from saints, hands should do puja, mind should think what the Lord has done for us and the eyes should have darshan of the saints.

6. Saints are the ones who take away the darkness of the mind. It was Naradji’s saintliness that he converted their curse into a blessing by sending them to Vrindavan, near the Lord. Saints alone give us the right eyes to see the world in the right context. They show us how the biggest difficulty is only because of our wrong thinking.

Glory of Lord’s Flute:

1. The word ‘Krishna’ means ‘the one who pulls’. Everything about Lord Krishna pulls our attention, be it His eyes, His form, or leelas, or His smile or His abode.

2. The Lord wanted to love all and fill everyone with joy. And thus He put all His love on His lips and filled the joy in the tune of His flute. It is through the tune of His flute that the Lord transferred His love and thirst to His devotees and pulled every being of Brij, be it men, women, animals or trees.

3. Beautifully clad in his pitambar (yellow cloth) and morpankh (peacock feather), with a long flower garland almost touching His feet, Lord Krishna used to fill the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips. The fruit of hearing the flute of Krishna is the ever increasing desire in Gopis hearts to want Him more and more.

4. It is said that after listening to His flute, the deer used to run towards Him and worship Him through their eyes; Yamunaji used to splash her water to offer her pranaams and the birds used to sing to please Him. They all, as if, wanted to say to the Lord, “I am Yours and You are mine”.

Essence of RaasLeela:

1. Collection of the ‘Ras’ for the ‘Ras-Raaj’ is called ‘Raasleela’. Gopi represent the power (shakti) that dance around the all powerful Lord Krishna (shaktimaan). The essence of Raasleela is that all the powers of the universe are only for giving joy to the one powerful alone.

2. Whatever we do, all our actions and thoughts are for some kind of joy of the self. All our thoughts, as if, keep dancing around the self. This is the Raasleela of the thoughts around the self. Even the cycle of birth and death is as if a depiction of Raas. It appears as though the whole cosmos is constantly dancing around the Lord.

3. On the full moon night (Sharad purnima), Lord Krishna used to play His flute and put His thirst into the flute which used to reach the heart of the Gopis. Hearing the flute, the Gopis used to come running towards the Lord with their heart echoing “I want Krishna.”

4. It is said that during Raas, there is a ball called “joy” between the Gopis and Lord Krishna. They used to push this ball towards each other. This depicts their love for each other where the main focus is to give joy to the beloved.

5. In the Raas, Krishna &Gopi are not separate; Lord alone is Gopi and Gopeshwar (Lord of Gopis) both. He alone is the enjoyer (bhokta) and He alone is the object (bhogya) of enjoyment. Reveling of the Lord in His own Self is called Raasleela.

6. If one wants to be like Gopis then he needs to develop an extreme thirst to give joy to the Lord. Gopis are called as the ‘Bhakti Acharya’. Bhagawan Krishna declares in Bhagawatam that nobody loved Him like the Gopis and He can never repay them.

 

Day 7

 

As the sun dawned over the ChinmayaShivam Ashram last evening, as though offering it’s pranaams to SrimadBhagawatam on the last day of the most wonderful and unique BhagawatSaptah, the heart of all devotees was filled with joy, fulfillment and deep satisfaction upon the completion of this rarest of sankalp. Completely soaked in the nectarine ras of the blue boy of Vrindavan, the devotees took home fond memories of these seven days, craving for more satsang and more such opportunities to drench in the leelas of the Lord.

 

Sharing below some of the ultimate principles of life as uncovered by Swami Abhedanandaji –

 

True Love:

  1. Most of the times in life, we take the meaning of ‘love’ very casually. Love means – giving joy as per one’s Dharma without expecting joy for himself in return.
  2. Gopis were the very embodiment of love for Lord Krishna. When Lord left from Vrindanvan at the age of 11 to never come back, it was not to give sorrow to the Gopis. He wanted to exhibit what true love means.
  3. True love means – ‘let my beloved be for everybody and let him be happy’. When one wants his beloved to be for him alone and as per his wish, then it is called attachment. Whether the beloved gives attention or not, true love does not decrease.
  4. In loving the God, we can talk to Him inside our heart even when He is not physically with us which is not possible with worldly love.
  5. More a person transforms his attachment into love, more He grows and shines. When a person affirms the thought that ‘I will give you joy as per dharma even if you don’t give me any response’, this thought itself makes him selfless. Such people alone become big contributors to the society.

 

Love Vs Desire:

 

  1. It said that Lord Krishna and His son, Pradyumna used to look very similar in their appearance so much so that people in Dwarka many a times mistook Pradyumna for Lord Krishna. But there was a vast difference. Lord Krishna signifies Prem (true love) while Pradyumna signifies kaam (desire). Often in life, we mistakenly consider desire as love and get deceived and suffer.

 

  1. Desire takes us to the desired object which eventually becomes the cause of our sorrow, whereas true love takes us away from all objects and makes us free from all bondage. Desire makes us miserable while love gives us fulfillment.

 

Importance of Gurukul:

 

  1. It comes in the 10th Canto of SrimadBhagawatam that Lord Krishna was sent to Gurukul where he studied from the revered teacher, Rishi Sandeepany. It is said that the Lord learned numerous subjects & earned expertise in various disciplines at the Gurukul and he used to serve his teacher with great humility and respect.

 

  1. Living with the teacher instills self-control and brings purity of character. A Guru exudes awe and reverence, and thus brings discipline in the disciple.

 

  1. The spiritual teachers are the soul of the society as they have faith, character and knowledge. They are the flowers of the society. Fall of culture starts when the spiritual teachers become rare.

 

  1. It is said that when a child is around 8 to 9 years old, his previous birth samskaars like anger, desire etc. spring out. Thus, he needs to live under the rules of the teacher and the Vedas to get the right direction of life. If the foundation years of the child are not right, the child can develop a bad character.

 

Lord Krishna’s Daily schedule:

 

  1. Once Naradji went to Dwarka to see how Lord Krishna lives in His kingdom and what was His daily schedule. Naradji saw Lord Krishna doing different activities in His different palaces. In one palace he was serving His Gurus, in another He was doing hawan early in the morning, at one place He was discussing political matters with His ministers, and in another He was lovingly playing with His kids. Every day the Lord used to get up early in the morning and do meditation, hawan, tarpan, offered pranaams to elders, donated cows.

 

  1. One should have a complete and dutiful life. It should include taking care of our parents, children, servants, attending to our social obligations etc. In family life (grahastha ashram), there are many things to tend to. Any area that we neglect comes back to us as an attention seeking situation in life.

 

  1. All actions should be as per Dharma devoid of anger, jealousy, irritation, hatred, attachment etc. We should have a developed personality; more developed is our personality, more we can serve.

 

Sudama – a True Devotee:

 

  1. A sign of a spiritual person is that even when he does not have anything, he is extremely happy and satisfied. When absence of something troubles us, we should look around and see that there are many people besides us who also do not have that but still their happiness is not lost.

 

  1. Sudama was Lord Krishna’s friend from His Gurukul days. He was very poor, but was always in bliss by taking Lord’s name. Upon prodding by his wife for a long time, he finally decides to go to meet Krishna. When Sudama reaches Lord’s palace in Dwarka, Bhagawan immediately recognized Sudama and embraced him. Bhagawan made him sit on a swing and washed his feet with His own tears. Lord gave new clothes to Sudama and fed with His own hands.

 

  1. Great devotees of Lord such as Sudama, only focus on what God has given to them. They don’t linger on what they don’t have. They have the special eye to see God’s grace in their lives.

 

  1. When Sudama was to go back, Lord Krishna sent him empty handed. But Sudama’s glory was that he only remembered and acknowledged how Lord loved him, how He met him, how He fed him etc. Sudama never felt angry or disappointed. And it was this unwavering devotion of Sudama that made Lord extremely pleased with him. In reality, Lord didn’t send him empty handed, He transformed Sudama’s poverty stricken life to a prosperous and a wealthy life.

 

  1. God always gives us more than what we deserve, but He doesn’t make us aware of what He has done for us. We should always acknowledge and be grateful for what God has given us.