Showing posts from April, 2015

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-8. Part-6.

Concluding Message: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham

8: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham:


According to the Yoga Vasishtha, these are the first three stages of actual sadhana, spiritual practice.

By continuing this practice for a long, long time throughout one’s life, the sattva, or the purity in one’s person, flashes forth, and the sun of knowledge begins to dazzle through this mirror-like clean mind that has been attenuated through the absence of desires.

This is a pure sattvic transparent condition of the mind, free from any kind of distraction or lethargy, i.e., rajas and tamas.

This in itself is a great achievement that we have flashes of insight in our sadhana.

This state is called sattvapatti.

Because of the bliss that we enjoy by the experience of this light of the Self emanating from within one’s own self through the mind that is so transparent, we do not feel a desire for anything that is outside, and we feel that we are sufficient in ourselves.

Our very being is a joy…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-8. Part-5.

Concluding Message: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham

8: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham:


The next stage of sadhana is an effort to find out what is good.

It is not enough if we merely want the good; we must know where the good lies, and strive for it.

This is self-analysis.

Satsanga, study, attending discourses of mahatmas, worship, japa sadhana, are all helpful in investigating into the nature of the problem and then deciphering the nature of the ultimate truth.

These first two stages, subheccha and vicharana, are mostly the preliminary stages of spiritual practice, and yet they are difficult enough for a person who is not acquainted with this way of thinking, just as a person who does not know cycling cannot sit on a bicycle even for a moment until he learns it.

By such kind of continuous, assiduous investigation into one’s own bondage and what is good for oneself, the mind which is fattened by being fed through sensory life becomes thinner and thinner, and that which was on…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-8. Part-4.

Concluding Message: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham

8: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham:


This fact is not known to us. Ignorance is sometimes bliss, as it is well said.

Total ignorance looks like total bliss.

That we are caught up in a whirlpool of evolutionary process and we are helplessly driven in a direction of which we have no knowledge at all, that we cannot even lift a finger of our own accord unless forces outside us cooperate with us—we cannot breathe, we cannot think, and we cannot sleep, the heart cannot beat, the lungs cannot perform their functions unless forces transcendent to our personality operate—is not known to us.

The consciousness of the nature of one’s bondage is the beginning of sadhana.

This is what is told to us in the Yoga Vasishtha, in its description of the stages of awakening.

“Something is very wrong with me right from the beginning. I do not know my past, I do not know my future, and even today, just at this moment, I cannot understand what circu…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-8. Part-3.

Concluding Message: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham

8: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham:


Our total life is free movement on our part.

But there is a root within us that is weeping because of this bondage, due to which the soul itself suffers.

This is the bondage of the existence itself.

To believe that we are really existing is ignorance on our part.

The fact is that we are on a process of movement.

We have moved continuously from previous lives to the present life, and we shall move from this present life to future lives.

The movement is such that it is continuous, like the flow of a river.

Buddha’s wisdom recognised that bondage is the imagination that one truly exists in a state of stability.

We are pushed forward by the requirements of our future incarnation, and also pushed from behind by the actions that we performed in our previous lives.

We are propelled from both sides.

The previous life’s consequences urge us to move onward, and the possibilities of a future life pul…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-8. Part-2.

Concluding Message: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham

8: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham:


The impossibility to even recognise that one is in bondage is a worse form of bondage.

To know that one is bound is a great virtue.

But to think one is free even while one is bound, and not being able to recognise the kind of bondage in which one is—there are no words to describe this most idiotic condition of human nature.

The beginning of sadhana is the consciousness of suffering.

We must be immensely aware that we are in a state of agony.

The bondage that we are referring to here is not an ordinary insufficiency that we have in our workaday life.

It is a malady that has crept into our very existence.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ....

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-8. Part-1.

Concluding Message: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham

8: The Stages of Ascent to Moksham:


Sadhana is the way to moksham.

It has no other significance.

Moksham is freedom from bondage.

But it is necessary for everyone to know whether one is really in bondage or is really free.

If we are free, then there is nothing to do.

Let us be happy in this world.

Does anyone recognise that he or she is in bondage?

If this question is put before anyone, they will be surprised.

“What kind of bondage is there in me? I seem to be perfectly all right in my life. I can go about anywhere I like. I have all the necessary amenities for a comfortable existence. I am really happy. I require nothing. God has given me everything.”

If this is the case, you are really a free person, and there is no need to strive for further freedom because of the conviction that you are already free.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ....

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-24.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


In the Eleventh Skandham there is the conversation of Sri Krishna with Uddhava as the last message, where Sri Krishna gives to everybody, through the mouthpiece of Uddhava, a large, very elaborate lecture on dharma, artha, kama and moksha, emphasising that devotion to God is the only way to attain Him.

Bhakti is final.

Thus, Sri Krishna completed his great mission of Divinity incarnate on Earth, and withdrew himself into the very form of Narayana that he himself originally was.

In the Twelfth Skandham, Parikshit attains salvation, moksha. The last message of Suka is given, wherein he asks Parikshit to consider himself as a soul which is identical with the Universal Soul.

 “On that may you meditate. Forget the idea that you are Parikshit, and when the snake comes and bites, let it bite the body. After hearing this whole Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana katha, and the glory of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and the glory of Narayana, have no doubt in your m…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-23.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


When Sri Krishna rushed forward with his Sudarshana Chakra, Arjuna ran after him and pulled him back.

Weeping, he said, “Master, I shall do whatever you say. Don’t break your promise. Come back.”

Then Bhishma threw down his weapons and prayed, “Great Master, if you come and destroy me today, I shall be blessed. I shall have entry into your body, and attain moksha just now. Please come.”

Finally the war ended. Bhishma, Drona, Karna and Duryodhana were all completely felled by various methods of warfare, and the Pandavas won victory.

Yudhishthira was declared king, Draupadi was anointed queen, and all went well.

Sri Krishna went back to Dvarka, as his mission was over.

He again returned to the Pandavas during the asvamedha yajna that Yudhishthira performed.

I have omitted one incident, which is the rajasuya of Yudhishthira where Sisupala expressed his outrage and was destroyed.

Due to the limited time available, I cannot go into the entire st…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-22.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Sri Krishna blessed him with sight for a minute, and Dhritarashtra saw this miracle.

Then he prayed to the great Master, “After having seen this, I do not want to see anything else. Make me blind once again.”

Sri Krishna withdrew himself and, uttering not a word, left the audience and returned to the Pandavas.

War took place.

Without going into detail of the further events, we can sum up by saying that Sri Krishna was even ready to break his promise of not taking up weapons in the war when he found that Arjuna had a subtle inner respect for Bhishma as his grandfather and would not actually face him with the strength that he could have exercised at that moment.

Arjuna was going a little slow, as if he was not eager to fight, and Bhishma was destroying everybody.

Bhishma was raging like fire, and thousands and thousands of Pandava forces were dying.

Sri Krishna jumped from the chariot and said, “You are not able to do anything! I shall myself…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-21.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


When she said that and everybody kept quiet, Sri Krishna stood up and uttered the last word to Duryodhana. “Young man, are you under the impression that I am alone here and you can bind me? This is a false notion in your mind. I am not alone here. All the gods and all the uplifted weapons are here just now. The Pandavas, with all the army, are inside here. Look at me.”

Immediately Sri Krishna showed his Cosmic Form.

Brahma was sitting on his head, Rudra on his chest, and all the angels started shining like tiny rays of lustre emanating from every pore of his body.

The Earth shook, it is said, and the oceans rose with ferocious waves.

No one knew what was happening.

Everybody said, “Hail! Hail! Wonder! Wonder!”

Dhritarashtra, who was blind, heard people cry, “Wonder! Wonder!” and said, “What is this wonder? I cannot see anything. May I see? May I have sight?”

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ....

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-20.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


This news of conniving a tragic approach towards Sri Krishna was somehow or other known to Satyaki.

He immediately ran to Krishna and said, “Master! They want to imprison you. Shall I bring the army?”

“Keep quiet,” Sri Krishna said. “I do not want any army.”

“No, Master. We’ll take care of it. I shall call the forces,” said Satyaki.

“No. Sit quiet,” replied Sri Krishna.

Then Sri Krishna stood up and said, “Bhishma, Drona, and others, great heroes seated here, I think Duryodhana is asking for trouble. He wants to bind me. Let him. Let all the people come.”

Gandhari, who was also there, wept. “Oh! How is this possible that my son is talking like that?”

She summoned him, and at the behest of his mother, Duryodhana, in great anger, came to the audience.

Reprimanding him, she said, “Have you any shame? Idiot! You talk of binding this ambassador. Are ambassadors bound? You must respect them. Keep quiet. Don’t talk. Have you any sense?”

Swami Kris…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-19.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Bhishma stood up and said, “I agree with whatever Sri Krishna has said. Their share is due to them.”

Drona, Kripa, and everybody said, “Wonderful! Wonderful!”

Duryodhana said, “I shall not agree. War is the only solution.”

“Oh! You want war?” said Sri Krishna. “You shall have it.”

After a long lecture, Sri Krishna in rage said to Bhishma, Drona, Kripa and the whole audience, “This is a shame to the audience. How do you allow this wretched fellow in the assembly of the Kurus? Is he a human being? If only you permit me, I will bind him up just now and throw him at the feet of Yudhishthira. Will you permit me to do that?”

When Sri Krishna uttered these words, Duryodhana hissed like a snake in anger, got up from his seat and returned to his house, where he connived, with the help of Karna, Dushasana and Sakuni, his henchmen :

“This man wants to bind me and imprison me. We shall imprison him first. When Krishna is imprisoned, the Pandavas will b…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-18.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


“It is a great blessing to this assembly of the Kurus that we have the great Yadava hero among us. His greatness surpasses the magnificence of the whole world. The great luminary that he is, he is radiating his presence in this august assembly of the Kurus. May we have the permission to ask him for his message, which we shall follow readily as he would ask us to follow. We would like the great Master to speak, and tell us what our duty is,” said Bhishma.

Sri Krishna stood up and spoke, “What am I going to tell you? Everyone knows why I have come here. The suffering of the Pandavas is actually intolerable. The mischievous way in which the Kurus have treated the Pandavas is intolerable. These Kurus tried to poison Bhima, they wanted to burn the Pandavas alive in the lakshagrah, they tried every way to destroy them, and played crooked dice through which means they humiliated them and threw them into wilderness where they underwent thirteen yea…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-17.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Sri Krishna laughed and said, “Thank you. Bless me,” and he returned to his chariot and went directly to the palace.

Sri Krishna was received with great grandeur by Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Duryodhana, Kripa, and everyone.

He entered the hall.

At that time, he saw the rishis already standing there, and instructed that they be seated first.

Then Bhishma ordered thousands of seats to be brought, and all the rishis were seated.

After everyone sat, Sri Krishna sat humbly, without uttering a word.

Nobody spoke one word.

It was all dead silence.

Each one thought the other would speak first.

When nobody spoke, and time was passing in utter silence without anyone knowing what was going to happen, Bhishma stood up and broke the silence.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ....

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-16.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Krishna said, “No, the peels are sweeter than the bananas because your soul offered the peels and your person is offering the bananas.
I am satisfied. I don’t want any dinner or anything. I have only come to see how you are. I want to rest here. Tomorrow morning I am going back to the Kuru assembly.”

“You are going to the Kuru assembly? They are very dangerous people. No, this is not good,” said Vidura.

“Don’t worry about that. I shall take care of myself. I have the means to protect myself. I will go,” said Sri Krishna.

The next morning Sri Krishna took leave of Vidura, and on the way he saw rishis, saints and sages standing on the roadside. He was surprised that they were all standing there.

Sri Krishna got down from the chariot, prostrated himself before them, and inquired, “Why are you great masters standing here?”

“We heard that you are going to give a discourse on dharma in the assembly of the Kurus, and we want to listen to it, so we…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-15.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Sri Krishna went to Vidura’s hut, and was received by him.

“Oh, what a surprise! How is the great Master coming to my hut! What has happened?” Vidura thought.

He lost himself completely.

He did not know how to receive Sri Krishna.

He ran here and there, and brought some bananas.

In the joy and ecstasy of merging his soul in Krishna’s presence, he forgot himself completely; he peeled the bananas mechanically, and not knowing what he was doing, gave the peels to Sri Krishna, and threw away the fruit.

Sri Krishna went on eating the peels without uttering one word.

Vidura’s wife suddenly came inside and said, “Hey! What are you doing? You are giving the peels to Sri Krishna.”

“Oh!” Vidura wept, and said, “Very great mistake! I lost myself. Here, have the bananas.”

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ....

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-14.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


All this was arranged, and a wonderful reception was awaiting Sri Krishna.

Duryodhana greeted him and said, “Great Master, you are welcome. A separate palace has been reserved for your stay here. You will rest in the palace today and have dinner with us.”

Sri Krishna said, “Well, I am grateful for your offer. You see, one accepts dinner or lunch, whatever it is, when one is hungry or when food is offered with love even if one is not hungry. But you know very well that I am not hungry, and you do not offer it with love.”

Duryodhana said, “Krishna, you should not speak like this. It is highly uncharitable on your part to speak to me in this stern manner at the very outset, when I am ready to receive you with all affection. What harm have I done to you?”

“You have done everything that you could do. I shall see you tomorrow morning,” replied Krishna.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ....

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-13.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Getting up, Krishna told Sarathi, “Let us go. Harness the horses to the chariot.”

When Dhritarashtra heard that something was happening, he called Sanjaya and said, “I hear that Krishna is coming. Who is Krishna? Please tell me. Why is he coming? I do not know much about him. I would like to know how to properly receive him.”

Sanjaya said, “I am very glad, Your Highness, that you ask who Krishna is. I will tell you who he is. You cannot even see him, as you are wedded to the sense organs, and he is the master of the senses. One who is the master of the sense organs cannot be beheld by anyone who is a slave of the sense organs; and you want to see him, and you ask me why he is coming. He knows very well the injustice that you have done to the Pandavas by your love for your foolish children. Do you know why he is coming? His intention is to burn the Kurus. He will reduce you all to ashes.”

Dhritarashtra was frightened, “Receive him well. Let …

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-12

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


“Who is talking of peace? I heard the word ‘peace’. Who is saying this? These cowardly husbands of mine, are they talking of peace? Or Sri Krishna, are you also talking of peace?” Draupadi said.

She gestured to her untied hair, and cried loudly, “Oh! Krishna, you also deserted me when I was in trouble. You never came to help me. You, being my friend and well-wisher, what help can you give me? Now you are talking of peace? No, please go and tell the Kurus I want war. Tell them I have come to wage war. If you do not say that, if you are intent on peace, okay, work for peace. I have my children. They will gather an army and fight the Kurus. Only then shall I be satisfied. I don’t want peace. I want war.”

Sri Krishna consoled her. “My dear sister, don’t be annoyed. I promise you I shall speak the truth to you. Let the oceans dry up and the Himalayas get plucked from their roots, but my words cannot become false. Within eighteen days, you will s…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-11.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


From that point of view, Sri Krishna told the Pandavas’ Yudhishthira, “The earlier messengers that you sent have not brought any good results. It was only an exchange of ideas from both sides, but nothing materialised. A proper person, with a good knowledge of politics and capable of expressing himself, should go and speak to the Kurus, saying that your share is due.”

Yudhishthira replied, “I do not know who I’ll send.”

Sri Krishna said, “Why you are worrying? I am here at your service. I will go.”

“No, Master! I will not send you. No! This is not possible. You are our beloved. You are our heart. You are our soul. You are our everything! Will I send you to the land of wolves, risking your life?” cried Yudhishthira.

“You need not worry about that. I think I may be able to guard myself and protect myself if the Kurus intend anything untoward towards me. You need not be afraid for my safety. I shall take care of myself,” replied Sri Krishna.


A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-10.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


After that, Sri Krishna’s role in the Mahabharata was only when it became necessary as a policy of political science to plead for peace with the Kurus.

The policy of Sri Krishna is called simha nyaya, the attitude of a lion.

If a lion is lying down and we walk by it, it will not give any regard to us because it knows its strength.

Even if we throw a stone at a lion that is lying down, it may not wake up.

But if it wakes up, no one can face it.

In the Artha Shastra, which was the political science of the day, there are four ways prescribed to approach a contending party :

sama, dana, bheda and danda.

We do not suddenly attack the enemy, even if we despise them.

We always try to pacify and calm them, and plead for proper sense to prevail in the mind of the enemy, saying that it is not good to have war—neither is it good for them, nor is it good for us, because it will end in mutual destruction.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ....

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-9.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Sri Krishna said, “What can I give you? I have two things. I have a large army called Narayani Sena; if you want it, you can take it. Otherwise I am here, but unarmed, doing nothing. I will merely sit and discuss with you. I will not take part in the war. If you want such a man as I am, take me. Or if you think this is not going to be of any utility to you, take the large army which will help you, as it is almost invincible.”

“I want you only, Master,” replied Arjuna.

Immediately Duryodhana retorted, “I want the army.”

“Take it,” said Sri Krishna.

Duryodhana left the place hurriedly, and declared to the Kuru family that he had already won victory in the war, that his victory was certain because of the invincible forces that he had received from Sri Krishna.

When Duryodhana left the place, Sri Krishna accosted Arjuna and said, “What a foolish person you are! Why did you not ask for the army? What good is it if I sit idle without doing anythin…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-8.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


“Arjuna, how come you are here at this moment?” said Sri Krishna.

“No sir! I have come first,” said Duryodhana from behind.

“Oh! You have also come,” said Krishna.

Students of the Mahabharatam tell us that Krishna’s sideward glance at Duryodhana was enough to seal Duryodhana’s fate at that moment.

It is believed that it is very inauspicious for a person to be looked at askance by anybody; and that is what happened.

Sri Krishna said, “You have come first, but I saw Arjuna first. Also, he is younger, you are the elder. Don’t you think it is proper for me to speak to the younger one first, especially as I saw him first?”

Then turning to Arjuna, Sri Krishna asked, “What made you come here?”

Arjuna replied, “Great Master, you know what is going to happen. War has become inevitable. We all want your help.”

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ....

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-7.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Having conducted this audience, he sent a Brahmin as a messenger to the Kurus. The Kurus sent Sanjaya in response who, on behalf of the Kurus, came and talked about peace and the unworthiness of having war between the two cousins. But this talk of peace projected by the Kurus was rejected by the Pandavas and Sri Krishna himself, and they were asked to prepare for war.

Then Sri Krishna again returned to Dvarka. Everybody knew the greatness of Krishna as a military genius, and everybody wanted his help in the war which was to ensue, as it was decided that there was no other alternative than to wage war. Both Duryodhana on behalf of the Kurus and Arjuna on behalf of the Pandavas went to Dvarka to plead to Sri Krishna, the great Yadava hero, for assistance in the oncoming war.

Sri Krishna was lying down, resting, when Duryodhana and Arjuna arrived. Duryodhana entered first, and sat near the head of Sri Krishna. He grabbed a chair and reclined. A…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-7. Part-6.

7.Sri Krishna’s Kurukshetra Lila :


Sri Krishna could have done that, but he said, “No. This will not be appreciated by Yudhishthira. He is a Kshatriya who does not receive gifts. He always gives. So, your adventurous spirit of facing the Kurus and handing over the kingdom to Yudhishthira would be finally a very unpleasant gesture, ending in nothing good. He will not accept it. I know the mind of Yudhishthira.”

With these words and blessing, after having a very cordial talk with the brothers in that unfortunate condition, he returned to Dvarka.

The next occasion when Sri Krishna met the Pandavas was when they were living incognito in the court of King Virat, during the thirteenth year of their exile. After the thirteen years of exile were over and the condition imposed on them ended, they removed their disguises and declared themselves to be the Pandavas, to the great consternation of King Virat, who did not know that for one year the Pandavas and Draupadi were living in disgu…