Friday, February 28, 2014

Chapter 18:

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.35
bhave 'smin klisyamananam
karisyann iti kecana

bhave — in the material creation; asmin — this; klisyamananam — of those who are suffering from; avidya — nescience; kama — desire; karmabhih — by execution of fruitive work; sravana — hearing; smarana — remembering; arhani — worshiping; karisyan — may perform; iti — thus; kecana — others.


And yet others say that You appeared to rejuvenate the devotional service of hearing, remembering, worshiping and so on in order that the conditioned souls suffering from material pangs might take advantage and gain liberation.


Srila Prabhupada opens this chapter with a definition of the term religion; In the Srimad Bhagavad-gita the Lord asserts that He appears in every millennium just to reestablish the way of religion. The way of religion is made by the Supreme Lord. No one can manufacture a new path of religion, as is the fashion for certain ambitious persons. The factual way of religion is to accept the Lord as the supreme authority and thus render service unto Him in spontaneous love.

Religion is necessary to relieve our suffering. Some of us may not even know they are suffering. Swamiji states; The Lord, however, out of His causeless mercy, because He is more merciful to the suffering living beings than they can expect, appears before them and renovates the principles of devotional service, comprised of hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, praying, cooperating, and surrendering unto Him. Adoption of all the above mentioned items, or any one of them, can help a conditioned soul get out of the tangle of nescience . . .

Because we are in ignorance, maya, at any time we may forget Krsna. Therefore we must always engage in Krsna consciousness so that we shall not forget Him. That is indicated by Kuntidevi by the words sravana- smaranarhani. The word sravana means "hearing," smarana means "remembering," and arhana means "worshiping the Deity of Krsna." One should always engage oneself in hearing about, remembering, and worshiping Krsna.

We are reminded The real purpose of life is to remember Krsna when one's life comes to an end (ante narayana-smrtih). If at the time of death one can remember Krsna, one's life is successful.

The chapter ends with this statement; These methods of devotional service--hearing, chanting, remembering Krsna, and so on--are so perfect that as soon as one takes to them (either all of them, some of them, or even one of them) one becomes purified. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami prays, "I offer my worship to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for simply by remembering Him, simply by glorifying Him, or simply by seeing Him, so many benefits follow."

In his lecture on this sloka, Srila Prabhupada made this statement that jumped out at me. It is there in the chapter also but I love the more direct quote. It seems to carry more weight somehow:

 . . . therefor, I say; the Christian, they are also Viasnava; the Mouslim, they are also Viasnava. "Don't go to church, Don't go to Temple, Don't go to Mosk". This propaganda is very, very dangerous to the human society. Thank you very much.

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