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Canto One, Chapter One
Questions By the Sages
Srila Vyasadeva offers his obeisances to Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and immediately glorifies the Srimad Bhagavatam as completely pure, free from materially motivated activities, and especially nectarean having emamated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Goswami. (1-3) The narration of the ”Bhagavatam• begins in the holy place of Naimisaranya, where great sages first glorify Srila Suta Goswami, the speaker of the Bhagavatam, and then begin inquiring from him (4-8) The sages begin posing their questions. (9-13) They then glorify hearing about the Lord and request Suta to speak to them about the Lord and His incarnations. (14-20) After Suta describes that the Age of Kali has just begun, the sages then ask a final question: “Now that Sri Krsna, the Absolute Truth, the master of all mystic powers has departed for His abode, please tell us by whom religious principles are presently protected.” (21-23)
1. One should hear the pastimes, names, and glories of the Lord from the Srimad Bhagavatam, in which all material forms of region have been are rejected, from a bona fide spiritual master, become fixed in devotional service, and not allow his mind to be deflected to anything else. Patiently and submissively hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam immediately re-establishes a soul in his eternal relationship with Krsna. All other goals are rejected in the Bhagavatam. (1-3)
2. One must hear the Bhagavatam from a bonafide representative of Vyasadeva. (4-8)
3. If both the speaker and the hearer are qualified, the hearer will easily understand the Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (9-13)
4. Hearing of the everfresh pastimes, names, and glories of Krsna will attract one from the horrible Kali yuga trap of the material world to the eternal blissful spiritual realm. (14-20)
5. Because of the shortness of life that Kali Yuga brings, one should fear the dangers of Kali, accept the shelter of a bonafide spiritual master, and adopt the process recommended by Lord Caitanya for self realization in Kali Yuga: hearing and chanting Krsna’s glories as told in the BG and the SB. (21-23)
* * *
Regarding the six questions of the sages, in his commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.1, Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura has summarized the six questions that the sages of Namasaranya asked Suta Gosvami as follows:
1. What is the ultimate benefit for mankind?
2. What is the essence of all scriptures?
3. For what reason did the Lord take His birth from Devaki?
4. Describe the wonderful deeds of the Lord when He assumed the forms of Brahma, Rudra, etc, for the purpose of creating, maintaining, and destroying the universe.
5. Fully describe the activities of Lord Hari’s incarnations within this universe.
6. Where has religion taken shelter after Krsna has retired to His own abode?
Srila Jiva Gosvami has commented that of these six questions, four are answered in Chapter Two and two are answered in Chapter Three.
Here are the questions and the place in which they are answered according to two commentators on the Bhagavatam:
Question One (1.1.9): What is the absolute and ultimate good (sreyah) for people in general?
After describing that devotional service to Sri Krsna was the essence of the scriptures, Suta explains that the ultimate benefit for people in general is to become free from material bondage and develop love of God through devotional service offered only to Krsna or His plenary parts (Especially SB 1.2.6- 7, but also until verse 27)
Question Two: (1.1.11): What is the essence of all scriptures?
Throughout the Second Chapter of the Bhagavatam and especially in SB 1.2.6-7, and continuing on to text 28, Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is confirmed as the only object of worship, and establishing one’s lost relationship with Him in love and service through devotional service is proclaimed as sum and substance of the Vedic literatures.
Question Three (1.1.12): (1.1.12): Tell why Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared.
This question is answered in 1.2.34, “to reclaim those in the mode of pure goodness.” In addition, this question is answered in 1.8.35, 9.4.61, 10.8.48-50, and 10.33.37.
Question Four (1.1.17) Tell us of the acts of Lord performs in relationship to creating the material world.
This question is answered in 1.2.30-33, wherein the Bhagavatam explains how Vasudeva creates the materialsubstance and enters into it as the Purusa incarnations. In addition, Cantos Three and Four explain the creation of the universe.
Question Five (1.1.18): Describe the activities of the incarnations of the Lord.
The Lord’s incarnations are described within the Chapter Three of the First Canto. Descriptions of the incarnations are expanded throughout the remainder of the Bhagavatam.
Question Six (1.1.23): Where have religious principles gone after Krsna’s disappearance from this planet?
Suta Goswami answers this question in SB 1.3.43 by declaring, “This Bhagavat Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krsna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purana.”
Chapter Two, Divinity and Divine Service
Before replying, Suta Goswami first offers his obeisances to his guru, Srila Sukadeva Goswami, and then begins answering the sage’s questions. (1-4) Suta begins describing the relevance of the sages’ inquiries, for they are about Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He then stresses the importance of the process of self-realization, and its goal–devotional service to Krsna. (5-10) Suta further explains that since Krsna is the Absolute Truth, one must satisfy Him by devotional service. (11-15) The gradual progression of consciousness as one overcomes the effects of the modes of nature and attains pure devotional service through the proper hearing of Srimad Bhagavatam and serving pure devotees is then described by Suta Goswami. (16-22)
Suta explains Lord Krsna’s position as beyond the modes of nature and therefore instructs that those serious about liberation worship only Him, for the Lord is the Supreme goal of life. (23-29) The chapter ends with Suta’s description of how the Lord, although transcendental to the material world, first creates the material world and then maintains His creation. (30-34)
1. Since by hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam from a pure devotee spiritual master, the modes of passion and ignorance gradually slacken, and one develops his eternal rasa with Krsna, why should one divert his mind to anything independent of Krsna’s service? (1-4)
2. To achieve perfection, one should hear Srimad Bhagavatam from a pure devotee and become a pure devotee, and since becoming a pure lover of Krsna is the only source of true satisfaction, one should reject as useless every activity not directed towards awakening our attraction to Krsna and realization of our personal relationship with Him. (5-10)
3. Every man should therefore take instruction from the scriptures and constantly glorify, remember, and worship Krsna. (11-15)
4. By performing devotional service and hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam from great devotees, the hold of the modes of passion and ignorance are loosened and one gradually transcends the modes of material nature and progressively comes to live in his eternal rasa with Krsna. (16-22)
5. Since everything auspicious can be achieved through pure devotional service, why divert our mind to sense gratification or anything independent of Krsna’s service. (23-29)
6. To reclaim the misguided conditioned souls aimlessly seeking happiness in the material world, Krsna enters the world as Supersoul and prompt them to reawaken their relationship with Him. He also incarnates and empowers suitable living beings to act on His behalf. (30-34)
Krsna comes to the material world in many incarnations in order to save the fallen souls, and when the Lord comes, He has no connection with the material world, although He appears to be within it. One should hear of these incarnations from the Bhagavatam, from a pure devotee, and thus learn one’s eternal relationship with Krsna and his ultimate destination after leaving his body.
Chapter Three, Krsna is the Source of All Incarnations
Suta Goswami describes the three roles of the Purusa avataras in the creation of both the total cosmos and the individual universes. (1-4) Suta then briefly describes twenty-two incarnations of God that appear within this universe, but explains that the Lord actually has unlimited incarnations. (5-27) Although innumerable incarnations exist, Krsna is Their fountainhead and is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (28) Suta Goswami explains that the material forms (gross and subtle) of both the Lord (Virata Rupa) and the living beings are actually imaginary. Therefore, learned men describe the glories and pastimes of the Lord’s incarnations so that the conditioned souls can be freed from ignorance and achieve ecstatic love for the Supreme Lord. (29-39) Suta Goswami then glorifies the Srimad Bhagavatam as the incarnation of Lord Krsna meant for delivering the conditioned souls of Kali Yuga. He also describes how the Bhagavatam was transferred from Srila Vyasadeva to Sukadeva to Himself (40-44)
1. The Lord, through His Purusa incarnations– Karanadaksayi Visnu, Garbodaksayi Visnu, and Ksiradaksayi Visnu– creates the material world to facilitate the misguided ambitions of the Jiva souls. One can perceive the spiritual nature of these incarnations, as well as all the Lord’s other incarnations, if one is qualified through his devotional service. (1-4)
2. Through Garbodaksayi Visnu comes innumerable incarnations which are manifested on different planets and in different universes constantly, without cessation, as water flows continuously from a waterfall. (5-27)
3. But Sri Krsna is not an incarnation. Rather He is the original, complete, Supreme Personality of Godhead. (28)
4. One should hear how the Lord descends into the material world, while having no connection with the material world, from bonafide sources like the Srimad Bhagavatam and thus become enriched with knowledge. One should then take shelter of the Lord, become self realized, and see the Lord face to face. (29-39)
5. To reach this stage of perfection, one should hear this Srimad Bhagavatam, the cream of Vedic literatures, with rapt attention from a bonafide spiritual master, and thus learn who is God, what one’s relationship is with Him, and what one’s ultimate destination is after leaving his body. Such a qualified reader of the Bhagavatam will see Sri Krsna, in person, within the Bhagavatam’s pages. (40-44)
Chapters Four, The Appearance of Sri Narada
Saunaka Rsi inquires from Suta Goswami about the history of Sukadeva Goswami’s speaking the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit.(1-13) Suta begins retelling how Veda Vyasa compiled and edited the Vedic literatures for the benefit of the unfortunate souls of Kali Yuga. (14-25) Even after his great work was complete, Veda Vyasa still felt dissatisfied. Just as he was contemplating the cause of his despondency, his spiritual master, Narada Muni, appeared.(26-33)
1. This Bhagavatam, which contains the direct pastimes of the Lord and which leads the conditioned souls of Kali to engage in pure devotional service, the only activity that will truly satisfy them, is effective only when heard from a pure devotee who is representing Sukadeva Goswami. (1-13)
2. This Bhagavatam only describes devotional service and the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krsna, and is Srila Vyasadeva’s special arrangements so the unfortunate souls trapped by Kali can approach the ultimate achievement, devotional service, which alone can bring complete satisfaction to the self.(14-25)
3. One cannot feel true satisfaction until one engages in direct devotional service as the Bhagavatam describes, even though one may understand and become purified by assimilating all the knowledge of the Vedas and the Mahabharat.(26-33)
Chapter Five, Narada’s Instructions on Srimad Bhagavatam for Vyasadeva
Narada Muni, fully understanding the situation, inquires from Vyasa about the root cause of Vyasa’s unhappiness, and hints about the solution.(1-4) Srila Vyasadeva requests his spiritual master, Narada, to reveal to him the cause of his despondency. (5-7)
Narada then reveals to Vyasa the importance of directly describing the glorious pastimes of Krsna, and he also tells him the dangers that could arise due to Vyasa’s previous writings, which only indirectly hint at the glories of the Lord. (8-16) Narada then tells Vyasa about the secure position of a devotee serving Krsna. (17-19) After describing the Lord as both impersonal as well personal, Narada asks Vyasa to vividly and directly describe the pastimes of Krsna. (20-22) Narada then explains to Vyasa how he, through the association of great Bhaktivedantas, became fixed in the confidential devotional service of the Lord. (23-31) Narada glorifies working in Krsna’s service while remembering His glories.(32-36) After glorifying transcendental sound, Narada then requests Vyasa to directly glorify the Lord’s activities for the benefit of suffering humanity.(37-40)
1. True satisfaction cannot come by any means other than by pure devotional service. (1-4)
2. Even if one is complete in material knowledge, one must become trained to render pure devotional service and thus remove one’s miseries; therefore, one must approach and surrender to training from a bonafide spiritual who is one hundred percent a pure devotee engaged in Krsna’s service. (5-7)
3. Because the Srimad Bhagavatam directly presents the pastimes and glories of the Lord, hearing the Bhagavatam from such a pure devotee is the best method of removing our impurities and again reviving our devotional service to Krsna. Although we may be attracted to other literatures due to our impure, conditioned desires, attentively studying the Bhagavatam will remove those desires. The Bhagavatam is therefore the most superior literature, superior to even the Vedic literatures which promote gradual purification and thereby confuse readers about life’s ultimate goal. (8-16)
4. On one hand, any gains outside of devotional service is doomed, and on the other hand, devotional gains are eternal. Advancing through devotional service is so perfect that even if a devotee falls the Lord personally takes charge of rectifying him. (17-19)
5. For the living entity to regain his constitution position of serving Krsna through devotional service, he must seek shelter of the Lord’s representative, the bonafide spiritual master, and then, under the spiritual master’s direction, the disciple can purify his material attachments by using them to glorify the Lord. (20-22)
6. Therefore one who is determined to go back to Godhead must surrender to, take training from, and hear the Bhagavatam from a pure spiritual master who represents Krsna. One must serve such a spiritual master, and rejecting all desires for material happiness, use his material abilities and opulences in Krsna’s service while cultivating a strong desire to serve Krsna in the spiritual world. (23-31)
7. No plan to remove our miseries other than taking shelter of the Lord in devotional service will succeed, and we should become determined to purify our inclination to lord it over the material world by dovetailing our material tendencies in Krsna’s service. Thus, under the direction of a pure devotee, we can always remember Krsna and go back to Godhead. (32-36)
8. Rejecting as useless everything that doesn’t bring us closer to Krsna, one should uncover his relationship with Krsna through offenselessly chanting transcendental sound vibrations, like the Bhagavatam. Because all classes of men can become purified through the potency of transcendental sound vibrations, these vibrations should be widely broadcast. (37-40)
Chapter Six, Conversation Between Narada and Vyasa
Vyasa inquires from Narada about how he passed his life after the departure of the sages. (1-4) Narada describes that after his mother was bitten by a poisonous snake and died, he began traveling. Once, as he sat beneath a banyan tree, he began meditating on the Lord in the heart. (5-15) As Narada Muni meditated, the Supersoul first appeared to him and then departed. Narada Muni was grief stricken. (16-20)
The Lord then spoke to Narada, and His words dispelled Narada’s grief. (21-25) After recounting his meeting with the Supersoul, Narada tells Vyasa how he spent the remainder of his life. Narada then describes his next birth as the great sage, Narada Muni. (26-30) Vyasadeva then hears of the transcendental activities that Narada Muni now continuously performs. (31-33) Narada finishes his instructions to Vyasa, and Suta Goswami narrates the departure of Narada. Suta then describes Narada’s glories. (34-38)
1. Inquiring from great devotees helps one advance in Krsna consciousness, and that advancement is never annihilated, as spirit is never annihilated, even at the death of the body. (1-4)
2. After associating with these devotees and taking initiation from them, one should become serious about Krsna consciousness, and if Krsna kindly removes one’s material entanglements, one should devote one’s time solely to spiritual development either by fearlessly traveling or by sitting in a holy place and repeatedly hearing and chanting the holy scriptures. (5-15)
3. Thus by taking initiation from and serving one’s bonafide spiritual masters, and by following the regulative principles and practices of devotional service, one’s love of God will gradually progress in its development until it is beyond the probationary, regulative stages of devotional service, and then, by the Lord’s causeless mercy, one will be able to ecstatically directly see and hear Krsna by His mercy. (16-20)
4. To reach the stage of ecstatic love for Krsna, one should receive training in a temple, perform arcana, and there serve Krsna. These practices will naturally increase one’s desire to serve more and more, and thus, through intensely hankering for Krsna’s service, one will directly experience Krsna’s transcendental presence. Even a short period of training in devotional service ultimately, but inevitably, leads to association with Krsna, and whatever devotional service one renders is never lost, but accumulates until it is completely mature. (21-25)
5. Thus a pure and sincere devotee experiences the association of the Lord through continuously and selflessly chanting and preaching, and in this way prepares for his liberation, going back to Godhead in his spiritual body in his next life. Even as he serves in this life, he is surcharging his present material body with spiritual energy. Although a great liberated devotee may even again take birth, neither his birth or death will be ordinary, for his appearance and disappearance will be like Krsna’s, who carries on His activities in an unlimited, transcendental body. (26-30)
6. By following in the footsteps of the great authorized devotees like Narada Muni, a pure devotee is awarded so much benediction from the Lord that he continuously, lovingly chants Krsna’s glories and thus penetrates the attention of the Lord and obliges the Lord to always be visible to him. (31-33)
7. Since one can cross the ocean of miseries only through devotional service, by changing all thinking and activities to Krsna conscious thinking and activities, and since we know know from Narada Muni how one achieves ecstatic love of God as the results of devotional service, we should thereby use our free will to execute devotional service, and make it our mission to to preach the glories of devotional service to the suffering, illusioned conditioned souls within this world. (34-38)
Chapter Seven, The Son of Drona Punished
Saunaka Rsi inquires from Suta Goswami about Vyasa’s activities after Narada’s departure. Suta first describes Vyasa’s meditation and how through his meditation Vyasa perfectly understood the Lord, the living entity, and the Lord’s material energy. (1-4) Vyasa, in order to save the conditioned souls from misery, then compiled the Srimad Bhagavatam and taught it to his son Sukadeva Goswami. (5-8)
Saunaka then asks Suta why Sukadeva, who was already on the path of self-realization, took the trouble to study the Bhagavatam. After Suta replies that even liberated souls are attracted to the Srimad Bhagavatam, Suta begins answering Saunaka’s earlier questions about Sri Krsna, Maharaja Pariksit, and the Pandavas. He begins by explaining that Asvattama, the son of Arjuna’s martial teacher Dronacarya, killed the five sleeping Pandava princes after the battle of Kuruksetra. (9-14)
Asvattama flees after his heinous crime, and Arjuna sets out to capture him. Asvattama tries to escape by using his brahmastra weapon on Arjuna. When Arjuna sees the glaring brahmastra threatening him, he prays to Sri Krsna, who is driving his chariot, and then follows Krsna’s instructions about counteracting the fearful weapon. (15-20)(21-34) Arjuna neutralizes the brahmastra and then captures and binds Asvattama. Krsna then tells Arjuna that Asvattama should be killed. Arjuna brings Asvattama back to the Pandava camp. There, Draupadi and the other Pandavas are appalled to see Asvattama, the son of their teacher, bound with ropes. They demand his release. Bhima, alone amongst the Pandavas, demands Asvattama be killed for his horrendous misdeed. Krsna hints at the solution, and Arjuna, understanding Krsna’s desire, both “kills” and “not kills” Asvattama by cutting off the jewel from Asvattama’s head. Then, after releasing Asvattama, Arjuna and the Pandavas perform the funeral rituals for their relatives who have been slain in the Battle of Kuruksetra. (35-41(42-58)
1. The Varnasrama system is a spiritual culture in which all members–brahmacaris, grhastha, vanaprasthas, and sannyasis–are making advancement in their realization of the Absolute Truth. But one can reach the perfection of realization of the Absolute Truth, wherein one knows Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only through the linking process of devotional service. (1-4)
2. The desire to perform devotional service to Krsna as well as an attachment to Krsna will arise within the heart of even an illusioned soul attached to sense gratification if he contacts Krsna through hearing, in the association of devotees, about devotional service from the Bhagavatam. This Srimad Bhagavatam is especially meant for the Paramhamsas, nevertheless, all material miseries of one who takes shelter of the Bhagavatam will completely stop. (5-8)
3. Since properly hearing the Bhagavatam will purify and attract everyone to Krsna, even one liberated in brahman. Lord Caitanya wanted everyone, especially those born in India, to study and become fully realized in the Bhagavatam, and preach its message all over the world. (9-14)
4. The Bhagavatam contains the pastimes of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and controller and source of everything, and it tells of His transcendental pastimes as He descends to reclaim the suffering, conditioned souls and remove their illusions, fears, and miseries. In these all-attractive pastimes, He sometimes even exhibits anger to show His special kindness and inclination towards His devotees who are always rapt in thoughts of Him. (15-20, 21-34)
5. Throughout His dealings with His devotees, Krsna tests His devotees and magnifies their sense of duty and thus helps them develop their intimate relationship with Him as either servant, friend, parent, or object of conjugal love. Krsna, in His dealings with His devotees, even personally solves their dilemmas. (35-41, 42-48)
Chapter Eight, The Prayers of Queen Kunti
Just after Lord Krsna and the Pandavas perform the funeral rituals for their relatives killed in the Battle of Kuruksetra, Krsna prepares to leave for Dvaraka. Suddenly Uttara approaches Krsna in great fear. Asvattama had hurled another ”brahmastra•, and targeted it to kill the unborn child within her womb. Krsna, as the Supersoul, covers the embryo from within and saves Uttara. (1-7, 8-16) After Krsna saves Uttara and her embryo, Kunti, the mother of the five Pandavas, approaches Krsna along with her sons and offers her obeisances. After glorifying the Lord, Kunti describes His descent and greatness, and wonders how she can possibly understand His unfathomable position. (17-22) Kunti retells how the Lord protected her and her family during their calamitous years of exile. She then explains that only one who has no material shelter can easily approach Krsna. (23-27) Kunti then explains the mysterious nature of Krsna’s birth and activities, as well as the reason for His advent. (28-36) Kunti begs Krsna to remain in Hastinapura, as the welfare and opulence of the Pandava kingdom depend upon His presence. (37-40) Kunti then expresses her desire to sever her affection to all others but Krsna, and then, while offering her obeisances to the Lord, declares her complete dependence upon Him. (41-42) After Kunti ends her prayers, Krsna again attempts to leave Hastinapur. Maharaja Yudhisthira, overwhelmed by the death of his kinsman, approaches Krsna in a dejected mood and is filled with lamentation. (43-52)
1. And the goal of taking shelter Krsna is the only worthwhile goal in life since nothing or no one other than Krsna, who uses His inconceivable potencies to protect those who are completely dependent upon Him, can protect us from death. (1-7, 8-16)
2. Krsna can do this because He is the Supreme Lord, and when He descends, it is to attract us to Him by displaying all-attractive human-like childhood pastimes in Vrindaban, in which He always reciprocates with and protects those pure devotees who are fully dependent upon Him. But those who are not yet pure and who do not intimately know the Lord, should go to the temples and see Him in His form as arca-vigraha. There, in the temples, those fallen souls should become purified by hearing about the Lord from proper authorities and thereby get Krsna’s mercy, which will be available to them if they are sincere in purpose. (17-22)
3. Since human life’s true goal should only to develop one’s loving relationship with Krsna, a devotee in material difficulty who has learned to take shelter of the Lord is in a more favorable position than one who possess wealth, beauty, family, and education–for these material opulences tend to make one forget the Lord. In fact, Krsna becomes the property of a devotee who, possessing nothing material, takes full shelter of Him. (23-27)
4. Krsna comes to this world and displays His merciful pastimes, which bewilder ordinary men but fully benefit the pure devotees. In these pastimes the unborn, Supreme Lord not only takes birth but also becomes a plaything of His pure devotees. Despite His coming to the material world, He is still the Supreme Lord and the Supersoul of the entire creation, therefore submissively hearing these pastimes from the correct sources mitigates the miseries of the conditioned soul. (28-36)
5. Since one’s material opulences are all doomed, and since even the earth’s prosperity is maintained when the Lord is pleased, one should become dependent upon the Lord by being obedient to His laws and thus achieve prosperity as well as the perfection of human life through devotional service. (37-40)
6. Because the knot of family affection can limit one’s service, one should even desire to renounce it if such renunciation increases his devotional service and focuses his affection on Krsna. (41-42)
7. One’s choice is to be either deluded by the Lord’s maya and enchanted by the material world or to be enchanted by affection for the Lord and thus practically conquer the Almighty Lord. If one chooses correctly, the Lord personally glorifies and protects such a devotee from all sinful reactions. (43-52)
Chapter Nine, The Passing Away of Bhismadeva in the Presence of Lord Krsna
Maharaja Yudhisthira, Krsna, and the Pandavas go to the battlefield where Bhisma is lying on a bed of arrows. Many great rsis also arrive, and Bhismadeva properly receives them all, especially Lord Krsna, for Bhisma is aware of His glorious position. (1-10) Seeing the Pandavas, Bhisma enumerates all the sufferings the Pandavas tolerated prior to the battle. Bhisma then explains that such things could only have happened due to the actions of eternal time and Krsna’s inconceivable plan. (11-17) Bhisma describes the glories and actual position of Krsna. (18-22) Bhisma appreciates that Krsna has personally come to be present before him at the time of his death. (23-25) Bhismadeva first answers Yudhisthira’s questions regarding the duties of a religious monarch and then notices that the auspicious time for his departure has arrived. He thus withdraws his consciousness from this world and focuses it on Krsna. (26-33) Bhisma especially fixes his mind on remembering Sri Krsna as he saw Him on the battlefield as the chariot driver of Arjuna. (34-38) Bhisma further glorifies Krsna’s wonderful reciprocations with His other devotees. (39-42) Bhismadeva breathes his last. After the great sages and the Pandavas depart, Yudhisthira begins ruling the kingdom according to the instructions he has received from Bhismadeva. (43-49)
1. Krsna arranges pastimes in the material world to glorify His devotees. (1-10)
2. Devotees ungrudgingly accept the adverse conditions and sufferings that they undergo in their devotional service, for they are committed to the Lord’s plan, the exact nature of which no one can ascertain. (11-17)
3. Krsna re-establishes the conditioned soul’s relationship with Him by demonstrating pastimes with His pure devotees. These pastimes, regardless of the Lord’s dealings, all produce ecstasy for His devotees, for the Lord, although internally guiding all living entities as Supersoul, even externally guides his devotee. (18-22)
4. Pure devotees always thinks of Krsna and are the greatest of yogis, and although such devotees are brought by Krsna to the spiritual sky after leaving their body, they only desire to always think about Krsna, and the Lord, in reciprocation, arranges their glorification. (23-25)
4. In the pastime the Lord arranged with Bhismadeva, we learn that that which attracts the mind of a dying man becomes the beginning of his next life, so one should always think of Krsna and then, when he leaves his body, go back to Godhead, having faith that the Lord who is also the Supreme Controller, will personally fulfill any spiritual desire one may have. Therefore one should rid himself of all material desires, focus His mind on Krsna, and following Krsna’s instructions obtain a relationship with Krsna in the spiritual world. (26-33)
5. So intimate is the loving reciprocation between the devotees and the Lord that although a devotee is sometimes placed to act as the Lord’s enemy within a particular pastime, nonetheless, the Lord accepts whatever His devotee offers because it is offered with love. The Lord becomes so obliged to His pure devotee that He desires to execute His devotee’s orders, as a father is pleased to execute the orders of his son. Sometimes the Lord puts His devotees in ignorance as He did to Arjuna, so the Bhagavad-gita could be spoken. Thus the devotee can carry on many relationships with the Lord, even by playing the part of an enemy, if that part is offered with transcendental love. (34-38)
6. Dieing while looking at or remembering Krsna carries one to the highest perfection of life, and one should therefore have the Lord before him when he dies or hear the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam and thus pass at death to Vaikuntha, to act as either the Lord’s servant, friend, parent, or fiancee. (39-42)
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