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Notes From The Bhagavatam 4

by Hasti Gopala dasa

I remember when I was living in the temple back in '75 in Toronto I got this idea to simply open any one of the Bhagavatams and find a verse randomly and post it with note paper next to the temple room door for devotees to read. I suppose this is that old service returned.

First Canto Part Three. Chapter 14 text 10 Page 88

Just see, O man with a tiger’s strength, how many miseries due to celestial influences, earthly reactions and bodily pains—all very dangerous in themselves—are foreboding danger in the near future by deluding our intelligence.

PURPORT Material advancement of civilization means advancement of the reactions of the threefold miseries due to celestial influence, earthly reactions and bodily or mental pains. By the celestial influence of the stars there are many calamities like excessive heat, cold, rains or no rains, and the after-effects are famine, disease and epidemic. The aggregate result is agony of the body and the mind. Man-made material science cannot do anything to counteract these threefold miseries. They are all punishments from the superior energy of māyā under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Therefore our constant touch with the Lord by devotional service can give us relief without our being disturbed in the discharge of our human duties. The asuras, however, who do not believe in the existence of God, make their own plans to counteract all these threefold miseries, and so they meet with failures every time. The Bhagavad-gītā (7.14) clearly states that the reaction of material energy is never to be conquered, because of the binding effects of the three modes. They can simply be overcome by one who surrenders fully in devotion under the lotus feet of the Lord.

Page 106

" The Lord Stays only where pious men assemble and takes pleasure in their glorifying the Supreme Truth."

Page 115.

The seven mothers.

The wife of a brāhmaṇa is considered one of the seven mothers (namely one’s own mother, the wife of the spiritual master or teacher, the wife of a brāhmaṇa, the wife of a king, the cow, the nurse, and the earth).

Page 123

"The power and energy which were bestowed upon Arjuna were required for fulfillment of the mission of the Lord, but when His mission was fulfilled, the emergency powers were withdrawn from Arjuna because the astounding powers of Arjuna, which were astonishing even to the denizens of heaven, were no longer required, and they were not meant for going back home, back to Godhead. If endowment of powers and withdrawal of powers by the Lord are possible even for a great devotee like Arjuna, or even the demigods in heaven, then what to speak of the ordinary living beings who are but figs compared to such great souls. The lesson is, therefore, that no one should be puffed up for his powers borrowed from the Lord. The sane man should rather feel obliged to the Lord for such benefactions and must utilize such power for the service of the Lord. Such power can be withdrawn at any time by the Lord, so the best use of such power and opulence is to engage them in the service of the Lord."

Page 152

The art of doing a thing perfectly.

"Whenever, therefore, there is peace in the world, it must be known that it is due to the good will of the Lord. And whenever there is upheaval in the world, it is also due to the supreme will of the Lord. Not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Lord. Whenever, therefore, there is disobedience of the established rules enacted by the Lord, there is war between men and nations. The surest way to the path of peace, therefore, is dovetailing everything to the established rule of the Lord. The established rule is that whatever we do, whatever we eat, whatever we sacrifice or whatever we give in charity must be done to the full satisfaction of the Lord. No one should do anything, eat anything, sacrifice anything or give anything in charity against the will of the Lord. Discretion is the better part of valor, and one must learn how to discriminate between actions which may be pleasing to the Lord and those which may not be pleasing to the Lord. An action is thus judged by the Lord’s pleasure or displeasure. There is no room for personal whims; we must always be guided by the pleasure of the Lord. Such action is called yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam, or actions performed which are linked with the Supreme Lord. That is the art of doing a thing perfectly."

Page 155.

"The problem which arose in the heart of Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra was solved by the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā. Again, after the departure of the Lord from the vision of earthly people, when Arjuna was face to face with being vanquished in his acquired power and prominence, he wanted again to remember the great teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā just to teach all concerned that the Bhagavad-gītā can be consulted in all critical times, not only for solace from all kinds of mental agonies, but also for the way out of great entanglements which may embarrass one in some critical hour."

Page 178.

Who is the pure devotee?

"One must not only think that he is Brahman, but must act like Brahman. One who only thinks himself Brahman is an impersonalist. And one who acts like Brahman is the pure devotee."

Page 196

The purifying agent.

" There are many topics in the Bhāgavatam about sociology, politics, economics, cultural affairs, etc., but all of them are in relation with Kṛṣṇa, and therefore all of them are worth hearing. Kṛṣṇa is the purifying ingredient in all matters, regardless of what they are. In the mundane world, everything is impure due to its being a product of the three mundane qualities. The purifying agent, however, is Kṛṣṇa.


Having missed an earlier small note paper I will refer to it until the references are checked.

Page 48 Chapter 13 Text 37

I am including the whole text for the end of this posting. "transcendental fraud" :)

Sañjaya said: My dear descendant of the Kuru dynasty, I have no information of the determination of your two uncles and Gāndhārī. O King, I have been cheated by those great souls.

PURPORT That great souls cheat others may be astonishing to know, but it is a fact that great souls cheat others for a great cause. It is said that Lord Kṛṣṇa also advised Yudhiṣṭhira to tell a lie before Droṇācārya, and it was also for a great cause. The Lord wanted it, and therefore it was a great cause. Satisfaction of the Lord is the criterion of one who is bona fide, and the highest perfection of life is to satisfy the Lord by one’s occupational duty. That is the verdict of Gītā and Bhāgavatam.* Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Vidura, followed by Gāndhārī, did not disclose their determination to Sañjaya, although he was constantly with Dhṛtarāṣṭra as his personal assistant. Sañjaya never thought that Dhṛtarāṣṭra could perform any act without consulting him. But Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s going away from home was so confidential that it could not be disclosed even to Sañjaya. Sanātana Gosvāmī also cheated the keeper of the prison house while going away to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and similarly Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī also cheated his priest and left home for good to satisfy the Lord. To satisfy the Lord, anything is good, for it is in relation with the Absolute Truth. We also had the same opportunity to cheat the family members and leave home to engage in the service of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Such cheating was necessary for a great cause, and there is no loss for any party in such transcendental fraud.



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