Bhagavata Dharma was the Lord’s favorite dharma and He disclosed the dharma to everybody by Himself, whereas, He requested all Rishis and great sages to propagate other dharmas. “Bhagavata Proktam iti Bhagavatam”. He earnestly requested all great mahans to spread the word of Bhagavata Dharma to the entire world. Bhagavatam mentions the twelve great people who knew the significance of Bhagavata Dharma.
Brahma, Narada, Shiva, Sanatkumaras, Kapila, Manu, Prahlada, Janaka, Bheeshma, Bali, Sage Suka and Yama.
Srimad Bhagavatam describes Rishaba Yogishawara was a shining example of a Jeevan Mukta. He was so compassionate and was very loving to everyone. He had many supernatural powers but did not make any use of them. Out of his sheer compassion he calls all his ninty-nine sons and gave them a valuable piece of advice. He gave an upadesha of Bhagavatha Dharma. First and foremost advice he advised them is to be in an association of Sadhus. He then taught the beautiful precept to keep doing one’s karma until the karma finally leaves them. The first indication that one will experience when one’s karma is going to be completed is verily the inclination to listen to the divine stories of the Lord. One’s thought should always be focused on to the Lord. A guru who does not show the lord is indeed not a guru. “Janani na sasyath janako na sasyaat gurur na sasyaat”
We also see that in Jadabharata’s life history where he (the son of Rishabha) renounces everything. In his third birth he was born as Jadabharatha and imparted Bhagavata Dharma to Raghugana.
All these illustrious Mahatmas, being Jnanis of the highest order, have shown the path of Bhagavatha Dharma which is verily chanting the Divine Names of the Lord and listening to His Divine stories.
Following this, Gayathriji from Boston gave a wonderful discourse on Daksha Yagna.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, Sage Suka says merely listening to the stories of the great devotees of the Lord would instill Hari Bhakti.
“Yath Bhgavatha Mahatmyam bhagavat bhakti varadanam”
Each canto in Srimad Bhagavatam carries a special significance and meaning. The fourth canto as the number indicates, talks about the four Purushartas and how they should be performed. The four Purushartas are Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha. We all speak of dharma. How dharma should be performed and what should be the intent of dharma is expounded in detail in the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.
“Dharma stanustithasya pumsam vishwaksena kathaasuyahah”
“Nothpaadayet yadi rathim shramayevahi kevalam”
Any Dharma that is performed should lead one to Hari Bhakti. If that does not lead to Hari Bhakti, then that effort is just a waste. Dharma should lead to compassion and forgiveness. It should lead to universal love for living beings and bring peace and harmony within us and outside. When this is accomplished, our Bhakti to Lord Hari increases which will eventually make us see Lord Hari in every living being.
Srimad Bhagavatam’s approach is wonderful. Instead of describing the ways of practicing a Dharma, it enlists the methods as how it should not be performed. King Parikshit questions about this to Sage Suka. He says “Oh Sage Suka, Now that I know when I am going to die, please tell me what I should do and what I should not do in order to make my remaining life more meaningful and successful?”
Sage Suka very aptly replied that if one has desires or if he is devoid of any desires, or if he has desires for moksha, then it Lord Vishnu whom he has to worship. He also added that one should not have any hatred [dvesham] against other deities and other devotees of the Lord.
“Akaamah sarva kaamova Moksha kaamova…”
In order to substantiate how a dharma should be performed and what consequences one will face if he entertains the grudge of Lord Shiva and his devotees is explained in Daksha Yagna.
Daksha was one of the prajapatis of Lord Brahma. The first and supreme position was held by Lord Narayana himself. The next in hierarchy was Lord Brahma. The third position was being held by Daksha. Hence he was in a very commendable position. We have seen that the higher one goes in the spiritual path, he should become more and more humble. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, “Thrunadapi Suneechena Tharorapi Sahishnuna”. One needs to be humble as a blade of grass, says Chaitanya Mahapranhu.
Manu had three daughters and two sons. The daughters were Aahooti, Devahooti and Prasooti. The sons were Priyavratha and Uttanapada. Prasooti was married to Daksha. He was very boastful and did not entertain any humility in him. Daksha had married daughter Dakshayini to Lord Shiva.
Once a sacrifice [yagna] was being performed and everyone including the Devas including Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva also attended. Daksha also attended the event. Daksha being in a respectable position, everyone stood up and paid their respects to him. Lord Siva did not get up from his seat since he was deeply engrossed in his penance. This really irked Daksha and he immediately started to bad mouth Lord Shiva. He started despising Lord Shiva’s appearance. Lord Shiva an embodiment of patience and calmness was just patiently listening to the abuses by Daksha. Meanwhile, Nandi, sub-ordinate of Lord Shiva was also witnessing the whole scene and he became furious and cursed Daksha. Since Daksha was screaming like a goat, he imprecated that he will have the face of a goat. Words were exchanges between Daksha’s supporters and Lord Shiva’s clan and after sometime Lord Shiva left the place as he was not able to take it anymore. The sacrifice finally came to an end amidst the confusion.
Days passed by and Daksha performed another sacrifice. It was known as “Brihaspati Sthava”. He invited everybody in town except Lord Shiva and Dakshayini. Daksha’s daughter was Dakshayini. She was married to Lord Shiva. She noticed that all her friends were going for the sacrifice which her father was performing. She expressed her interest to attend the sacrifice and confided it to Lord Shiva. Upon hearing to her request, he gently advised her that one should not go to a place where one is not invited. In reply , Dakshayini replied that one should not expect any invitation to a place where the Lord is being worshipped. But if the host does not look into the guest’s eyes and expresses his delight by your presence, then one should not make it to that host’s place, added Lord Shiva.
The greatness of Mahans is that they won’t force their thoughts on their devotees. They would express their opinion and leave it to the decision of the devotee. Thus, Lord Shiva just forewarned Dakshayini that she should not go to a place without an invitation. If she insisted on going to the sacrifice then that would probably lead to death.
Despite Lord Shiva’s advise, she decided to go since she had bondage to her parent’s home. She left for the sacrifice with some Lord Shiva’s supporters [Bhutaganas]. Upon reaching that place, she was very much welcomed by her mother and her siblings. Daksha, her father did not show his hospitality to her and did not welcome her. She did not pay much heed to her father’s act. But later Daksha started to show his grudge on Lord Shiva in a very obvious way. He stopped all oblations [havirbhagam] that was supposed to reach Lord Rudra. He also did not recite any vedic hymns related to Lord Shiva. This irritated Dakshayini beyond belief. In an irked tone, she asked her father, “Oh Father! You are showing your hatred on Lord Shiva who has done no harm to you?. His name is so sacred that it purifies anybody who recites his name. The Divine Names of Lord Shiva bestow one with prosperity when chanted.
There was a hunter who was in his deathbed. His son was standing next to him. His son was seeking advice from his father as to how he should earn a living. In reply the hunter mentioned, “Prahara Aahara Samhara”. Prahara means to hunt, Aahara means to bring and Saamhara means to kill and so the hunter advised his son to go for hunting. If we remove the prefix of all three words and only focus on the suffix, which is “hara”, it verily means Lord Shiva. Saying the three words, the hunter passed away. Immediately Lord Shiva’s sub-ordinates [Shiva Ganas] came to take the hunter to Kailasha since he chanted His Name, even though unknowingly, before he died. Such is Lord Shiva’s compassion and love.
Dakshayini added “Oh father, you have not only exhibited your hatred to Lord Shiva but to his Divine Name. You also not did pay any respect to Vedas since you did not recite the section of Vedas that referred to Lord Shiva.”. She repented for being born as a daughter to a father who did Shiva Dwesha. She immediately burnt herself in the Yoga Agni.
Lord Shiva was still in tranquil state which was his natural state. Mahans are Sankalpa-rahita – they don’t have a will of their own. Witnessing this gory scene, Sage Narada advised Lord Shiva to avenge Daksha. He immediately plucked a hair from his head and breathed life into the hair and there stood a Bhootagana by name Veerabhadra. This newly born Veerabhadra went to the place where Daksha was performing the sacrifice and killed Daksha. The sacrifice could not be completed since Daksha died and so all Devas went to Lord Brahma and requested to make sure that the Brihaspati Sthava Yaga be completed.
Lord Brahma then went to Kailash and request Lord Shiva to forgive Daksha and requested him to help complete the sacrifice. So per the request of Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva brought Daksha back to life with the head of a goat as per the curse ordained by Nandi.
After bestowing him with another life, Daksha did not complain for the goat face and from that very moment he became an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. The sacrifice was also completed in the presence of Lord Shiva. Lord Narayana who was witnessing this was immensely happy. He finally told the beautiful precept that worshipping Lord Shiva is nothing but worshipping me and that he is no different from Lord Shiva!
Dakshayini was born as a daughter to Parvatha Raja Himavaan in her next birth. She was named as Parvathi. Parvathi again marries Lord Shiva.
The satsang concluded with Prayers and Nama Sankirtan.