Ramyaji from San Jose delivered the satsang lecture.
The Lord’s form (‘Swaroopam’) is verily Srimad Bhagavatham. Sage Sounakar asked about the greatness of Srimad Bhagavatham to Sage Suta and he gave a beautiful explanation. The Lord was about to depart to Vaikunta after accomplishing all his tasks. At that very moment, Uddhava, the close friend of the Lord, confided to him “Oh Lord Krishna, you had come down to establish dharma and you have now enticed everyone by your divine love [prema], verily through your roopam. By abdicating your beautiful countenance and retiring to Vaikunta will make the devotees lives miserable. Even though you are the Brahman who is beyond name and form, how can the devotees focus their mind on that Brahman who is more than name and form?”
This question made the Lord to ponder and so he decided to establish dharma during his absence. In Lord’s incarnation as Rama, he took all his devotees with him to Vaikunta when he shed his mortal coil. When the Lord manifested as Lord Krishna, he took out his entire divine glow [Tejas] and merged it into Srimad Bhagavatham.
“Thirodaya Pravishtoyam Srimad Bhagavatharnavam
Thanaeyam Vangmayai Murthim Prathyaksha Varthatae Hareh”
Lord Krishna is verily residing in Srimad Bhagavatham in the form of Shabda roopam .
We all sing – “Srimad Bhagavatham Swayam harireva”. The reason Srimad Bhagavatham is known as Shabda Roopam is because the Lord first gave it to Brahma who in turn disclosed it to Sage Narada who then expounded it to Sage Veda Vyasa. He finally wrote it and it finally happened to be a dialogue between Sage Sukha and King Parikshit. We all know that King Parikshit was cursed to die by the sting of snake called Takshaka. This death curse came in the form of a “shabdha roopam” from a young Brahmin boy – “Vaak Vajram Vishasharja”. The boy sent a curse [ a weapon] in the form of sound. The weapon possessed by Brahmanas is “Vak Vajram”. Due to their intense tapas whatever comes from their mouth is bound to happen, be it good or bad. In order to counteract a curse Sage Suka gave Srimad Bhagavatham in the same form of sound to King Parikshit.
Even though King Parikshit was going to die by the sting of a serpent, Sage Suka gave Parikshit Bhagavatam to save him from the sting of the serpent. It is said that Srimad Bhagavatham saved King Parikshit not from a serpent called Takshaka but indeed from serpents called Kala and Samsara. That is verily the reason for Sage Suka to expound Bhagavatam to King Parikshit. By verily listening to Bhagavatam, one is bestowed with “Kaivalaika Prayojanam”. The term “Kailvalyam” connotes attaining the holy feet of the Lord by merely listening to Srimad Bhagavatam. The ultimate goal of one’s life is to attain the highest state; a state that is devoid of any sorrows. One should listen to Bhagavatam with this precept firmly rooted in everyone’s heart.
Each one of us has a desire in our lives be it in the spiritual or mundane world. We need to have dedication and steadfast faith [belief] to achieve that desire. More importantly, we need to have self-confidence to achieve the goal. We all know that the happiness derived from mundane world is fleeting and fades over time.
The highest desire that one needs to have is verily attaining the holy feet of the Lord. The happiness derived from achieving this goal is eternal and is untainted without any sorrow. It is imperative that one needs dedication and steadfast faith to attain this highest goal in life. One can attain the holy feet of the Lord through many paths but one needs to have dedication and full faith which are one of the pre-requisites of the path he embarks in be it Jnana Marga, Atma Vichara, Dhyana etc. However in the path of bhakti the one and only requirement is full-faith on the Lord.
Belief is Vishwasam. All people are optimist in the fact that they line up many activities in the future with the hope that they will be alive till then. Belief is not bound by reasoning. Our Swamiji gives beautiful interpretation for three words belief, faith and trust.
A mother ordains her child to go to temple every day before going to school and the child implicitly obeys his mother’s orders verbatim. This is termed as belief. An ailing devotee visits the divine sanctorum of a Mahatma, who blesses a fruit and gives it to that devotee. After par-taking that fruit the devotee is cured of the illness. Another devotee witnessing this will surely seek Mahan’s help when he is in distress. This is trust. We say – blind faith. A devotee of the highest order will have staunch faith in Lord and that he will take care of him always. It is indeed that faith [Drida Vishwasam] that the Lord also expects in every devotee. The Lord will never let down the devotee.
Rasakan was a gem trader. He was a muslim and did not have any convictions to any faith. He lived in North India, and used to earn his living be selling precious gem to merchants.
One day he was passing by Mathura. He had lots of gems to sell that day and was knocking the door of all the merchants whom he knew in Mathura. To his sheer surprise, he was unable to spot any of his clients. As he was traversing through the streets in Mathura, he saw a big tent and thousands of people listening to a spiritual discourse with awe and reverence. Seeing the big crowd, Rasakan decided to pay a visit to the tent to see if he could spot his merchant friends in that crowd. As he had expected, he saw some of them listening to the lecture with rapt attention. He managed to find a seat next to one of his friends and slowly opened the gem box to get the attention of his friend. On seeing what Rasakan was doing, the friend politely replied that he would look at the gems a little later. Rasakan closed the gem box and spotted another friend sitting at another corner and so approached him and as he slowly opened the gem box, he got the same reply that he heard from his other friend. So Rasakan was convinced that all his merchant friends were present there and so decided to talk to them once the discourse was over. While he was sitting there, he started to listen to the discourse. At that very moment, the person discoursing was elucidating Lord Krishna’s astonishing form –
“Barha Peetam Nata Vara Vapuhu Karnayo karnikaram
bibrathvaasah kanaka kapisham vaijyanthim cha malam” [Srimad Bhagavatham 10.21.5]
He was expounding on the beautiful countenance of the Lord, his cris-crossed legs, and peacock feather on his head, wearing a beautiful Pitambara and playing his flute. Rasakan who just began to listen to the discourse on hearing the beautiful form of the Lord who was portrayed as a small boy, left all his valuable gems behind and went straight to the Pauranika who was expounding on the Lord’s divine glories. Rasakan concluded that the small boy was called Neela Balan.
thvayAdhya varNito bAlah shravaNAnanda vardanah |
kutrAsti vada me shIghram draShTumichchAmi tam shishum ||
Rasakan, who perceived the Lord to be a small boy [Neela Balan] coexisting with him, expressed his earnest desire to see him. He failed to realize that the small boy incarnated during the Dwapara Yuga. The Pauranika who was a Mahatma, understood Rasakan’s desire and asked him to go to Vrindavan. He advised him to look out for Neela Balan on the banks of river Yamuna or in the Govardhana Mountains where he normally goes to graze the cows. Rasakan left all his valuable gems behind and immediately headed out in search of Neela Balan to Yamuna.
Unmatthavan mahotsAhah pradhAvan yamunAvane |
aprucchannikhilAn bhaktAn nIlabAlah kva vartate ||
He ran here and there in Brindavana like a mad man in search of Krishna. After futile efforts to locate Neela Balan, a weary Rasakan reached Govardhan hills, the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Srinathji. Upon reaching the temple, Rasakan started to run atop the Govardhan hills. This was witnessed by Vittalanatha, the great Mahatma and descendent of Sri Vallabhadasji. When he tried to enter the temple was stopped by the guards as people other than Hindu clan were not allowed to enter the temple. He beseeched the guards to let him have the darshan of Neela Balan. Even though his request was denied, he continued to wander in the outskirts of the temple with a ray of hope that Neela Balan would step out sometime. A month passed and he waited to see Neela Balan without any food and his eyes were swollen. As days passed by, Vittalanatha once paid a visit to the temple. The guards on seeing Vittalanatha confided to him about Rasakan. He then approached Rasakan and on seeing him, he recollected who he was.
Rasakan on seeing Vittalanatha inundated by tears and holding on to the feet of Vittalanatha said –
nAhamichAmi sAmrAjyam nAhamichAmi jIvitam |
ichAmyaham kevalam tu srIkrUShNa mukhadarshaNam ||
tadvinA nishphalam janma nIlabAlasya darshanam |
kshipram darshaya gosvAmin na me shAntiriha prabho ||
Oh Swamin ”I don’t need anything in life. I want to see Neela Balan for a split second”. As Rasakan was listening to the the Pauranika’s lecture, the Lord had entered Raskan’s body through his ears and kindled his steadfast faith and desire in him. The very desire in him to see the Lord led him to a Guru.
Vittalanaatha embraced Rasakan and assured him that he would see Neela Balan for sure. He took him inside the temple and bestowed him with the darshan of Lord Srinathji. The Lord gave darshan to Rasakan since he cried to have the darshan of Neela Balan.
Just like how a child cries to get what it wants, a devotee of the Lord should also know to cry loud to the Lord. That is verily enough for the Lord to bestow his darshan to that devotee.
The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.