June 15: Vrukasura Vadham – 1

15 Jun

The path of Nama Sankirtan lays no rules and restrictions for chanting the divine names of the lord. According to Sri Bodendra Saraswathi Swamigal,  one may accrue sins [aparadha] when one goes to explain the greatness of Nama Sankirtan to someone who has no inclination to chant nama. The way to alleviate Nama aparadha is by chanting Nama only. Chanting nama on special auspicious days like Ekadasi helps one to remove the sins accrued.

Most respected Sri Bodendra explains some of the Nama Aparadha, where he exhorts one to not go and preach the greatness of Namasankirtan, who does not have a belief in it. The easiest way to atone the Nama Aparadhas is verily chanting Nama on special days like Ekadasi. The atonement of mistakes committed in Nama is verily through Nama itself. Chanting Nama on special days like Ekadasi turn into atonement for the mistakes that one did when chanting Nama. That is verily the greatness of chanting Nama on Ekadasi days.

In a beautiful kirtan composition by Sri Swamiji, he gives a beautiful description of Lord Krishna. He takes so many different forms in his lifetime of 125 years. He is born in a prison and spends his childhood along with Gopas and Gopis as a cowherd, and then we behold him in all his divine plays as a romantic young lad in Brindavana and a daring bold young man in Mathura, where he enacted various beautiful leelas. The divine unflinching love between him and his mother Yashoda [Vatsalya Bhava] is clearly depicted in all his divine plays in Gokula. His friendhip with his childhood friends and pranks like butter stealing etc is vividly seen in Brindavana leelas along with divine love and courageous acts. His boldness and daring nature is exhibited in Mathura leelas for example killing of Kamsa.  We then perceive a completely different form of Lord Krishna as Dwarakadeesha. When Lord Krishna relinquished Mathura and established his own kingdom right in the midst of ocean, he established Dwaraka and became the uncrowned king of Dwaraka. This form of Lord Krishna as Dwarakadeesha is explained in vivid detail in Srimad Bhagavatam. Out of ninety chapters, his leelas as Dwarakadeesha take prominence and are covered in more chapters than others and that is because the lord exhibited all qualities and characteristics when he was Dwarakadeesha, the king of Dwaraka. When Sri Swamiji had been to Dwaraka, he enjoyed the beautiful form of Lord Krishna as Dwarakadeesha, the same form that Meera Bhai enjoyed and finally mingled into. Sri Swamiji in his kirtan-‘Dwarakadeesham Dhyayami’, enjoys the beauty and elegance of Dwarakadeesha.

Sri Narayananji from Boston delivered the satsang lecture on droplets of nectarine bliss from Srimad Bhagavatam. Srimad Bhagavatam as we all know is a moksha granta which can bestow devotion [bhakti] and  liberation [moksha], which are interchangeable when referred to the supreme form of bhakti. In one of the kirtans, Sri Swamiji sings-‘nija bhaktargale jivan muktharE’, where he says that the supreme form of devotion [bhakti] is indeed liberation [moksha] and that is bestowed by Srimad Bhagavatam. We all talk about Shravana bhakti, which is listening to Srimad Bhagavatam and just like the proof of pudding is verily eating it, the proof of liberation [moksha] is listening to Srimad Bhagavatam and the proof is nothing but our Abhimana Shrotha, the greatest of the listeners, who is none but King Parikshit. He listened to Srimad Bhagavatam with all ears to Krishna Katha. He was subjected to a mishap where he did an apachara to Sage Samika. The misdeed got him a curse from a little boy who was only five years old. The curse gave him a freedom of seven days however he wished to spend and he

decided to spend it in a very fruitful manner. He knew that he had to listen to Krishna katha-‘gAyatha Vishnu gAthA’-please sing to me the greatness and glories of Lord Vishnu is what King Parikshit requested and his Guru maharaj, Sage Suka comes along. He told him that there are no leelas enacted by Vishu but instead will expound on Krishna Leela. Vishnu was in Sri Vaikuntam and except his manifestation as Krishna, none of his other incarnation can be barely called as divine plays [leelas]. It was only Krishna Avatar that he performed innumerable leelas and promised Pariskhit that he will drench him in the nectar of Krishna Leela and that his seven days of vacation will eventually be very fruitful. Sage Suka comes there and promises to bath him in the divine nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam and deliver him from the ocean of samsara, and this however does not happen without trials and tribulations. Earlier there was a mishap that happened, which Parikshit thought was due to his mistake. He didn’t realize that it was very Lord Krishna’s will that he did the sinful act [apachara] to Sage Samika. It was truly his Guru’s grace who was hidden that time when he committed the sin so much so that he was now able to sit in front of his Guru to listen to Krishna katha. He instilled confidence in his disciple assuring him that seven days is a lot of time to get one bathed in Krishna Katha. He also cited Sage Katvanga who attained liberation in a matter of a muhurtha [few hours].

He said one can truly postpone death if one propitiate to Lord Shiva akin to Lord Markandeya. He said that there are many deities that he can please – ‘brahma varcha sa kamasthu’. He also added that he can pray to Lord Indra for the power of senses, if he wanted his wife to look more beautiful he ordained Parikshit to pray to Urvasi, for a more happy and comfortable life then pray to Mother Uma (Gowri). Sage Suka gave a list of deities whom King Parikshit can propitiate. He wanted to test Parikshit if he desired for an extension of his life, but King Parikshit didn’t fall for it. He wanted to test Parikshit if he wanted to propitiate unto Lord Shiva (Mruthunjaya), who can defeat death (mruthu) and eventually postpone Parikshit’s death by few more days/months/years, but Parikshit did not pay any heed to it.   He also enticed Parikshit that he can expound on Devi and Shiva Bhagavatam but he never even acknowledged to it.

He then continued -“akAma sarva kAmo vA moksha kAma udhAra dhIhI

tIvrEna bhakthI yOgEna yajeta purusham param” [Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.10]

 

Sage Suka said Oh Parikshit, if one is devoid of any desires [akAma] or instead filled with many desires or if one is after liberation then propitiate to Lord Hari and Srimad Bhagavatam, which has ‘Sri’ in it. Srimad Bhagavatam houses both the lord and his consort. King Parikshit immediately opted to listen to Srimad Bhagavatam without a second thought. That was the test imposed by Sage Suka on King Parikshit and very interestingly, listened to the beautiful exposition with rapt attention for five days, which was very interactive and lively. On the fourth day, Lord Krishna was born and was taken to Nanda Gokulam –‘na thal lingam parishrAnthA nidrayApagata smruthi’ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.3.52] and people were in deep sleep state and was unaware of the gender of the baby. He thus concluded the fourth day exposition and

 

exhorted Pariikshit to take rest for few hours. Parikshit declined and said that he wanted to verily drink the divine nectar of Krishna Katha – ‘pibantham tvan mukam bojachuyutham hari kathamrutham’ and told Sage Suka that he wanted to listen to how Lord Krishna was indeed enjoyed by the Gopas and Gopis. Sage Suka motivated by Parikshit’s eagerness to listen to Krishna Katha, began the fifth day discourse on the fourth day itself. The day dawned during the exposition of Baala Leela. ‘nandas tvAtmaja utpannE jAtAhlAdo mahA manAh ‘- THe day dawned in Nanda Gokulam and Nandtosav was exactly celebrated by Sage Suka and King Parikshit . They experience all the divine plays of the lord from ‘maaka an chor, damodhara leela to rukmini vivah’. When the speaker narrates, the listeners enjoy and envision the narration and that is verily listening to Srimad Bhagavatam.  The fifth day ended and the sixth day exposition began with the narration of Lord Krishna getting married to the rest of the seven queens and the rest of the exposition where Lord Krishna as Dwarakadeesha performed so many leelas. At this point in time, King Parikshit remembered his test- ‘akAma sarva kAmo vA mokṣha kAma udAra dhIḥi’.

Parikshit began to talk to his Sadguru on the three things that Sage Suka had mentioned earlier- one devoid of any desires, one who is filled with all desires in the world and one seeking liberation [moksha]. King Parikshit mentioned that he was in a state of quandary because he heard from Sage Suka about so many people who worshipped Lord Srihari  but didn’t get their wishes fulfilled [sarva kamOvA] . He further posed a question to Sage Suka that people who pray to lord Shiva are being immensely blessed but the ones who pray to Lord Krishna are doomed. Sage Suka acknowledged his question and told him that he got this thought at the most opportune moment.

Sage Suka then continued as a reply to King Parikshit’s question that Lord Krishna was indeed the most difficult person to be pleased. There are other deities who bless and bestow devotees with boons immediately after being propitiated because they an embodiment of different gunas, whereas Lord Krishna is ‘harirhi nirguna saakshaath’, an embodiment of nirguna and is beyond the three qualities sattva, rajas and tamas. It is so interesting to see that Parikshit’s grandfather, Yudhistira asked the same question to none other than Lord Krishna himself. At the end of Mahabharatha war, Yudhistira was crowned as the king of Indraprastha and when Lord Krishna was about to depart, Yudhistira posed the same question to the lord.

Krishna replied-yasyAham anugrihnAmi harishyE tadh dhanam shanaih |

thathO adhanam thyajantI asyaha svajhanA dukha dukhItham ||’[Srimad Bhagavatam 10.88.8]

Krishna replied that whenever he decided to bless his grace and blessing on someone, the first thing the he does is to deprive the devotee of wealth, as seen in the example of King Bali. The Lord as Vamana went to the Yagashala to bestow Bali with his grace and requested for three feet of land (showing the lord’s tiny feet). King Bali was extremely and conceded even though

his Guru Sri Sukracharya warned him. Bali went ahead and as a result lot all his wealth. The lord snatched all his wealth in Booloka and Swargaloka and sent him to Patalaloka. When the lord decided to shower his blessings on someone, the lord removes one’s wealth as a first step. King Parikshit was a little confused hearing this and questioned Sage Suka as to why the lord should remove one’s wealth and the reply was that the lord does not deprive wealth from anyone and everyone. The lord cited King Ambarisha’s case,the king of the seven worlds  and mentioned that he did not remove his wealth verily because his wealth never belonged to him since he never considered the wealth as his own. Even though he was ‘saptha dweepa vathim mahi’ , he did not consider as his own wealth-‘yae nEtham loshthavath smrutham’ and hence no use in removing his wealth. Sage Suka mentioned that Lord Krishna only obliterates the wealth in anyone and everyone who have ego that the possess wealth. Parikshit, the Lord expunge one’s wealth if he has the ego in him. If one has the pride [ahankara], the lord takes away the wealth from him. The lord gives sufferings and removes wealth if one is too worldly. If one is inundated with commitments, the Lord finds a way to relieve him of all his responsibilities. When someone has a huge extended family, who are all after his wealth, then the Lord removes all his assets and money and in due course of time all his relatives go away. He gives troubles to wipe out one’s wealth only to make all his fake relationships in this world fall off. He is a beggar on the streets with no one around him, leaving him all by himself. The lord gets him to that state to earn determination to fight back to earn money. Coincidentally he switches on a television and gets a chance to listen to a Mahatma’s discourse and yearns to go and meet him. When he met the Mahatma, he enquired about his life and hearing about the devotee, the Mahatma blesses him with a satsang. The Lord wipes out the wealth in a person and bestows him with a satsang. That is what happens in other cases as well. In Gajendra’s life, he had lots of elephant friends who were all romping about in Trikuta mountains. Gajendra was one among the many elephants and the Lord wanted to shower his grace on him. He blessed him with a company of another Sadhu, an alligator. The company seemed to be a trouble to Gajendra and because of the trouble all his friends and relatives deserted him, leaving him alone. Gajendra slowly realized that he was in a satsang and turned his vision towards the Lord. When one loses all the wealth, the Lord blesses him/her with a satsang through which one develops determination [vairagya], turning his vision to get dispassion [viveka] to realize that one’s final goal in life is to attain liberation and finally the Lord makes the devotee turns towards him through satsangs and Mahatmas. There are other deities that one can please easily but it is very difficult to please Krishna verily because he does not bestow one with goodness and repents later. He thinks about one’s future, how to bestow moksha and works in that path which could be sarvakama and akama. One could begin a life as akama and then the lord bestowing with all goodness which is sarvakama,and when is destined to attain moksha he works out a path to help the devotee attain liberation. Lord Brahma bestowed Hiranyakashipu with everything he desired-’na anthar na bahir na poorvaparam’ and later repented. The Lord looks at a Jiva and wants to bestow the best of the best and so gives him troubles after troubles, obliterates his wealth, puts him through many trials and tribulations eventually to bestow the devotee with liberation [moksha]. That is verily the greatness of our Lord Sri Krishna says Sage Suka.  Lord Shiva who bestowed great boon on Ravana, Banasura and eventually ended up fighting himself and got tangled into more problems and Lord Krishna who is just the opposite when once he has given a guarantee for one’s life then the devotee never needs to worry about about his life anymore and takes the lead for his devotee. Sage Sukha began to expound on Vrithrasura’s charithra to show how Lord’s way of protection is was different than that of others.

 

The satsang concluded with prayers and Namasankirtan.

 

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