Srimad Bhagavatam Summary – (1.5) – Narada’s instructions on Srimad Bhagavatam
Srimad Bhagavatam Summary – Canto 1 – Chapter 5
Narada’s instructions on Srimad Bhagavatam
Read Srimad Bhagavatam Summary for Canto 1 – Chapter 4 here. The full chapter is available here.
Sri Narada Muni understands Vyasadeva’s mind
Narada Muni was able to understand the mind of his disciple, Vyasadeva. He asked Vyasadeva – Are you content by identifying body and mind as an object of self-realization. Your despondency cannot be due to lack of knowledge as you are full of knowledge. You also prepared the great work of Mahabharata. It also explains about the Vedas. Further, you have written about the Impersonal Brahman. Why should you be despondent?
Vyasadeva asks for reasons for his despondency
Srila Vyasadeva responds – What you have said is all true. But even after all this, I am not at peace in my heart. Your knowledge is unlimited, so please tell me the reason for my discontent. You know all secrets because you worship the Supreme Lord who is always above the three modes. You can know the inner heart of everyone. Please find out the defect in me that is causing this state.
Sri Narada Muni chastises Vyasadeva
Narada Muni says: You have described the four religious principles. They are religion, economic development, sense enjoyment with regulation, and liberation. However, you have not spread the glories of the Supreme Lord. The philosophy not satisfying the sense of the Lord is worthless. No wonder, the great saints say words that do not describe glories of the Lord are like a pilgrimage for crows. The swan-like Saints do not get any pleasure there.
The words glorifying the Lord’s name and activities can bring a revolution in the lives of impious people. Pure devotees accept such words even if they are not perfect in grammar or its likes. Self-realization frees one from material attachment. Yet it does not look good without including the concept of the Supreme Personality Godhead. So, what to speak of the fruitive activities that are materialistic to the end.
You have the perfect vision and skill to describe the pastimes of the Lord. This will give people a chance to liberate themselves from material bondage. People, in general, have a restless mind. If you describe anything other than the Lord for e.g. demigods, the people will become confused. They may wander from one thing to the other. Thus, they may create many gods. General people have natural desire to enjoy. You have encouraged them to enjoy in the name of religion. This is unfortunate and unreasonable. They will accept such activities in the name of religion and not care for any prohibitions.
Narada Muni asks Vyasadeva to Show the path of Devotion
People who have no material attachment are the ones who understand the Supreme Lord. Therefore, show them the way by describing the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. There is no loss for a person who falls down after performing devotional service even though being slack in his occupational duty. However, a person who all the way engages in his occupational duty and does no devotion will not gain anything. Therefore, intelligent people will engage in attaining spiritual happiness.
One cannot attain that purpose even by wandering from the top to bottom most planet of the universe. Material happiness comes by itself without desiring just like miseries come on its own. Sometimes, a devotee may fall down due to his wrong association. However, he goes on the right path soon. If one takes delight in serving the lotus feet of the Lord even once, he forever remembers its ecstasy.
The Supreme Lord is the cosmos although he remains aloof from it. The origin, maintenance, and destruction of the Cosmos are by Him. You are the plenary portion of the Supreme Lord. Therefore, you have the perfect vision to describe the transcendental pastime in full detail. The great scholars conclude transcendental descriptions of the Lord is the end of all purpose of knowledge. The purpose of advancement of knowledge includes austerities, the study of Vedas, sacrifice, chanting of hymns etc.
History of Narada Muni – Purified by Association of pure devotees
In the previous day of Brahma, I was born as a son of a maidservant. My mother will engage in the service of the
Brahmanas. During the four months of the rainy seasons, I took the opportunity to serve them. These great souls are always impartial. However, they blessed me with their mercy. I had good qualities of self-control. Further, I was not naughty and was not fond of any sports. I did not speak more than required.
At one time, I took remnants of their food by their permission. Thus wiping out all my sins, I became purified at heart. In their association, I could hear the attractive pastimes of the Lord. By hearing attentively, my taste to hear about the Lord took a leap at every step. Soon I had the taste for the Supreme Lord. At this stage, my attention to hear was resolute. I was able to see my spiritual nature. I was all the time hearing for two seasons. Soon, my modes of passion and ignorance went away as my devotional service began to flow.
History of Narada Muni – Receives Most Confidential Knowledge
During the time, I was developing an attachment to those sages my faith in them became more resolute. My sins went away. My senses came in my control by following their instructions by body and mind. The great sages gave me the most confidential knowledge before leaving. In the past, the Lord Himself had instructed this knowledge. Thus knowing the secret of all knowledge, I was able to understand the influence of His energy. By knowing this one can meet the Supreme Lord in person. The learned conclude that the best remedy to finish all miseries is to dedicate one’s activities to the Supreme Lord.
Bhakti Yoga – the perfect cure
Just like the thing that causes the disease also makes its medicine for a cure. In the same way, the fruitive activity binds one to the material world. Yet, when you perform such activities for the service of the Lord it destroys that very bondage. Bhakti Yoga is when one performs work for the satisfaction of the Lord. Knowledge comes as an accessory with Bhakti Yoga. In this process, the devotee always remembers the name, pastime and qualities of the Lord even when working for His satisfaction.
Let us all chant the glories of Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Annirudha. One sees reality when one worships the sound representation (mantra) form of the Lord. The Lord always remains transcendental in all forms. Thus, by the will of the Lord, I first got the confidential part of the knowledge of the Vedas. Thereafter, I got the spiritual opulence. Soon, I was performing loving intimate service unto Him. Therefore, please describe the activities of the Lord. This will satisfy the hankerings of the learned and miseries of the general mass of people.