Saint Ved Vyas relating the Bhagwatam to Shukdeo (3100 B.C.)

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(67) The Divine teachings of the Upnishads, Gita and the Bhagwatam (as followed and expounded by all of the Saints and the acharyas).

The Upnishads.

The famous “Purush Sookt” of Rigved (10/90), that describes the Divine greatness of God, starts with the word purush which means ‘the Divine personality of God’; and the very first Upnishad in the list of 108 Upnishads starts with the word Ishah which also means the same. In general, teachings of the Upnishads relate to the personal form of God Whose path of attainment is bhakti. We can see how it is worded in the Upnishads.

We get three prime statements in relation to God realization:

It means that only those people realize God: (1) Who selflessly adore God in His personal form; (2) whose all the desires (along with their subtle forms) are totally removed from their heart; and (3) who wholeheartedly worship and adore a personal form of God and the Divine Master with equal reverence.

The first statement clearly asserts that selfless bhakti to a personal form of God is the means of God realization. The third statement further clarifies the situation and says that, for the steady progress in devotion, during the devotional period, a devotee needs to surrender to a knowledgeable Divine personality (shrotriya brahmanishth) and, accepting him as his Divine guide and Spiritual Master, he should lovingly and wholeheartedly follow his instructions and do the devotions. Then, with the Grace of his Divine Master, the devotee will receive the knowledge, vision and love of God.

The second statement literally means that ‘when the desires are absolutely eliminated from the heart,’ only then the practitioner receives liberation and experiences the omnipresence of God. This statement refers to the gyani and yogi practitioners, because their style of practice is based on total renunciation and the removal of all the desires.

But the practical difficulty is that ‘desires’ originate in two ways: (1) By observing the world and then desiring for it; and (2) by the subtle instincts of the old karmas that are stored in the mind. Such instincts in a very subtle form emerge from the unconscious section of the mind (where all the karmas are stored) and then appear into the conscious mind in the form of a desire. Thus, as long as the karmas are stored in the mind, the desires cannot be totally eliminated, and such karmas, which are called the sanchit karmas (sanchit means accumulated), are uncountable. So, they cannot be destroyed by any means. Even the highly evolved state of yog could only eliminate the apparent desires but not the internal inherent instincts of the desires.

Thus the Upnishad further says,

The (sanchit) karmas of a person are destroyed with the Grace of God upon God realization when he receives the Divine vision (drishtey) of his beloved God.” It means that a yogi, with his sincere and prolonged yogic practices, eliminates his worldly desires and attachments, and then, when he devotionally surrenders to a personal form of God, His Divine Grace destroys all of the sanchit karmas of the yogi and thus his total desires are absolutely eliminated. Then he crosses the effects of maya and the omnipresent form of the impersonal aspect of God (called nirakar brahm) is revealed to him

It is thus established that the prime theme of the Upnishads is devotion (bhakti) to God, but they also describe about the path of gyan, yog and the good karmas.

The Gita.

Krishn Himself summarizes the teachings of the Gita in one verse and says,

“O Arjun! You are very dear to Me. So, for your own good, I am telling you the greatest secret of the Divine world. Listen carefully. If you or any soul of the world desires to come to Me and be with Me forever, the easiest path is that he should worship Me, love Me, remember Me all the time and dedicate his life for Me. Then surely he will come to Me. It’s My promise.”

The Bhagwatam.

Although the Bhagwatam also teaches selfless bhakti to God, but the Divine Bliss that it describes is something very special and has no compare. It amazed the foremost gyani-bhakt Saint of his time, Uddhao, who was a friend of Krishn in Mathura and had closely experienced the Blissfulness of Krishn’s almighty glory which is especially seen in Vaikunth abode. Now see what happens to Uddhao.

Uddhao comes to Braj, sees the Gopis, and receives their greetings as he had come from their beloved Krishn. During the conversation he recognizes the Divine warmth of Krishn love in the behavior of the Gopis which he had never felt before, although he had loved his friend Krishn very dearly. In a while, Uddhao is seen drowned in the excitedness of such a Krishn love which is overflowing from the heart of everyone around him. In such a state, he deeply desires for a favor from the Gopis so that he could also taste the real sweetness of Krishn love; and, with the Grace of Gopis, Uddhao begins to perceive the unsurpassing blessedness of Braj in which the leela Bliss of Krishn love is permeated everywhere. Uddhao begins to sing the glory and the greatness of Gopis’ love and says,

“The Bliss of Krishn’s intimate Divine love, which Gopis received during maharas, was so special and limitlessly sweet and charming that even Maha Lakc◊hmi, the eternal consort of Maha Vishnu and the goddesses of the celestial abodes, could not receive that; then what to talk of the others.” Uddhao further says, “I adore the footdust of the Gopis and put it on my forehead. They are so Divinely great that the songs of the Krishn leelas and the Krishn love which they have sung purify the whole world.”

This is the Bliss of the Bhagwatam which is the essence of all the Divine Blissfulnesses. The Bhagwatam contains the substance of all the philosophies, Divine and devotional, along with the description of Krishn love whose lusciousness surpasses all the Divine experiences. This is the reason that after tasting the sweetness of the charming leelas of Krishn love as described in the Bhagwatam, the dry philosophies and other Divine descriptions become tasteless.

In the light of the above facts it is clear that, in general, the religion of Sanatan Dharm is the wholehearted devotion (bhakti) to God Who is kind, Gracious and omnipresent in His Divine personal form. The good karmas including social philanthropic deeds with pure sattvic motivation, Vedic rituals, religious fasting, general worship to any form of God, recitation of scriptures, pilgrimage to the holy places of India, pious charity, study of Vedant with a humble heart and sincere yogic practices are the means of improving the sattvic qualities of the doer. Once the mind is established in piety, a humble desire to see God develops in the heart of the doer. If it doesn’t happen, one should know that his good deeds are blemished because of his mayic desires and weaknesses. However, when a sincere desire to see God is developed, the person should follow the guidelines of single-minded devotion to his beloved God Who is his true friend and Who is eternally waiting for him to Grace him with the Divine vision and the Divine love.


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