Bhagawatam 100: Vidura asks Maharishi Maitreya to teach him the secrets of creation

Sankarśanāya namah

Śuka Avadhoota replied, “When the time for His departure from earth had arrived, Lord Srikrishna, who possessed supreme divine will, through the excuse called ‘the curse of the Brahmins’ actually withdrew all the members of His Yadava clan into himself. While leaving His body, He thought,

Asmāl lokād uparate mayi jñānaṁ mad-āśrayam

Arhaty uddhava evāddhā sampraty ātmavatāṁ varaḥ

After I depart from these planes, in matters pertaining to imparting knowledge about Me, Uddhava alone is competent. He is wise and has conquered his senses. He is the foremost amongst devotees. He is over and above the three attributes of Nature (trigunas) and will not be trapped in any worldly illusion. It is not limited to this! He is equal to me in every respect. Therefore may he remain in this world for some more time, imparting knowledge about Me to people!

Srikrishna, the embodiment of Vedas and the Lord of the three worlds, instructed Uddhava to proceed to Badarikāśrama. In accordance to this order Uddhava reached Badari and with single focused concentration worshipped Lord Srikrishna.

Vidura learnt from Uddhava that the Supreme Lord had incarnated as Srikrishna and had accomplished many remarkable deeds. The story of Krishna’s transcendental plays and of His departure from earth instills confidence in the wise. The ignorant however are unable to comprehend the significance contained in His divine plays. They can never imitate His deeds, can they?

O King! After Uddhava, the foremost amongst devotees, left the place, Vidura who had heard from Uddhava that Srikrishna had remembered him, began to long for Srikrishna and grieved deeply for Him.

The supremely wise Vidura, who was the best in the Kuru lineage, then left the banks of Yamuna and after travelling for a few days arrived at the hermitage of Maharishi Maitreya, which was located on the banks of River Ganga.

With this the fourth chapter of the third canto of Srimad Bhagawatam comes to an end.

Third Canto Chapter Five

In this chapter, in response to Vidura’s questions, Maharishi Maitreya explaining the order of creation and as a part of it reciting the hymn composed by presiding deities of Mahat and other basic principles of creation are covered.

Maharishi Maitreya, having absolved himself of all actions in entirety, was peacefully seated on the banks of River Ganga in Haridwar. Vidura, the best in the Kuru lineage, who had through his devotion towards Lord Srikrishna completely cleansed his inner mind of all impurities, approached Maharishi Maitreya.

Vidura, who was deeply delighted at the serenity and gentle nature of the saint, addressed him and said,

“Sukhāya karmāṇi karoti loko na taiḥ sukhaṁ vānyad-upāramaṁ vā

Vindeta bhūyas tata eva duḥkhaṁ yad atra yuktaṁ bhagavān vaden naḥ

Aspiring for happiness at all times, the human being performs fruitive actions aimed at obtaining happiness. Despite his efforts through these actions neither is he able to procure any form of happiness nor is he successful in driving away sorrows. Ultimately only the physical strain of performing the deeds and the recurring sorrow that it brings only remain. What should a person, who is struck in this deplorable condition, do to obtain supreme bliss? O venerable great sage! Please be kind enough to explain”.

Janasya kṛṣṇād vimukhasya daivād adharma-śīlasya suduḥkhitasya

Anugrahāyeha caranti nūnaṁ bhūtāni bhavyāni janārdanasya

  Lacking faith in the Supreme Lord Krishna, the human being turns away from Him and instead develops inclination towards unrighteous deeds. As such he is eternally sorrowful. To guide such persons and to ensure that they tread the path of righteousness, the auspicious devotees of Lord Srikrishna wander through the entire earth.

O venerable great saint! Please instruct us about the supreme auspicious path that will bring our welfare. Please instruct us about that path, by walking on which, persons who have served the Lord can purify their hearts. This is because by walking on that path which is dear to the Supreme Lord, He will be pleased and will impart the knowledge of the Self to those who have thus purified their hearts.

O Maharishi! The Supreme Lord is absolutely free. He is the Lord of all the three worlds. He is free from desire and action. Yet He incarnates and performs action. How did this Lord create this universe initially? How does He nourish these beings thus created? It is said that at the end of the creation, the Supreme Lord deciding to put to rest this entire created universe which emerged out of His will, withdraws into space all these created worlds and rests in Yoga-māya. How does this happen? Please be kind enough to explain.

The Supreme Paramātma, who is the Lord for all Yogeshwaras, is inherently non-dual. Even then he creates this universe and entering into it as a witness, manifests in various different forms. How is this possible? Please explain.

Accepting varied incarnations he performs many transcendental deeds for the protection of Brahmins, Cows and Devatas. His glories are infinite. Hearing them is nectarous to the ears. Even after hearing them time and again I am not satisfied and I long to hear more.

That Parabrahma who is beyond this universe, beyond the presiding deities of the universe and beyond the lokāloka mountains, has created different living entities; different planes of existence each in accordance with the individual eligibilities. What are the principles based on which He has created this universe?  Please be kind enough to teach this to me.

(Lokaloka is a magnificent belt of mountains girdling the outermost of the seven seas and dividing the visible world from the region of darkness. – source Internet).

In this universe, living beings can be segregated based on their inherent nature (swabhava), their actions which corresponds to their nature, the form which is in accordance to them both and the name/ species with is ideally suited to these three. How did the Supreme Lord, who is the embodiment of consciousness, create these differences? Please explain this”.

Om Vasudevāya namah

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