Bhagawatam 094: Uddhava’s devotion

Om Madhusudanaya namah.

Vidura continued, “O Uddhava, I deeply worry about Dhritarashtra. This is because he cheated his deceased brother and accumulated heaps of sin. He has made it a vow to listen to the words of his sons and walk on that path. When I, his younger brother, sought to advice him rightly seeking his welfare, he threw me out of the city.

I was neither depressed nor astonished when Dritharastra threw me out of the city. This is because I firmly believe that the Supreme Lord Mahavishnu, who regulates this entire universe, has taken on a human form and incarnated as Krishna. He is causing these delusions in people.

With Srikrishna’s grace I am able to see His greatness pervading everything in this creation. Taking care that I am not recognized by anyone, I am silently walking all over the earth visiting holy pilgrim centres.

Srikrishna wanted to destroy all those kings who behaved arrogantly due to their pride of wealth, lineage or knowledge and who proclaimed wars on the strength of their strong military force causing the earth to tremble. He intended to bring the welfare of Pandavas and of those others who had sought refuge in Him. For this reason, even though he possessed utmost prowess, he silently disregarded the mistakes and offences of the Kurus. It was his plan that the credit of having destroyed the wicked should go to his devotees, the Pandavas. This is undoubtedly true.

Ajasya janmotpatha-nāśanāya karmāṇy akartur grahaāya pusām

Nanv anyathā ko ’rhati deha-yogaṁ paro guṇānām uta karma-tantram

O Uddhava! The Supreme Lord is birthless. Even then He incarnates for blessing those devotees who have sought shelter in Him and for punishing those who tread the path of unrighteousness. It is wrong to bind Him to any of His actions. This is because He is not the doer. Yet, for the purposes of causing an attraction in humans towards the path of righteousness and for the well-being of the universe, He appears as if He is involved in actions.

These worldly bondages originate out of the three attributes of Nature (trigunas). He who possesses transcendental knowledge (jnani) is beyond these worldly bondages. The Supreme Lord is the ultimate Jnani. How then can he be associated with actions or with the body? It is impossible.

O Uddhava! Indra and other deities, abiding by the orders of that Lord, complete the tasks assigned to them. Hearing the pleas of these Lords and for the purposes of ensuring the well-being of this world, the Supreme Lord who inherently is birthless, incarnated as Srikrishna in the Yadu clan.

Those who sing His divine stories and glorify him at all times are rendered totally pure! Therefore O Uddhava, please tell me about Lord Srikrishna.”

With this the first chapter in third Canto comes to an end.

Third Canto Chapter Two

The first chapter was exclusively dedicated to Vidura’s questions. Vidura remembered every noble soul and every devotee of the Lord and enquired about each of them individually. From this we come to know that even talking about ardent devotees of the Lord brings auspiciousness. In this chapter Uddhava while replying to Vidura’s questions, recounts the childhood deeds of Srikrishna.

Maharishi Śuka continued, “By the time Vidura and Uddhava met, Uddhava was deeply grieving his separation from Srikrishna. When Vidura, the best amongst devotees (bhāgavattotama), questioned Uddhava desiring to know about Srikrishna, Uddhava, the ardent devotee, was submerged in total devotion. His heart surged with love. He became emotional and anxious. Hence he was unable to reply immediately.

Uddhava was not an ordinary devotee! Even at the tender age of 5, he would make dolls of Srikrishna and would be deeply engrossed in offering services and worship to them. Forgetting even hunger and thirst, Uddhava, at that early age, was eternally absorbed in devotion towards Srikrishna.

One day Uddhava did not come for food even though it was well past lunch time. When his mother called out to him little Uddhava did not agree to set aside his worship to have his food. In this way right from his childhood, Uddhava was eternally absorbed in worshipping Krishna, offering Him services, singing His glories and contemplating upon Him!

Now at this ripened old age, when Vidura enquired about Krishna, his mind fixed itself exclusively upon the lotus feet of the Lord. His devotion significantly intensified. Uddhava, who was enjoying the nectar attained by being absorbed in meditation upon the lotus feet of the Lord, was silent for almost an hour. His body experienced deep horripilation. He remained like a statue with eyes closed. From those eyes tears of joy were flowing profusely without inhibition. His body was drenched in those tears and he was bathing blissfully in those waters. Vidura considered himself fortunate for having met this ardent devotee Uddhava!

After some time Uddhava gradually came out of devotional trance and became conscious of this world. Wiping those tears, recollecting the divine plays of the Lord in astonishment, he said, “O Vidura! The Sun called Srikrishna has set. The python called time has swallowed our homes. Our prosperity has dwindled completely. What then can I say about our welfare?

Durbhago bata loko ’yaṁ yadavo nitarām api

Ye saṁvasanto na vidur hariṁ mīnā ivoupam

What can I say about the ill-luck of the human beings in this world? Amongst all the people, the most unfortunate are those who are born in the Yadu lineage.”

Om Vishnave namah. Madhusudanaya namah

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