Bhagawatam 099: Krishna blesses Uddhava; Uddhava-Vidura conversation

Padmanābhāya namah

Srikrishna, the Lord of liberation, looked at me cheerfully. With His joyful glance all my bodily exhaustion was blown away and I was bursting with joy. Addressing me He said, “O Uddhava, in your previous birth you were a Vasu (demi-god). I am aware of the deepest desire that you entertain within your mind. I will fulfill that desire of yours which cannot be attained by others. In the bygone period, when Vasus and Prajapatis were conducting Yagnas, you participated in them with the sole desire of obtaining Me.

Uddhava! You are of saintly nature. This is your last birth. This is because My grace has fallen upon you. At the time when I am about to leave this human plane, it is your total faith and absolutely pure mind that, with absolute solitude, you are having My darshan. This has happened due to God’s will.

Previously in the beginning of creation, to Brahma who was seated in my navel, I taught the Supreme Knowledge that explains My essence. Learned scholars address this teaching of mine as Bhāgawatam. I now bless you with the knowledge of that Bhāgawatam”.

In this manner the Supreme Lord spoke lovingly to me. I was fortunate to be showered with His blessings every minute. Due to my love for Him, the hair on my body stood up. I could not get myself to speak. With folded palms and with tears flowing profusely from my eyes I said,

“Ko nv īśa te pāda-saroja-bhājāṁ sudurlabho ’rtheṣu caturv apīha

Tathāpi nāhaṁ pravṛṇomi bhūman bhavat-padāmbhoja-niṣevaotsukaḥ 

O Lord! There is nothing which is not attained by those who serve Your lotus feet! The four-fold goals of life viz., Dharma, artha, kama and moksha, will all be easily attained by them. O Paramātma! Even then I do not seek them. The desire to remain eternally serving Your lotus feet is very strong, O Lord.

(Dharma means abiding by the rules of righteousness, artha means materialistic earnings, kāma means fulfillment of desires and moksha means to attain liberation).

O Lord, although You are free from desire and are untouched by action, You always appear to be involved in action. You are birthless yet at all times You incarnate. You are the Lord of time and death and yet, pretending to be scared of your enemies, You ran to the island called Dwaraka and enacted as if You sought shelter there.

You, who are none other than the Self in all, enacted as if You were a house-holder with 10,000 wives enjoying those comforts. Even learned scholars who fail to properly understand your divine plays, become perplexed seeing Your actions.

O Lord, You are omniscient! You possess indivisible ultimate knowledge. Yet pretending as if You know nothing, You would always seek my advice. This would put me in delusion.  O Lord, You taught in entirety to Brahma that Supreme Knowledge which talks about Your real original form. If you believe that I possess the capacity to absorb that knowledge then kindly preach it to me too. With the help of that knowledge I will very easily cross this ocean called worldly bondages”.

In this manner I expressed, to the Lord, the desire that was deep within my heart. Then the lotus-eyed Lord Srikrishna imparted to me the knowledge of the Self. I circumambulated and offered obeisance to those lotus feet of Srikrishna, who in the form of Guru, had taught to me the complete knowledge of the Self. From there I came to this place and still am unable to bear these pangs of separation from Him.

O Vidura! For many years I was blissful due to the presence of Srikrishna. Even though this is true, this sorrow of separation overpowers that bliss which I enjoyed in those days. Badari ashrama is very dear to Lord Srikrishna. In accordance with His orders I am proceeding to Badari.

Yatra nārāyaṇo devo naraś ca bhagavān ṛṣi

Mṛdu tīvra tapo dīrghaṁ tepāte loka-bhāvanau

 That holy place Badarikāśrama where Maharishis Nara and Nārāyaṇa, with the intent of causing the welfare of the worlds, took up gentle austerities but performed them with utmost strictness is very dear to Srikrishna. I am now proceeding to Badari” said Uddhava.

Vidura, who heard this unbearable news about his near and dear ones from Uddhava, forcefully withheld within himself the sorrow that was gushing out. As Uddhava was about to leave for Badarikāśrama, Vidura, the most supreme amongst the Kuru lineage, addressing him said,

“O Uddhava! Srikrishna, who is the Lord of Yoga, has preached to you the entire knowledge of the Self. Please impart that teaching to me. There is none who is more capable than you. The devotees of Lord Srivishnu travel eternally so as to be of some help in the activities of other devotees. Please consider me as your devotee and instruct me into this knowledge”.

Uddhava then said, “O Vidura! Please approach Maharishi Maitreya if you are desirous of obtaining Self-knowledge. This is because in that last moment when Srikrishna was about to leave this earth, He personally imparted this Self-knowledge to Maharishi Maitreya”.

In this way Uddhava, who recounted the glories of the Lord and of His greatness, qualities, principles etc., was now free from grief. He spent that night on the sandy banks of Yamuna as if it were just a moment. The next morning he left that place and went away.” said Maharishi Śuka.

Hearing these words, Parikshit enquired, “O Maharishi Śuka! All the eminent warriors of the Vristhi and Bhoja clans, who possessed unsurpassed prowess, died. Srikrishna, the Lord of all the planes, also gave up His human body. How is it possible for only Uddhava, the most supreme amongst the Yadavas, to still remain alive?”

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
Dāmodarāya namah

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