Episode 15: Qualities of a true devotee

Maharishi Suta continued, “Knowledge is the form of the Supreme Lord!  Such a Lord does not need a gross body with hands, legs etc. when he has another carrier (body) which over and above the triguṇās, which is not subject to transformations, which is subtle, unseen and unheard. This body is known as subtle body (sookṣma sareera). This subtle body is responsible for re-births of the individual being.

When a person, with ripened knowledge, is able to understand that the gross and subtle bodies are not the Self (atma), he attains Self-realization! In other words he comes out of the delusion that the gross and subtle bodies were the Self. He now attains God realization and becomes Parabrahma!

Parameshwara is inherently the form of discriminatory intelligence (buddhi).  When illusion vanishes completely, the individual becomes enlightened. He attains Self- realization. This is what the enlightened saints declare! The individual who thus attains his original form enjoys supreme bliss. He will remain in that state itself.

The learned pundits describe in the following manner the births as well as the secretive actions (veda rahasya karma) of that Supreme Lord who resides within the hearts of one and all, who inherently is devoid of birth as well as action and which have come to Him on account of illusion (māya).

The ever-competent Lord playfully creates this universe, rules over it and finally wipes it out. But He does not develop any form of connection with this universe created by Him. Being unaffected, He remains an eternal witness. He does not develop any association with any living being. He has no inclination in matters pertaining to this material universe.

He seats himself within the hearts of all living beings, controls the 5 senses and mind, and appears as if He tastes the joys-sorrows of this universe. The truth is that He does not experience them; He appears to be experiencing them. He has no connection whatsoever with these happenings. Foolish, ignorant persons can never understand the playful activities of the Lord, who is protecting and ruling this world.

Only those who are honest and non-deceitful, who with full devotion are ever engaged in spiritual austerities, who lead a good righteous life and who smell the divine fragrance from His lotus feet can obtain His vision and understand the inner significance behind the playful activities of the Lord who holds the discus in His hand and who possesses unsurpassed valour.

It is imperative that the mind should be pure and full of devotion. A pure mind, a heart full of devotion,  a pure life, gentleness in speech, not hurting feelings of others, being respectful towards all objects in this creation and yet not developing any inclination towards them are the characteristics that every good devotee of the Lord cultivates. This comes from visiting the premises of the Lord. Only such a person can understand the essence of the Supreme Lord.

Therefore, O Maharishis! All of you are blessed. This is because you seek to know about the Supreme Lord Mahavishnu. In this birth itself you have obtained the required devotion and love towards the Lord. You could attain this in a single birth. Only when supreme love and devotion towards the Lord co-exist, this is possible.

Many speak eloquently about these qualities of love and devotion towards the Supreme; they preach a lot about it. They address huge gatherings and conduct large debates on this topic. They write books on the importance of developing unsurpassed devotion and love towards the Supreme. But in their life they are unable to convert this into action.

On the other hand, O Maharishis, you have been able to put this into practice. You are truly blessed. Those who possess minds with such pure feelings will not get trapped in this whirlpool of repeated re-births!”

Swamiji explains: Repeated births and deaths is a whirlpool. The moment the person is trapped in a whirlpool he cannot exit from it, no matter how good a swimmer he may be. For this reason expert swimmers estimate the location of the whirlpool before entering the waters of the lakes and rivers. They swim without touching this whirlpool. Those who have no such estimation about whirlpools, blindly jump in to swim and get trapped in the whirlpool. Once he is trapped, that’s the end. He has no escape.

Here the cycle of births and deaths have been compared to a whirlpool from which here is no escape. But even here there is hope. If the being perchance contemplates about the Lord or thinks of his glories, this dangerous whirlpool can do him no harm.

“Idaṁ bhāgavataṁ nāma purāṇa brahma-sammitam

Uttama-śloka-caritaṁ cakāra bhagavān ṛṣi

Bhagawān Vedavyasa, who was an incarnation of the Lord, composed this sacred Purāṇa called Bhāgawatam which is equivalent of the Vedas and which contains the glorious stories of the Lord.

Niḥśreyasāya lokasya dhanyaṁ svasty-ayana mahat

Tad idaṁ grāhayām āsa sutam ātmavatāṁ varam

With the intention of uplifting the human world, Maharishi Vedavyasa, composed this sacred scripture called Bhāgawatam which is greatly laudable and that which is the root for all forms of auspiciousness. He further taught this knowledge to his son Maharishi Śuka who was an exponent in the knowledge of Self-realization.

In this sacred Bhāgawatam the essence of all the Vedas is contained! Further the entire essence of Ramayana and Mahabharata is also embedded into this sacred text! Maharishi Śuka imparted this knowledge to Emperor Parikshit, who awaiting death had abstained from food, and who was seated on the banks of River Ganga surrounded by sages.

At that time when Maharishi Śuka who was of unparalled radiance preached this Bhāgawatam, I, seated amongst the saints, also understood a little of it. Now subject to my understanding, I shall preach the same to you as I have heard and understood” said Suta Maharishi.

“When Krishna gave up his human body and returned to his abode in Vaikunṭha together with his dharma (rules of righteousness) and jnana (knowledge) people became dull headed. They lost the divine eye of knowledge. In order to open the eyes of these dull headed persons this Sun called Bhagawata Purana has arisen”.

Om Namo Narayana.

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