7-Minute Bhagavatam

7-Minute Bhagavatam

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.22-23
by
Gopiparanadhana Dasa
Language 
English
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Transcript 


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.22 and 1.1.23
Continuing the explanation of the first chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with verse twenty-two:
tvaṁ naḥ sandarśito dhātrā
 dustaraṁ nistitīrṣatām
kaliṁ sattva-haraṁ puṁsāṁ
 karṇa-dhāra ivārṇavam
“We think that we have met Your Goodness by the will of providence, just so that we may accept you as captain of the ship for those who desire to cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which deteriorates all the good qualities of a human being.”
Selfish materialism is an all-pervading influence over almost everyone in this age. National leaders commend it, parents exemplify selfishness for their children, and when the children are old enough to be taken from their parents, the public schools train them thoroughly in it. Even people born with good qualities soon lose the opportunity to live by them as the vices of the age start to envelop them practically from birth. Infants are fed the remnants of slaughter, drugged, and exposed to vicious media so that they are already spoiled even before beginning education. It takes superhuman effort for anyone to escape the thrall of selfishness and return to a natural life of devotional service. It is rare for anyone to even imagine the possibility – the desirability – of escape. But with genuine spiritual guidance we can escape. The sages consider themselves favored by the divine powers that rule creation because they have met Sūta Gosvāmī, the pilot who will guide them across the otherwise impassible ocean of Kali. Although they are the most qualified of brāhmaṇas, they cannot claim to have done anything to earn this good fortune. The pilot of a ship may be of a lower class than the paying passengers, but in dangerous seas the lives of the passengers depend on him.
Now verse twenty-three, the last of this chapter:
brūhi yogeśvare kṛṣṇe
 brahmaṇye dharma-varmaṇi
svāṁ kāṣṭhām adhunopete
 dharmaḥ kaṁ śaraṇaṁ gataḥ
“Since Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth, the master of all mystic powers, has departed for His own abode, please tell us to whom the religious principles have now gone for shelter.”
The sages submit one last question: Now that Kṛṣṇa has finished His pastimes and left the world bereft of Himself, how can anyone sustain any real spiritual life in this age? It seems no substance of dharma will remain after Kali assumes his rule; rather, there will only be empty, distorted forms of religion, truth, and social order. While He was present Kṛṣṇa upheld all aspects of dharma by what He did and said. He exhibited all the mystic powers the yogīs strive to emulate. He defended brahminical culture against the oppression of unruly kings, and He revived the eternal principles of the Vedic śāstras. He had all capability as the master of yoga, and all willingness as the friend of the brāhmaṇas, to give shelter to humankind. But now the short time He was visible to ordinary eyes has ended. Kṛṣṇa seems to have withdrawn Himself and returned to His hidden abode. What shelter can there now be for those harassed by Kali?
Six questions have been asked in this chapter: What is the highest good for all people? What is the essential teaching of all scriptures that will give the soul full satisfaction? For what purpose did Kṛṣṇa appear as the son of Devakī and Vasudeva? Please tell us about Kṛṣṇa’s pastime activities. Please tell us about His various incarnations. And please tell us where dharma can go for shelter in His absence. To commence his narration of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śrī Sūta will answer the first four of these questions in the following chapter, and the other two in the chapter after that.