7-Minute Bhagavatam

7-Minute Bhagavatam

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.16-17
by
Gopiparanadhana Dasa
Language 
English
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Transcript 


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.16 and 1.2.17
Continuing the explanation of the second chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with verse sixteen:
śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya
 vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ
 puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt
“O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva.”
In his purport to this verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda indicates that liberated devotees of Lord Vāsudeva extend themselves to save fallen souls in various countries, not just India. But India is especially sacred because the Supreme Lord descended there in many of His avatāras. The places of the Lord’s appearance are called tīrthas, and those who visit them can meet the great devotees who live there. These mahātmās or mahats are themselves tīrthas because hearing from and serving them is the quickest way to revive one’s Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When they are pleased by some service, Kṛṣṇa is also pleased, and the one who gave the service, whether intentionally or not, is blessed with appreciation of the mahātmās’ saintly character. By this blessing, one becomes śuśrūṣu, interested to hear what the mahātmās have to say. And even a little faithful hearing can quickly develop into the most valuable asset anyone can have in this world: a taste for hearing the topics of Vāsudeva. That ruci is the main qualification that allows one to begin on the path of pure devotional service.
Now verse seventeen:
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
 puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
 vidhunoti suhṛt satām
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”
Even when someone desires to return to God’s shelter, the bad habits of material life are difficult to give up. Trying to follow spiritual discipline can often be painfully frustrating. But the process of hearing and chanting the Supreme Lord’s glories has special power in this most materialistic age. Kṛṣṇa’s name is Kṛṣṇa Himself, and in His most recent appearance as Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa is eager to offer His help to everyone who has just a little faith in hearing and chanting.
Kṛṣṇa makes Himself available in the form Lord Caitanya, in the form of His names, and also as the Paramātmā already present in every living being’s heart. The Paramātmā is normally impartial, except when He notices that His companion in the heart is starting to revive interest in Him. As Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna in the Gītā, He has no special friends or enemies, but still He is endeared by one who worships Him with devotion. A little interest in vāsudeva-kathā is enough. One may have lived sinfully for many lives, neglecting the divine tenant in the guestroom of his heart and letting the room accumulate more and more filth, but when Kṛṣṇa as the Paramātmā takes note that His host is listening to His kathā, He is so satisfied that He forgets the offense and decides to take up cleaning the room Himself. He is much more gracious as a guest than we have ever been as His hosts. Certainly He is not like someone who wants to hear about himself for ego gratification. Rather, He is delighted that we are giving Him attention because vāsudeva-kathā-ruci is by all means the best hope for our salvation.