7-Minute Bhagavatam

7-Minute Bhagavatam

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.25-27
by
Gopiparanadhana Dasa
Language 
English
Listen to podcast 
Transcript 


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.25, 1.2.26, and 1.2.27
Continuing the explanation of the second chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with verse twenty-five:
bhejire munayo ’thāgre
 bhagavantam adhokṣajam
sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ kṣemāya
 kalpante ye ’nu tān iha
“Previously all the great sages rendered service unto the Personality of Godhead due to His existence above the three modes of material nature. They worshiped Him to become free from material conditions and thus derive the ultimate benefit. Whoever follows such great authorities is also eligible for liberation from the material world.”
The standard mahā-janas listed by Yamarāja in the Sixth Canto of the Bhāgavatam are Brahmā, Nārada, Śiva, Sanat-kumāra, Kapila, Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda, Janaka of Mithilā, Bhīṣma, Bali, Śukadeva, and Yamarāja himself. They are all pure devotees of Lord Viṣṇu, who is adhokṣaja, unknowable by material goodness. No one should pretend to know the purpose of religion without being connected in disciplic succession to one or more of these twelve authorities. All true sages in ancient times followed these mahā-janas in worshiping Lord Viṣṇu, and even those today who receive and practice the ancient Vaiṣṇava teachings can also perfect their lives. Other so-called sages, who worship finite beings or promote impersonalism, are pretenders.
Now verse twenty-six:
mumukṣavo ghora-rūpān
 hitvā bhūta-patīn atha
nārāyaṇa-kalāḥ śāntā
 bhajanti hy anasūyavaḥ
“Those who are serious about liberation are certainly nonenvious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Viṣṇu and His plenary portions.”
Because the worshipers of Viṣṇu are decent, they have no hostility to anyone, what to speak of disparaging demigods who faithfully do the Lord’s work. But those who are serious about avoiding death and rebirth should know that only the Supreme Lord can give liberation from death, because all finite beings up to Brahmā are themselves fated to die. Decent human beings without materialistic motives should approach devotees of the Supreme Lord, because only they have received His shelter and can share it with others. The demigods ruling this world are also devotees, faithful servants of the Lord, but they cannot give liberation to foolish people who wrongly worship them as if they were God Himself.
Śrī Sūta refers to the demigods here as bhūta-patis, masters of created beings. Some of them administer the influences of tamo-guṇa, and they tend to show themselves as frightening and ugly. Others rule the rājasic phases of existence, appearing relatively sublime in their beauty but still grotesque in comparison to the faultless beauty found in the spiritual world.
Demigods have their worshipers, but they are actually servants. The direct expansions of Nārāyaṇa, however, are all the supreme master Himself. They are called plenary portions because they are the same original person with all His assets intact (although they refrain from showing in their various pastimes more than certain aspects of His personality). These kalās of Nārāyaṇa are śānta, “peaceful,” but not merely in the negative sense; the peace of Lord Nārāyaṇa’s domain is not inert but full of ecstatic vitality.
Now verse twenty-seven:
rajas-tamaḥ-prakṛtayaḥ
 sama-śīlā bhajanti vai
pitṛ-bhūta-prajeśādīn
 śriyaiśvarya-prajepsavaḥ
“Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance worship the forefathers, other living beings, and the demigods who are in charge of cosmic activities, for they are urged by a desire to be materially benefited with women, wealth, power, and progeny.”
Although everything a decent person might desire in life can be attained without separate effort just by worshiping the Supreme Lord, the lower modes of nature make fallen souls imagine they need to go elsewhere for their needs. They measure śrī (prosperity) in terms of women and money, aiśvarya (influence) in terms of domination and survival of the fittest, and prajā (posterity) in terms of family inheritance. So they worship the deities who match their own passion and ignorance, including dead ancestors and evil spirits, and become more and more entangled in delusion.