Shrimad Bhagwat is one of the most sacred books
of the Hindus.
It gives a tremendous
insight, a profound vision, and an entirely new
perspective to the person who hears the narrative.
On hearing, a person is never the same. There
is a complete metamorphosis, a complete transformation,
literally a new birth. Atman (soul) by it’s
own nature is sovereign – it cannot by nature
be bound – whatever bondages felt are sheer
illusions of the mind. Shrimad Bhagwat provides
that light which enables Jeeva (human being) to
experience the wonderful freedom of liberation.
One feels, "Yes, I am free!" Shrimad
Bhagwat expresses this philosophy through the
narration of the life stories of 24 incarnations
of Lord Vishnu. Amongst these, the tenth volume
of the Shrimad Bhagwat narrates in infinite detail,
the story of Lord Krishna. Since all 24 incarnations
are of Lord Vishnu, it is a vitally important
scripture for the Vaishnavites.
Written by Sage
Ved Vyasa the Bhagwat leaves no topic untouched
– social, political, and economic systems
– all these have been covered and commented
upon by him. Not just issues relating to self-liberation
but even our day-to-day problems have been effectively
resolved in Shrimad Bhagwat. Hence it can be emphatically
stated that Shrimad Bhagwat is an exposition,
which explains human life very clearly, it is
a direction leading to the ultimate liberation
of the soul. It is therefore an important guide
for the conduct of human beings in all their affairs.
and listening to Shrimad Bhagwat is a week long
Anushthan (a religious commitment), but even an
entire lifetime may not be enough to understand
it in depth and explain it to others. It is such
a wonderful, sublime scripture but King Parikshit
had only seven days to live and it is said that
by listening to such a seven-day narration of
Bhagwat Katha King Parikshit attained liberation!
Not by death but by emancipation from ignorance
and fear. Thus Shrimad Bhagwat liberates us from
fear, problems, and ignorance. In essence, this
is the crux of Shrimad Bhagwat. Content wise,
it comprises three main dialogues or principal
conversations – one that of Shukadevji and
King Parikshit, second between Sutji and Shaunak
and other Rishis at Naimisharanya and the third
between Vidurji and Maitreya on the banks of the
river Ganga. These three principal conversations
convey the voluminous Bhagwat beginning and ending
with the dialogue between Sutji and Shaunak and
This four quatrain
(8 verses) of Bhagwat was voiced by Shri Narayan
Bhagwan and heard by Brahmaji as narrated in the
second volume. Brahmaji then narrated the same
four verses (shlokas) to Narada who in turn conveyed
to Sage Ved Vyasa but told him that this was only
formularized, now expand it’s (Vyasa) purview.
The seat from where such knowledge is expounded
and explained in detail is called ‘Vyas
Peetham’. For this very reason we call the
narrator of Shrimad Bhagwat ‘Vyas’.
It is more a qualitative noun than a personal
noun. Thus Vyasa elaborated the four shlokas (verses)
in 9000 verses spread over 335 chapters and 12
volumes. Then Bhagwan Ved Vyasa taught it to Shukhdeva,
who then narrated it to King Parikshit. Sutjii
in Namisharanya to Shaunaka and other Rishis conveys
the same conversation. All the different periods
of these separate conversations are mentioned
in Shrimad Bhagwat.
The narration of
Shrimad Bhagwat Katha is arranged for many reasons;
raising funds to help medical institutions or
provide medical relief to people affected by natural
calamities, to fund and raise school/colleges
and help rural development. But it is mainly arranged
for the upliftment and welfare of the people and
society, who, by listening to the katha would
understand God and learn the way to reach him,
helping inducing spiritual growth within themselves
and most importantly becoming righteous and virtuous
human beings. In the olden days it was primarily
arranged when there was a death in the family.
Amidst the encircling gloom of sadness and acute
depression, the katha narration created a major
transformation, bringing to a grief ridden family
solace, comfort, equanimity and a philosophic
vision. The Bhagwat Katha drew them out of their
sorrow and removed them from their mourning. Therefore
the Bhagwat Katha is described as "Shoka
Moha Bhayapaha", that which destroys attachment
and consequently removes sorrow and fear. By listening
to ‘Shrimad Bhagwat Katha’, devotion
(Bhakti) pervades our heart and minds. This devotion
destroys attachment, sorrow and fear from our
minds. What is this devotion or ‘Bhakti’?
It is nothing but love!
Love is a sublime
experience. It moves and spreads in all directions
and becomes universal. When love becomes unending,
human beings attain sainthood. The body becomes
a temple – and the heart a priest! Slowly,
but surely Shrimad Bhagwat enables one to reach
that stage. When universal love and devotion is
attained, the sorrow, attachments and fear vanish.
Sorrow or mourning is connected with the past;
attachment is connected with the present and fear
with the future. These are the three factors that
disturb everyone. Mourning the past, attachment
for the present, and fear or worry for the future.
And who does not long for peace? Whether a person
is a theist or an atheist, everyone longs for
peace. Everyone wants joy. When these three dominant
influences vanish, one becomes quiet and lucid.
It is not
that Bhagwat Katha liberates the departed soul
alone. It even frees surviving members from sorrow,
attachment and fear. Thus liberation is in a wider
concept. It is not as if one is liberated only
after one dies. It can be experienced even during
a person’s lifetime, now and here also.
That is the teaching of Shrimad Bhagwat Katha