Srimad Bhagavatam Set [Original First Edition 30 Volume]
A Cultural Presentation for the Respiritualization of the World
Srimad-Bhagavatam is a cultural presentation for the re-spiritualization of the entire human society. There is one ultimate source of everything that be. This ultimate source is explained rationally and authoritatively in the beautiful Bhagavatam. Original 30 volume edition.
The reading matter is so arranged that with its original Sanskrit text, its English transliteration, synonyms, translation and purports so that one is sure to become a God-realized soul at the end of finishing the first nine cantos.
“This Srimad Bhagavatam is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krishna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the Age of Kali shall get light from this Srimad Bhagavatam.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.43)
This new printing is an exact replica of Srila Prabhupada’s original Srimad-Bhagavatam set printed between 1970 and 1977.
This edition of the Srimad Bhagavatam,with elaborate commentary, is the most widely read and authorative translation available to the English speaking world.
With translations and elaborate purports by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Complete subject index
Over 400 Beautiful Full-color paintings
From the Preface:
Human society, at the present moment, is not in the darkness of oblivion. It has made rapid progress in the field of material comforts, education and economic development throughout the entire world. But there is a pinprick somewhere in the social body at large, and therefore there are large-scale quarrels, even over less important issues. There is need of a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship and prosperity with a common cause.
Srimad-Bhagavatam will fill this need, for it is a cultural presentation for the re-spiritualization of the entire human society.”
Material science has tried to find the ultimate source of creation very insufficiently, but it is a fact that there is one ultimate source of everything that be. This ultimate source is explained rationally and authoritatively in the beautiful Bhagavatam or Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the transcendental science not only for knowing the ultimate source of everything but also for knowing our relation with Him and our duty towards perfection of the human society on the basis of this perfect knowledge.
It is powerful reading matter in the Sanskrit language, and is now rendered into English elaborately so that simply by a careful reading one will know God perfectly well, so much so that the reader will be sufficiently educated to defend himself from the onslaught of atheists. Over and above this the reader will be able to convert others to accept God as a concrete principle.
Srimad-Bhagavatam begins with the definition of the ultimate source. It is a bona fide commentary on the Vedanta-sutra by the same author, Srila Vyasadeva, and gradually it develops in nine cantos up to the highest state of God realization.
The only qualification one needs to study this great book of transcendental knowledge is to proceed step by step cautiously and not jump forward haphazardly like with an ordinary book. It should be gone through chapter by chapter, one after another.
The reading matter is so arranged that with its original Sanskrit text, its English transliteration, synonyms, translation and purports so that one is sure to become a God-realized soul at the end of finishing the first nine cantos.
The Tenth Canto is distinct from the first nine cantos, because it deals directly with the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. One will be unable to capture the effects of the Tenth Canto without going through the first nine cantos.
I must admit my frailties in presenting Srimad-Bhagavatam, but still I am hopeful of its good reception by the thinkers and leaders of society on the strength of the following statement of Srimad-Bhagavatam:
“That literature which is full with descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, form and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a transcendental creation meant to bring about a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though irregularly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.”
Om Tat Sat
[From Srila Prabhupada’s Preface dated at Delhi, December 15, 1962]
Scholars Praise this Edition of Srimad-Bhagavatam:
“This is a work to be treasured. No one of whatever faith or philosophical persuasion who reads these books with an open mind can fail to be both moved and impressed….”
Dr. Garry Gelade Professor of Psychology Oxford University
“It has been my great pleasure recently to have read the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the superb edition authorized by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada….I am sure this monumental work will go far to bring the sublime message of the Bhagavatam to numerous Westerners who otherwise would miss this opportunity. “
Dr. Alex Wayman Professor of Sanskrit, Columbia University
“The Srimad-Bhagavatam is extremely useful for all those interested in ancient India, whether their interest be that of the philosopher, the student of religion, the historian, the linguist, the sociologist or the political scientist….I truly hope that Srila Prabhupada will complete his translation of the entire Bhagavata and continue to translate other eminent Sanskrit works as well. Undoubtedly, this work of Swamiji’s is a great contribution to the troubled human society of today’s world.”
Dr. Sooda L. Bhatt Professor of Indian Languages, Boston University
“The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust editions of famous religious classics of India, with new translations and commentaries, are an important addition to our expanding knowledge of spiritual India. The new edition of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is particularly welcome.”
Dr. John L. Mish Chief, Oriental Division, New York Public Library
“…A commentary on the Vedanta-sutra by Srila Vyasadeva divided into twelve ‘cantos’ of which four are presented here in eight beautifully produced volumes. These lavish volumes, obviously the product of devotional effort, contain many lovely full-color illustrations….”
Choice magazine, June, 1975
“In the diversity of religious approaches offered by the yogis of India, the most significant, of course, is the way of Krsna consciousness. It is amazing to see how Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami has in less than ten years succeeded, by his personal devotion, untiring energy and efficient direction, in organizing the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Now, he has undertaken the stupendous project of rendering the entire Bhagavata,the great devotional classic of India, into English. His edition is learning blended with devotional feeling and inspired by a definite purpose of communicating the intense Iyrical and devotional quality of the Bhagavata. Srila Prabhupada has done an excellent service by his able rendition of ‘the abode of divine joy’ that the Bhagavata is.”
Dr. Mahesh Mehta, Professor of Asian Studies University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
“It is axiomatic that no book can be expected entirely to satisfy all its potential readers. Here is one, however, which can be said to come remarkably close to that ideal….we have here the ideal of what an edition of a Sanskrit text for a Western audience should be.”
Dr. R. E. Asher Professor of Linguistics, University of Edinburgh
“…For those who have no access to the Sanskrit language, these books convey, in superb manner, the message of the Bhagavatam. In addition to being a scholarly work, it directly reflects the spiritual aspirations of a religious community which has gained considerable popularity in modern America.”
Dr. Alaka Hejib Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
“Srimad-Bhagavatam is a valuable source material and cannot but be attractive to serious students and scholars of religion and philosophy. I recommend this series, to anyone, as an important and useful reference work.”
Dr. C. P. Agrawal, Chairwoman Department of Humanities, University of Michigan
Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is an historical person who appeared on this earth in India 5,000 years ago. He stayed on this earth for 125 years and played exactly like a human being, but His activities were unparalleled.
In these Western countries, when someone sees the cover of a book like Krsna, he immediately asks, “Who is Krishna? Who is the girl with Krishna?” etc.
The immediate answer is that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How is that? Because He conforms in exact detail to descriptions of the Supreme Being, the Godhead. In other words, Krishna is the Godhead because He is all-attractive. Outside the principle of all-attraction, there is no meaning to the word Godhead. How is it one can be all-attractive? First of all, if one is very wealthy, if he has great riches, he becomes attractive to the people in general. Similarly, if someone is very powerful, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very famous, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very beautiful or wise or unattached to all kinds of possessions, he also becomes attractive. So from practical experience we can observe that one is attractive due to 1) wealth, 2) power, 3) fame, 4) beauty, 5) wisdom, and 6) renunciation. One who is in possession of all six of these opulences at the same time, who possesses them to an unlimited degree, is understood to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These opulences of the Godhead are delineated by Parasara Muni, a great Vedic authority.
We have seen many rich persons, many powerful persons, many famous persons, many beautiful persons, many learned and scholarly persons, and persons in the renounced order of life unattached to material possessions. But we have never seen any one person who is unlimitedly and simultaneously wealthy, powerful, famous, beautiful, wise and unattached, like Krishna, in the history of humanity. Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is an historical person who appeared on this earth 5,000 years ago. He stayed on this earth for 125 years and played exactly like a human being, but His activities were unparalleled. From the very moment of His appearance to the moment of His disappearance, every one of His activities is unparalleled in the history of the world, and therefore anyone who knows what we mean by Godhead will accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one is equal to the Godhead, and no one is greater than Him. That is the import of the familiar saying, “God is great.”
There are various classes of men in the world who speak of God in different ways, but according to Vedic literatures and according to the great acaryas, the authorized persons versed in the knowledge of God, in all ages, like acaryasSankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Visnusvami, Lord Caitanya and all their followers by disciplic succession, all unanimously agree that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As far as we, the followers of Vedic civilization, are concerned, we accept the Vedic history of the whole universe, which consists of different planetary systems called Svargalokas, or the higher planetary system, Martyalokas, or the intermediary planetary system, and Patalalokas, or the lower planetary system. The modern historians of this earth cannot supply historical evidences of events that occurred before 5,000 years ago, and the anthropologists say that 40,000 years ago Homo sapiens had not appeared on this planet because evolution had not reached that point. But the Vedic histories, the Puranas and Mahabharata, relate human histories which extend millions and billions of years into the past.
For example, from these literatures we are given the histories of Krishna’s appearances and disappearances millions and billions of years ago. In the Fourth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita Krishna tells Arjuna that both He and Arjuna had had many births before and that He (Krishna) could remember all of them and that Arjuna could not. This illustrates the difference between the knowledge of Krishna and that of Arjuna. Arjuna might have been a very great warrior, a well-cultured member of the Kuru dynasty, but after all, he was an ordinary human being, whereas Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the possessor of unlimited knowledge. Because He possesses unlimited knowledge, Krishna has a memory that is boundless.
Krishna’s knowledge is so perfect that He remembers all the incidents of His appearances some millions and billions of years in the past, but Arjuna’s memory and knowledge are limited by time and space, for he is an ordinary human being. In the Fourth Chapter Krishna states that He can remember instructing the lessons of the Bhagavad-gitasome millions of years ago to the sun-god, Vivasvan.
Nowadays it is the fashion of the atheistic class of men to try to become God by following some mystic process. Generally the atheists claim to be God by dint of their imagination or their meditational prowess. Krishna is not that kind of God. He does not become God by manufacturing some mystic process of meditation, nor does He become God by undergoing the severe austerities of the mystic yogic exercises. Properly speaking, He never becomes God because He is the Godhead in all circumstances.
Within the prison of His maternal uncle Kamsa, where His father and mother were confined, Krishna appearedoutside His mother’s body as the four-handed Visnu-Narayana. Then He turned Himself into a baby and told His father to carry Him to the house of Nanda Maharaja and his wife Yasoda. When Krishna was just a small baby the gigantic demoness Putana attempted to kill Him, but when He sucked her breast He pulled out her life. That is the difference between the real Godhead and a God manufactured in the mystic factory. Krishna had no chance to practice the mystic yoga process, yet He manifested Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead at every step, from infancy to childhood, from childhood to boyhood, and from boyhood to young manhood. In the book Krsna, all of His activities as a human being are described. Although Krishna plays like a human being, He always maintains His identity as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Since Krishna is all-attractive, one should know that all his desires should be focused on Krishna. In the Bhagavad-gitait is said that the individual person is the proprietor or master of the body but Krishna, who is the Supersoul present in everyone’s heart, is the supreme proprietor and supreme master of each and every individual body. As such, if we concentrate our loving propensities upon Krishna only, then immediately universal love, unity and tranquillity will be automatically realized. When one waters the root of a tree, he automatically waters the branches, twigs, leaves and flowers; when one supplies food to the stomach through the mouth, he satisfies all the various parts of the body.
The art of focusing one’s attention on the Supreme and giving one’s love to Him is called Krishna consciousness. We have inaugurated the Krishna consciousness movement so that everyone can satisfy his propensity for loving others simply by directing his love towards Krishna. The whole world is very much anxious to satisfy the dormant propensity of love for others, but the inventions of various methods like socialism, communism, altruism, humanitarianism, nationalism, and whatever else may be manufactured for the peace and prosperity of the world, are all useless and frustrating because of our gross ignorance of the art of loving Krishna. Generally people think that by advancing the cause of moral principles and religious rites, they will be happy. Others may think that happiness can be achieved by economic development, and yet others think that simply by sense gratification they will be happy. But the real fact is that people can only be happy by loving Krishna.
Krishna can perfectly reciprocate one’s loving propensities in different relationships called mellows or rasas.Basically there are twelve loving relationships. One can love Krishna as the supreme unknown, as the supreme master, the supreme friend, the supreme child, the supreme lover. These are the five basic love rasas. One can also love Krishna indirectly in seven different relationships, which are apparently different from the five primary relationships. All in all, however, if one simply reposes his dormant loving propensity in Krishna, then his life becomes successful. This is not a fiction but is a fact that can be realized by practical application. One can directly perceive the effects that love for Krishna has on his life.
In the Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gitathis science of Krishna consciousness is called the king of all knowledge, the king of all confidential things, and the supreme science of transcendental realization. Yet we can directly experience the results of this science of Krishna consciousness because it is very easy to practice and is very pleasurable. Whatever percentage of Krishna consciousness we can perform will become an eternal asset to our life, for it is imperishable in all circumstances. It has now been actually proved that today’s confused and frustrated younger generation in the Western countries can directly perceive the results of channeling the loving propensity toward Krishna alone.
It is said that although one executes severe austerities, penances and sacrifices in his life, if he fails to awaken his dormant love for Krishna, then all his penances are to be considered useless. On the other hand, if one has awakened his dormant love for Krishna, then what is the use in executing austerities and penances unnecessarily?
The Krishna consciousness movement is the unique gift of Lord Caitanya to the fallen souls of this age. It is a very simple method which has actually been carried out during the last four years in the Western countries, and there is no doubt that this movement can satisfy the dormant loving propensities of humanity. The book Krsna is another presentation to help the Krishna consciousness movement in the Western world. This transcendental literature is published in two parts with profuse illustrations. People love to read various kinds of fiction to spend their time and energy. Now this tendency can be directed to Krishna. The result will be the imperishable satisfaction of the soul, both individually and collectively.
It is said in the Bhagavad-gita that even a little effort expended on the path of Krishna consciousness can save one from the greatest danger. Hundreds of thousands of examples can be cited of people who have escaped the greatest dangers of life due to a slight advancement in Krishna consciousness. We therefore request everyone to take advantage of this great transcendental literature. One will find that by reading one page after another, an immense treasure of knowledge in art, science, literature, philosophy and religion will be revealed, and ultimately, by reading this one book, Krsna, love of Godhead will fructify.
My grateful acknowledgment is due to Sriman George Harrison, now chanting Hare Krishna, for his liberal contribution of $19,000 to meet the entire cost of printing Krsna Book.. May Krishna bestow upon this nice boy further advancement in Krishna consciousness.
And at last my ever-willing blessings are bestowed upon Sriman Syamasundara dasa Adhikari, Sriman Brahmananda dasa Brahmacari, Sriman Hayagriva dasa Adhikari, Sriman Satsvarupa Adhikari, Srimati Devahuti-devi, Srimati Jadurani dasi, Sriman Muralidhara dasa Brahmacari, Sriman Bharadvaja dasa Adhikari and Sriman Pradyumna dasa Adhikari, etc., for their hard labor in different ways to make this publication a great success.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Advent Day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
February 26th, 1970 ISKCON Headquarters 3764 Watseka Avenue Los Angeles, California’s
So if you smear your eyes with love of Godhead, then you will see God always. Santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti. Yes. So devotion. So this is the way of understanding God. By service, by enhancing love… This love can be increased only by service. Otherwise there is no possibility. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. The more you increase your service spirit, the more you increase your dormant love of God.
Prabhupada: Everyone feeling all right? Devotees: Yes, Prabhupada. Jaya! Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. Page 65, Mantra 13. (chants mantra etc.)
anyad evahuh sambhavad anyad ahur asambhavat iti susruma dhiranam ye nas tad vicacaksire
Then Mantra 14, (page) 72. (devotees chant mantra etc.)
sambhutim ca vinasam ca yas tad vedobhayam saha vinasena mrtyum tirtva sambhutyamrtam asnute
Then Mantra 15, (devotees chant mantra etc.)
hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham tat tvam pusann apavrnu satya-dharmaya drstaye
“O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee.”
Here is Vedic evidence. This Isopanisad is Veda, part of the Yajur Veda. So here it is said, hiranmayena patrena satyasya apihitam mukham. Just like the sun. There is, in the sun planet, there is a predominating Deity whose name is Vivasvan. We get it, this information we get from Bhagavad-gita. Vivasvan manave praha. So in every planet there is a predominating Deity.
Just like in your this planet, if not Deity, somebody like president there is. Formerly, there was only one king on this planet, up to Maharaja Pariksit. One king was. There was only one flag ruling over this whole planet. Similarly, in every planet there is a predominating Deity. So here it is said that the supreme predominating Deity is Krsna, in the spiritual, in the topmost planet in the spiritual sky. This is material sky. In the material sky this is one of the universes. There are millions and trillions of universes. And within this universe there are millions and trillions of planets. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti [Bs. 5.40]. Jagad-anda. Jagad-anda means universe. Anda: just like an egg, this whole universe. So koti. Koti means hundreds and thousands.
So in the brahmajyoti there are hundreds and thousands of these universes, and within this universe there are hundreds and thousands and thousands, unlimited number of Vaikunthas, planets. Each Vaikuntha planet is predominated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Except in the Krsna planet, all other Vaikuntha planets, they are predominated by Narayana, and each Narayana has got different names, some of which we know. Like just we utter Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Sankarsana… We have got twenty-four names only, but there are many others. Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam [Bs. 5.33].
So these planets are covered by the brahmajyoti effulgence. So here it is prayed that hiranmayena patrena satyasya apihitam. Apihitam means covered. Just like you cannot see the sun globe on account of this dazzling sunshine, similarly, the Krsna planet, here you have the picture. From the Krsna planet the effulgence is coming out. So one has to penetrate this effulgence. That is being prayed here. Hiranmayena patrena satyasya. The real Absolute Truth, Krsna, His planet is covered by the Brahman effulgence. So the devotee is praying, “Kindly move it. Wind it so that I can see You really.” So brahmajyoti, the Mayavada philosophers, they do not know that beyond brahmajyoti there is anything. Here is the Vedic evidence, that the brahmajyoti is just like golden effulgence. Hiranmayena patrena. This is covering the real face of the Supreme Lord. Tat tvam pusann apavrnu. So, “You are sustainer, You are maintainer. Kindly uncover this so that we can see You actually, Your face.”
The idea is that Krsna planet or the Vaikuntha planets, they are beyond this Brahman effulgence, and those who are devotees, they are permitted to enter into these spiritual planets. Those who are not devotees, simply jnanis or demons… The jnanis and demons, they are offered the same place. The jnanis… Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah [SB 10.2.32]. They practice severe austerities, penances, to enter into the Brahman effulgence. But the demons, simply by becoming enemy of Krsna, they immediately get that place. The demons who are killed by Krsna, they are immediately transferred to this Brahman effulgence. So just imagine, the place which is given to the enemies of Krsna, is that very covetable thing?
Suppose if somebody comes who is my enemy, I give him some place, and somebody, my intimate friend, I give him some other place. Similarly, this Brahman effulgence is not at all covetable. Therefore Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada, he has composed a verse, that Brahman… Kaivalyam narakayate. Kaivalya means the Brahman effulgence, simply spiritual light. So kaivalyam narakayate. He says that this Brahman effulgence is just like hell. For a devotee, this Brahman… The jnanis who are trying to merge into the Brahman effulgence, for devotee it is stated as hell. Kaivalyam narakayate. Tri-dasa-pur akasa-puspayate. And tri-dasa-pur means the planets of the demigods within this material world. People are very much anxious to go into the heavenly planet. That is called tri-dasa-pur or tri-dasa-pur, the residential quarters of the demigods. And for a devotee it is understood as will-o’-the-wisp, akasa-puspayate. And durdantendriya-kala-sarpa-patali protkhata-damstrayate. And the yogis, they are trying to control the senses, which are considered as venomous serpents, the senses. That’s a fact.
So the bhakta says that “We are not afraid of the senses.” Why? Protkhata-damstrayate. Because we have extracted the poison teeth. The senses has got a poison teeth. As soon as you indulge in sense gratification, immediately you become degraded. Immediately. So it is just like a venomous serpent. As soon as touches you, little biting, finished your life. So it is like that. Durdanta-kala-sarpa-patali, indriya. But these venomous snakes, if their poison teeth is taken away, then it may be fearful for the boys and children. But if an elderly person knows that his poison teeth has been taken away, nobody’s afraid of it. So this Krsna consciousness means that we take away the poison teeth of the senses. So that even Krsna conscious persons are allowed for sense gratification, the poison teeth is broken. So therefore they are not gliding down to the hellish condition of life.
So in this way, either the karmis or the jnanis or the yogis, they are always… They are, every one of them, trying to elevate. And above them is the devotees. So devotee’s place is the highest because by devotion only you can understand what is God. Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55], Krsna says. He does not say that “By karma one can understand Me.” He does not say that “By jnana one can understand Me.” He does not say that “By yoga one can understand Me.” He clearly says, bhaktya mam abhijanati: [Bg. 18.55] “Simply by devotional service one can understand Me.” Yavan yas casmi tattvatah. Knowing Him as He is, that is bhakti. So except devotional service, there is no possibility of understanding the Absolute Truth. Any other process means covered.
Just like the… You understand the sun planet from here. You are seeing the sun planet, that’s a fact, but that does not mean you know what is actually the sun planet is, because you have no access to approach there. You may speculate, that’s all. Speculation means the blind man seeing the elephant. Somebody thought, “Oh, it is just like a pillar.” Yes. Big, big legs. Somebody understood the trunk. Somebody understood the ears, elephant. There is a story, some blind men studying the elephant. So they were giving different conclusions. Somebody: “The elephant is just like a pillar.” Somebody says, “Elephant is just like big boat.” Somebody is… Somebody is… But actually what is elephant, if you have no eyes to see, you can go on speculating. Therefore it is here said that pusann apavrnu. “Please uncover the covering. Then I can see You.”
So that seeing power is the bhakta’s, the devotee’s, because Krsna certifies, bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Those who have developed love of Godhead by that ointment, prema, ointment… Just like sometimes… In India it is very… They have got some… What is called? Surma? Ungent, surma. Yes. If you apply that surma your sight becomes bright immediately. So if you smear your eyes with love of Godhead, then you will see God always. Santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti. Yes. So devotion. So this is the way of understanding God. By service, by enhancing love… This love can be increased only by service. Otherwise there is no possibility. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. The more you increase your service spirit, the more you increase your dormant love of God. And as soon as you are in the perfectional stage of love of God, you see God always, every moment. Twenty-four hours you can see. Thank you very much. Devotees: All glories to Prabhupada. (end)
As I’m fasting Nirjala Ekadasi without water today I feel very thirsty but then I get a thought that today I’m feeling very thirsty but someday because of this I will be drinking the real blissful spiritual water in the Krishnaloka. And then I got another idea as well- let’s spiritualize this world by spreading Krishna bhakti. When this happens, all thirsty people while walking on road will ask for prasadama water and will get it from devotees whom they ask for. Even cows and other animals dying for want of water will get prasadama water and not get discarded, driven away from fields and get beaten, as it is happening in India now as there is ban on cow/bull slaughter in my state and the cows can be seen everywhere walking thirsty being driven away from here and there. Let’s spiritualize this world and everyone will enjoy life millions and millions of times more by serving Krishna and tasting Krishna prasadama than they are in this modern so-called civilization.
When Lord Kṛṣṇa saw that Vasudeva and Devakī were remaining standing in a reverential attitude, He immediately expanded His influence of yogamāyā so that they could treat Him and Balarāma as children. As in the material world the relationship existing between father and mother and children can be established amongst different living entities by the influence of the illusory energy, so, by the influence of yogamāyā, the devotee can establish a relationship in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is his child. After creating this situation by His yogamāyā, Kṛṣṇa, appearing with His elder brother Balarāma as the most illustrious sons in the dynasty of the Sātvatas, very submissively and respectfully addressed Vasudeva and Devakī: “My dear father and mother, although you have always been very anxious for the protection of Our lives, you could not enjoy the pleasure of having Us as your babies, as your growing boys and as your adolescent youths.” Kṛṣṇa indirectly praised the fatherhood of Nanda Mahārāja and motherhood of Yaśodā as most glorious because although He and Balarāma were not their born sons, Nanda and Yaśodā actually enjoyed Their childhood pastimes. By nature’s own arrangement, the childhood of the embodied living being is enjoyed by the parents. Even in the animal kingdom the parents are found to be affectionate to the cubs. Being captivated by the activities of their children, they take much care for their well-being. As for Vasudeva and Devakī, they were always very anxious for the protection of their sons, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. That is why Kṛṣṇa, after His appearance, was immediately transferred to another’s house. Balarāma was also transferred from Devakī’s womb to Rohiṇī’s womb.
Vasudeva and Devakī were full of anxieties for Kṛṣṇa’s and Balarāma’s protection, and they could not enjoy Their childhood pastimes. Kṛṣṇa said, “Unfortunately, being ordered by Our fate, We could not be raised by Our own parents to enjoy childhood pleasures at home. My dear father and mother, a man has a debt to pay to his parents, from whom he gets this body which can bestow upon him all the benefits of material existence. According to the Vedic injunction, this human form of life enables one to perform all kinds of religious activities, fulfill all kinds of desires and acquire all kinds of wealth. And only in this human form is there every possibility that one can get liberation from material existence. This body is produced by the combined efforts of the father and mother. Every human being should be obliged to his parents and understand that he cannot repay his debt to them. If, after growing up, a son does not try to satisfy his parents by his actions or by an endowment of riches, he is surely punished after death by the superintendent of death and made to eat his own flesh. If a person is able to care for or give protection to old parents, children, the spiritual master, brāhmaṇas and other dependents, but does not do so, he is considered to be already dead, although he is supposedly breathing. My dear father and mother, you have always been very anxious for Our protection, but unfortunately We could not render any service unto you. Up to date We have simply wasted Our time; We could not serve you for reasons beyond Our control. Mother and father, please excuse Us for Our sinful action.”
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead was speaking as an innocent boy in very sweet words, both Vasudeva and Devakī became captivated by parental affection and embraced Them with great pleasure. They were amazed and could not speak or answer the words of Kṛṣṇa, but simply embraced Him and Balarāma in great affection and remained silent, shedding incessant tears.
Thus consoling His father and mother, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing as the beloved son of Devakī, approached His grandfather Ugrasena and announced that Ugrasena would now be the King of the Yadu kingdom. Kaṁsa had been forcibly ruling over the kingdom of Yadu, in spite of the presence of his father, whom he had arrested. But after the death of Kaṁsa, Kaṁsa’s father was released and announced to be the king of the Yadu kingdom. It appears that in those days, in the western part of India, there were many small kingdoms, and they were ruled by the Yadu dynasty, Andhaka dynasty, Vṛṣṇi dynasty and Bhoja dynasty. Mahārāja Ugrasena belonged to the Bhoja dynasty; therefore Kṛṣṇa indirectly declared that the King of the Bhoja dynasty would be the emperor of the other small kingdoms. He willingly asked Mahārāja Ugrasena to rule over Them because They were his subjects. The word prajā is used both for the progeny and for the citizens, so Kṛṣṇa belonged to the prajā, both as a grandson to Mahārāja Ugrasena and as a member of the Yadu dynasty. He voluntarily accepted the rule of Mahārāja Ugrasena. He informed Ugrasena: “Being cursed by the Yayāti, the kings of the Yadu dynasty will not rise against the throne. It will be Our pleasure to serve you as your servants. Our full cooperation with you will make your position more exalted and secure so that the kings of other dynasties will not hesitate to pay their respective revenues. Protected by Us, you will be honored even by the demigods from the heavenly planets. My dear grandfather, out of fear of My late uncle Kaṁsa, all the kings belonging to the Yadu dynasty, Vṛṣṇi dynasty, Andhaka dynasty, Madhu dynasty, Daśārha dynasty and Kukura dynasty were very anxious and disturbed. Now you can pacify them all and give them assurance of security. The whole kingdom will be peaceful.”
All the kings in the neighboring area had left their homes in fear of Kaṁsa and were living in distant parts of the country. Now, after the death of Kaṁsa and the reinstatement of Ugrasena as king, the neighboring kings were given all kinds of presentations and comforts. Then they returned to their respective homes. After this nice political arrangement, the citizens of Mathurā were pleased to live in Mathurā, being protected by the strong arms of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. On account of good government in the presence of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, the inhabitants of Mathurā felt complete satisfaction in the fulfillment of all their material desires and necessities, and because they saw Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma daily, eye to eye, they soon forgot all material miseries completely. As soon as they saw Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma coming out on the street, very nicely dressed and smiling and looking here and there, the citizens were immediately filled with loving ecstasies, simply by seeing the personal presence of Mukunda. Mukunda refers to one who can award liberation and transcendental bliss. Kṛṣṇa’s presence acted as such a vitalizing tonic that not only the younger generation, but even the old men of Mathurā became fully invigorated with youthful energy and strength by regularly seeing Him.
Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā were also living in Mathurā because Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were there, but after some time they wanted to go back to Vṛndāvana. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma went before them and very feelingly and affectionately embraced Nanda and Yaśodā, and Kṛṣṇa began to speak as follows: “My Dear father and mother, although I was born of Vasudeva and Devakī, you have been Our real father and mother, because from Our very birth and childhood, you raised Us with great affection and love. Your affectionate love for Us was more than anyone can offer one’s own children. You are actually Our father and mother, because you raised Us as your own children at a time when when We were just like orphans. For certain reasons We were rejected by Our father and mother, and you protected Us. My dear father and mother, I know you will be feeling separation by returning to Vṛndāvana and leaving Us here, but please rest assured that I shall be coming back to Vṛndāvana just after giving some satisfaction to My real father and mother, Vasudeva and Devakī, My grandfather, and other relatives and family members.” Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma satisfied Nanda and Yaśodā by sweet words and by presentation of various clothing, ornaments and properly made utensils. They satisfied them, along with their friends and neighbors who had come with them from Vṛndāvana to Mathurā, as fully as possible. On account of his excessive parental affection for Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa, Nanda Mahārāja felt tears in his eyes, and he embraced Them and started with the cowherd men for Vṛndāvana.
After this, Vasudeva had his son initiated by sacred thread as the token of second birth, which is essential for the higher castes of human society. Vasudeva called for his family priest and learned brāhmaṇas, and the sacred thread ceremony of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma was duly performed. During this ceremony, Vasudeva gave various ornaments in charity to the brāhmaṇasand endowed them with cows decorated with silken cloths and golden ornaments. Previously, during the birth of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Vasudeva had wanted to give cows in charity to the brāhmaṇas, but being imprisoned by Kaṁsa, he was able to do so only within his mind. With the death of Kaṁsa the actual cows were given to the brāhmaṇas. Then Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa were duly initiated with the sacred thread ceremony, and They repeated the chanting ofthe Gāyatrīmantra. The Gāyatrīmantra is offered to the disciples after the sacred thread ceremony, and Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa properly discharged the duties of chanting this mantra. Anyone who executes the chanting of this mantra has to abide by certain principles and vows. Although Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa were both transcendental personalities, They strictly followed the regulative principles. Both were initiated by Their family priest Gargācārya, usually known as Gargamuni, the ācārya of the Yadu dynasty. According to Vedic culture, every respectable person has an ācārya, or spiritual master. One is not considered to be a perfectly cultured man without being initiated and trained by an ācārya. It is said, therefore, that one who has approached an ācārya is actually in perfect knowledge. Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all education and knowledge. There was no need for Them to accept a spiritual master or ācārya, yet for the instruction of ordinary men, They also accepted a spiritual master for advancement in spiritual knowledge.
It is customary, after being initiated in the Gāyatrīmantra, for one to live away from home for some time under the care of the ācārya in order to be trained in spiritual life. During this period one has to work under the spiritual master as an ordinary menial servant. There are many rules and regulations for a brahmacārī living under the care of an ācārya, and both Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma strictly followed those regulative principles while living under the instruction of their spiritual master, Sāndīpani Muni, in his place in northern India. According to scriptural injunctions, a spiritual master should be respected and be regarded on an equal level with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma exactly followed those principles with great devotion and underwent the regulations of brahmacarya, and thus They satisfied Their spiritual master, who instructed Them in Vedic knowledge. Being very satisfied, Sāndīpani Muni instructed Them in all the intricacies of Vedic wisdom as well as in supplementary literatures such as the Upaniṣads. Because Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma happened to be kṣatriyas, They were specifically trained in military science, politics and mathematics. In politics there are six departments of knowledge–how to make peace, how to fight, how to pacify, how to divide and rule, how to give shelter, etc. All these items were fully explained and instructed to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.
The ocean is the source of water in a river. The cloud is created by the evaporation of ocean water, and the same water is distributed as rain all over the surface of the earth and then returns toward the ocean in rivers. So Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are the source of all kinds of knowledge, but because They were playing like ordinary human boys, They set the example so that everyone would receive knowledge from the right source. Thus They agreed to take knowledge from a spiritual master.
After hearing only once from the teacher, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma learned all the arts and sciences. In sixty-four days and sixty-four nights They learned all the necessary arts and sciences that are required in human society. During daytime They took lessons on a subject from the teacher, and by nightfall, after having heard from the teacher, They were expert in that department of knowledge.
First of all They learned how to sing, how to compose songs and how to recognize the different tunes; They learned the favorable and unfavorable accents and meters, how to sing different kinds of rhythms and melodies, and how to follow them by beating different kinds of drums. They learned how to dance with rhythm, melody and different songs. They learned how to write dramas, and They learned the various types of paintings, beginning from different village arts up to the highest perfectional stage. They also learned how to paint tilaka on the face and make different kinds of dots on the forehead and cheeks. Then They learned the art of painting on the floor with liquid paste of rice and flour; such paintings are very popular at auspicious ceremonies performed at household affairs or in the temple. They learned how to make a resting place with flowers and how to decorate clothing and leaves with colorful paintings. They also learned how to set different valuable jewels in ornaments. They learned the art of ringing waterpots. Waterpots are filled with water to a certain measurement so that when one beats on the pots, different tunes are produced, and when the pots are beaten together they produce a melodious sound. They also learned how to throw water in the rivers or the lakes while taking a bath among friends. They also learned how to decorate with flowers. This art of decorating can still be seen in various temples of Vṛndāvana during the summer season. It is called phulabāḍi. The dais, the throne, the walls and the ceiling are all fully decorated, and a small, aromatic fountain of flowers is fixed in the center. Because of these floral decorations, the people, fatigued from the heat of the summer season, become refreshed.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma learned the art of dressing hair in various styles and fixing a helmet in different positions on the head. They also learned how to perform on a theatrical stage, how to decorate dramatic actors with flower ornaments over the ear, and how to sprinkle sandalwood pulp and water to produce a nice fragrance. They also learned the art of performing magical feats. Within the magical field there is an art called bahurūpī by which a person dresses himself in such a way that when he approaches a friend he cannot be recognized. They also learned how to make beverages which are required at various times, and they studied syrups and tastes and the effects of intoxication. They learned how to manipulate thin threads for dancing puppets, and They learned how to string wires on musical instruments, such as the vīṇā, sitar and tampura, to produce melodious sound. Then They learned puzzles and how to set and solve them. They learned the art of reading books from which even a foolish student can very quickly learn to read the alphabet and comprehend writing. Then They learned how to rehearse and act out a drama. They also studied the art of solving crossword puzzles, filling up the missing space and making complete words.
They also learned how to draw pictographic literature. In some countries in the world, pictographic literature is still current. A story is represented by pictures; for instance, a man and a house are pictured to represent a man going home. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma also learned the art of architecture–how to construct residential buildings. They learned to recognize valuable jewels by studying the luster and the quality of their colors. Then They learned the art of setting jewels with gold and silver. They also learned how to study soil to find minerals. This study of soil is now a greatly specialized science, but formerly it was common knowledge even for the ordinary man. They learned to study herbs and plants and to extract medicine from the elements. By studying the different species of plants, They learned how to crossbreed plants and get different types of fruits. They learned how to train and engage lambs and cocks in fighting for sporting purposes. They then learned how to teach parrots to speak and answer the questions of human beings.
They learned practical psychology–how to influence another’s mind and thus induce another to act according to one’s own desire. Sometimes this is called hypnotism. They learned how to wash hair, dye it in different colors and curl it in different ways. They learned the art of telling what is written in someone’s book without actually seeing it. They learned to tell what is contained in another’s fist. Sometimes children imitate this art, although not very accurately. One child keeps something within his fist and asks his friend, “Can you tell what is within?” and the friend gives some suggestion, although He actually cannot tell. But there is an art by which one can understand and actually tell what is held within the fist.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma learned how to speak and understand the languages of various countries. They learned not only the languages of human beings. Kṛṣṇa could also speak even with animals and birds. Evidence of this is found in Vaiṣṇava literature compiled by the Gosvāmīs. Then They learned how to make carriages and airplanes from flowers. It is said in the Ramāyāṇa that after defeating Rāvaṇa, Rāmacandra was carried from Laṅkā to Bhāratavarṣa on a plane of flowers called puṣpa-ratha. Kṛṣṇa then learned the art of foretelling events by seeing signs. In a book called Khanār vacana, the various types of signs and omens are described. If, when one is going out, one sees someone with a bucket full of water, that is a very good sign. But if one sees someone with an empty bucket, it is not a very good sign. Similarly, if one sees cow’s milk along with a calf, it is a good sign. The result of understanding these signs is that one can foretell events, and Kṛṣṇa learned the science. Kṛṣṇa also learned the art of composing mātṛkā. A mātṛkā is a crossword section with three letters in a line; counting any three from any side, it will count nine. The mātṛkās are of different kinds and are for different purposes.
Kṛṣṇa learned the art of cutting valuable stones such as diamonds, and He learned the art of questioning and answering by immediately composing poetry within His mind. He learned the science of the action and reaction of physical combinations and permutations. He learned the art of a psychiatrist, who can understand the psychic movements of another person. He learned how to satisfy one’s desires. Desires are very difficult to fulfill; but if one desires something which is unreasonable and can never be fulfilled, the desire can be subdued and satisfied, and that is an art. By this art one can also subdue sex impulses when they are aroused, as they are even in brahmacārī life. By this art one can make even an enemy his friend or transfer the direct action of a physical element to other things.
Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, the reservoir of all knowledge of arts and sciences, exhibited Their perfect understanding when They offered to serve Their teacher by awarding him anything he desired. This offering by the student to the teacher or spiritual master is called guru-dakṣiṇā.It is essential that a student satisfy the teacher in return for any learning received, either material or spiritual. When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma offered Their service in this way, the teacher, Sāndīpani Muni, thought it wise to ask Them for something extraordinary, something which no common student could offer. He therefore consulted with his wife about what to ask from Them. They had already seen the extraordinary potencies of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and could understand that the two boys were the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They decided to ask for the return of their son, who had drowned in the ocean on the bank of Prabhāsakṣetra.
When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma heard from Their teacher about the death of his son on the bank of Prabhāsakṣetra, They immediately started for the ocean on Their chariot. Reaching the beach, They asked the controlling deity of the ocean to return the son of Their teacher. The ocean deity immediately appeared before the Lord and offered Him all respectful obeisances with great humility.
The Lord said, “Some time back you caused the drowning of the son of Our teacher. I order you to return him.”The ocean deity replied, “The boy was not actually taken by me, but was captured by a demon named Pa�cajana. This great demon generally remains deep in the water in the shape of a conchshell. The son of Your teacher might be within the belly of the demon, having been devoured by him.”On hearing this, Kṛṣṇa dove deep into the water and caught hold of the demon Pa�cajana. He killed him on the spot, but could not find the son of His teacher within his belly. Therefore He took the demon’s dead body (in the shape of a conchshell) and returned to His chariot on the beach of Prabhāsakṣetra. From there He started for Saṁyamanī, the residence of Yamarāja, the superintendent of death. Accompanied by His elder brother Balarāma, who is also known as Halāyudha, Kṛṣṇa arrived there and blew on His conchshell.Hearing the vibration, Yamarāja appeared and received Śrī Kṛṣṇa with all respectful obeisances. Yamarāja could understand who Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were, and therefore he immediately offered his humble service to the Lord. Kṛṣṇa had appeared on the surface of the earth as an ordinary human being, but actually Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma are the Supersoul living within the heart of every living entity. They are Viṣṇu Himself, but were playing just like ordinary human boys. As Yamarāja offered his services to the Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa asked him to return His teacher’s son, who had come to him as a result of his work. “Considering My ruling as supreme,” said Kṛṣṇa, “you should immediately return the son of My teacher.”Yamarāja returned the boy to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma brought him to his father. The brothers asked if Their teacher had anything more to ask from Them, but he replied, “My dear sons, You have done enough for me. I am now completely satisfied. What further want can there be for a man who has disciples like You? My dear boys, You can go home now. These glorious acts of Yours will always be renowned all over the world. You are above all blessing, yet it is my duty to bless You. I give You the benediction that whatever You speak will remain as eternally fresh as the instruction of the Vedas. Your teachings will not only be honored within this universe or in this millennium, but in all places and ages and will remain increasingly new and important.” Due to this benediction from His teacher, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Bhagavad-gītā is ever increasingly fresh and is not only renowned within this universe, but in other planets and in other universes also.Being ordered by Their teacher, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma immediately returned home on Their chariots. They traveled at great speeds like the wind and made sounds like the crashing of clouds. All the residents of Mathurā, who had not seen Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma for a long time, were very pleased to see Them again. They felt joyful, like a person who has regained his lost property.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-fourth Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “Kṛṣṇa Recovers the Son of His Teacher.”
All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!