How to realize the Srimad Bhagavatam?

Today we are reading from Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 4 entitled ‘The Atrocities of King Kamsa’, text 21.  This verse, like so many in the Srimad Bhagavatam, has many layers of perceptions to learn from.  Srimad Bhagavatam is a literary incarnation of Krishna.  When Krishna left this world, he descended in the form of the Srimad Bhagavatam to give light in the darkness of this age of Kali. 

“And as in Krishna’s Lila, he could perform so many purposes through any particular action or word, similarly the verses of Srimad Bhagavatam can enlighten and illuminate our hearts on so many different levels of truth, if we are receptive to hear.” – Radhanath Swami

Parikshit Maharaj, he was the example of how to hear Srimad Bhagavatam, not for the purpose of getting some pious credits, not for the purpose of socially being seen as the attendant in the class, he was coming to Sukhadeva Goswami with the sense of the deepest urgency.  He was starving for this

Radhanath Swami speaking from Srimad Bhagavatam

Radhanath Swami speaking from Srimad Bhagavatam

knowledge.  We cannot digest food without hunger and similarly according to how we are very eager, according to how we see that this knowledge is essential to our lives, we can really digest it and understand it.  Parikshit Maharaj is cursed to die in seven days.  He was holding onto every single syllable of every word with the desire to learn, with the desire to connect to Krishna.  Srila Prabhupada told us, “He knew for sure he had seven days, but there is not a person in this world who knows that they have seven minutes to live.”  That is the consciousness that is suitable to understand the Srimad Bhagavatam, because the real understanding is not simply intellectual.

Jnana-vijnana-trptatm.  The real joy of hearing is when there is realization.  Realization does not come by our intellectual capacity or by our pious activities or even by our austerities.  Realization only comes by the grace of Krishna.

Shushrusoh shraddhanasya Vasudeva katha ruchih,

Sat mahatsevaya viprah punyatirtha nesevanat.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, in the text itself it tells – to actually get the real taste for hearing, one must have this attitude of sincerely serving the great souls. When Krishna sees that we actually have adopted this type of eagerness to hear, then by his grace he reveals the truths of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and cleanses our heart, and actually gives us realization.

“Realization is a gift of Krishna attained through our sincerity.” – Radhanath Swami 

 Srila Prabhupada writes that pure devotional service is very rare.  Why? Because pure devotional service is so powerful that Krishna becomes subordinate to that pure devotion of his devotee.  So he does not give it easy.  But then, Srila Prabhupada explains, “For one who is sincere, serious and is without ulterior motives, Krishna easily gives pure devotional service.”  This is important.  Pure devotional service cannot be gotten; it can only be given by Krishna, samsiddhir hari toshanam, when Krishna is pleased with us.  Srila Prabhupada, in his purports, has taken the essence of the realizations of all the great acharyas in history, of the various Vaishnava Sampradyas, along with his own ecstatic love and has given us Bhaktivedanta Purports accordingly.

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