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A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam-5.6

5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-6.

It is immaterial whether we marry or not. It depends upon the need that is felt inside. Even in the Himalayas we may feel that we are a Grihastha because of the pressure that we feel inside. The external things, appurtenances, husband, wife, etc., are only symbols of forms of an inner connotation, a need that is felt inside us. What binds us or liberates us is the need that is felt inside. We are the makers of our destiny; we create our bondage, and we are also responsible for our freedom. No external aid can help us in this matter. But external aids are sometimes necessary, just as we require a pen to write a book, a plate on which to eat our meal, a glass for drinking water, a seat to sit on, and a bed to lie on. These are external forms of requirement necessitated by the needs felt inside, which otherwise cannot be expressed properly. If the need can be sublimated, the external appurtenances are not necessary.


BHAGAVATHAM : Discourse 1: King Parikshit’s Question to Suka Maharishi -2 : Swami Krishnananda


When, to Asvatthama’s consternation, the attempt to destroy the Pandavas with this missile failed, he ran away from the field cursing everybody and yelling out that even fathers are not to be trusted these days because his father duped him, as it were, by saying that he had initiated him into an invincible astra, which actually amounted to nothing. When Asvatthama was shouting like this while running away, he met Vyasa – the great Krishna Dvaipayana – on the way, who asked him what the matter was. He said, “My father did not tell me the truth. I was initiated into the invincible force called Narayana Astra, being told that no one on Earth can stand before it; but when I used it, nothing actually happened.” The great Vyasa replied, “My dear boy, your father has not made any mistake. He gave you that strength which no one else in the world could wield. But you used this astra of Narayana against Narayana Himself. Therefore, it would not work.”

Disgusted, and with the pers…

BHAGAVATHAM : Discourse 1: King Parikshit’s Question to Suka Maharishi -1 : Swami Krishnananda


In ancient times, Raja Parikshit raised a detailed question that amounted to asking whether we are living in this world alone, or if it is possible that we may be citizens of some other worlds also.

This question of King Parikshit was connected with the background of his own life, which has the antecedence of the great story of the Mahabharata. When Asvatthama, the son of Acharya Drona, discharged the invincible missile known as Narayana Astra with the hope of ending the Pandavas in a single instant, he felt that his aim of life was complete. As this was an astra which could not be faced by all the forces of the Earth put together, he was under the impression that the Pandavas had been reduced to ashes. As the Pandavas were at a distance, Asvatthama climbed to the top of a tree in order to see the heap of ashes that were their remains, but to his surprise he found the Pandava forces were as jubilant as ever, and it did not seem to have occurred to their minds that anyth…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam -5.14


Discourse 5: Naradan Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-14.

Aneka-janma samsiddhas tato yati param gatim (B.G. 6.45, Second line of the slokam ) : -
Sometimes many births have to be taken to achieve this goal, or to even have this idea in the mind.

Even having an idea of it is to be considered a blessing, as this idea itself cannot arise in a buffalo, a donkey, or a corrupt individual. But you are devotees of Swami Sivananda and are here, hearing these things. These ideas are in your mind; you are accepting them and making them your own, which is itself a great blessing for you. You must have taken many births to come here and listen to these things, and to be devoted to the great ideals of Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj.

Though you have taken many births, and it is possible that many of you will take more births, always expect the best. When you take an exam, do not have the attitude that you will come in second. Aspire for first place, and if you do not attain i…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam -5.13


Discourse 5: Naradan Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-13.

So, the meditation of a Sannyasin is direct unified experience of consciousness with Reality. This is, finally, the catching of the Universal ‘I’ by the so-called individual ‘I’, in its attempt at unification of its ‘I’-ness with the Universal ‘I’. There are many ‘I’s in this world. You have an ‘I’-ness, I have an ‘I’-ness, and everybody is ‘I’. But these are empirical ‘I’s—physical ‘I’s, as it were, conditioned by physical bodies—and so it appears to us that there are many ‘I’s everywhere.

But these ‘I’s are drops in the ocean of one single ‘I’, which is the ‘I’ of God, of the Universal Being. Catch it! Catch that Supreme ‘I’ which is inclusive of every ‘I’, as drops are included in the ocean. This Total ‘I’ is very difficult to attain or even conceive. Where is this Total ‘I’? It is the pure Universal Subjectivity, and is bereft of even a touch of externality. That is the Supreme ahamgraha upasana, meditat…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam -5.12


Discourse 5: Naradan Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-12.

The detachment that is associated with the life of Sannyasa is not a keeping oneself away from the things of the world, but a union with them. The union with everything looks like a detachment from them. This is something very curious to understand.

When we are one with an object, we have detached ourselves from it at the same time—because we do not want it any more. The detachment, so-called, is nothing but not wanting it; and not wanting it is a condition which arises automatically when we are one with it. Just as we do not feel a desire to possess our finger, we do not want anything else at that time.

So, the life of Sannyasa is a wondrous concept of the perfection of the values of life, which is what Narada tells Yudhishthira in the Seventh Skandha of the Srimad Bhagavata, wherein the upasana culminates into actual absorption.

In the condition of Sannyasa, the meditation is not an upasana in the sense of…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam -5.11


Discourse 5: Naradan Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-11.

In order to go on with this meditation, we have to take our ishta devata for our contemplation. Our ishta devata can be Rama, Krishna, Devi, Bhagavati, Narayana, Siva, Ganesha or whatever the case may be, etc. Whatever it be, that concept has to be internalised for the purpose of upasana. We should think only that and nothing else, and believe in the protection that it can grant us.

The ishta devata protects us, guides us, and enlightens us. It gives us security, and we feel happy with it. Some devotees hug the image of their ishta devata, wear it around their necks, kiss it, and feel that it is their beloved. It is truly that, because it symbolises the divinity that is pervading everywhere. Such kind of upasanas, to mention briefly, are the duties of a Vanaprastha.

But there is a still higher stage, called Sannyasa. It does not mean shaving the head, wearing a robe, and saying “I am a Sannyasin”. God is not…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana -5.10


Discourse 5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharma-10.

There is no chance of distraction of mind here if we have properly prepared ourselves from an early age, but if we have lived a very dissipated life until fifty or sixty years of age and then attempt this meditation, we will find that our mind will not concentrate at all because we have not given it time to prepare itself through the earlier conditions required during the previous parts of our life. It is necessary to remember that one’s whole life is a period of austerity, conservation, duty, and meditation.

Here, in these Aranyakas, the various upasanas are prescribed: how the cosmic prana can be meditated upon, how the cosmic mind can be conceived, how Brahma—the Mahat, or the cosmic intellect—can be brought into the focus of our attention, how we can intensely feel the unity of the parts of our physical body with the parts of the physical universe. This is the highest form of upasana that we can think of.