Srimad Bhagavatham : 6.1.7.




Sri Suka uvaca :

na    ced     ihaivapacitim    yathamhasah    krtasya kuryan mana-ukta-pamibhih,

dhruvam    sa    vai    pretya    narakan     upaiti     ye    kirtita    me    bhavatas    tigma-yatanah.

Sri  Sukah   uvaca=Sri  Suka  Brahmarishi   replied; 



iha=within this life; 


apacitim=counteraction, atonement; 


amhasah krtasya=when one has performed sinful activities; 


manah=with the mind; 


pamibhih=and with the senses; 


sah=that person; 


pretya=after death; 

narakan=different varieties of hellish conditions; 



kirtitah=were already described; 

me=by me; 

bhavatah=unto you; 

tigma-yatanah=in which there is very terrible suffering.

Suka Brahmarishi replied: My dear King, if before one’s next death whatever impious acts one has performed in this life with his mind, words and body are not counteracted through proper atonement according to the description of the Manu-samhita and other dharma-sastras, one will certainly enter the hellish planets after death and undergo terrible suffering, as I have previously described to you.

Devotional service is so strong that if one fully surrenders to Kṛṣṇa and takes fully to His devotional service, the reactions of his sinful life immediately stop.

Elsewhere in the Gita (18.66), Lord Krishna urges that one give up all other duties and surrender to Him, and He promises, ahaṁ tvam sarva-papebhyo mokshayisyami: “I shall free you from all sinful reactions and give you liberation.” Therefore in response to the inquiries of Parikshit Maharaja, Sri Suka Maharishi, his guru, could have immediately explained the principle of bhakti, but to test Parikshit Maharaja’s intelligence, he first prescribed atonement according to karma-kandam, the path of fruitive activities. For karma-kandam there are eighty authorized scriptures, such as Manu-samhita, which are known as dharma-sastras. In these scriptures one is advised to counteract his sinful acts by performing other types of fruitive action. This was the path first recommended by Sri Suka Maharishi  to Maharaja Parikshit, and actually it is a fact that one who does not take to devotional service must follow the decision of these scriptures by performing pious acts to counteract his impious acts. This is known as atonement.

To be continued ....


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