HH Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, in His discourses, loves to highlight the compassion of the Lord. He would say “In the world, is there anyone more compassionate than the Lord who has created this world and us and has also given us the freedom to refute His existence?” The compassionate Almighty is constantly looking to redeem the earthly beings from this mundane existence and bless us with His eternal divine realm. With this motive, when it was time for Lord Sri Krishna to leave for His abode, Goloka, He blessed us with another incarnation. It was nothing but the holiest of all scriptures, Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana.
The greatness of this Mahapurana is mentioned in many other Puranas, particularly the Padma Purana. Let us reminisce a few slokas extolling Srimad Bhagavatam and the fruit of reading it.
This Purana consists of 18000 slokas, normally read as a 7 day Parayana. But its greatness lies in the fact that reading one half or even one quarter of a verse of Srimad Bhagavatam everyday secures the combined fruit of a Rajasuya and an Ashwamedha sacrifice.
shlokardham shlokapaadham vaa pated bhagavatam cha yah |
nithyam punyamavapnothi rajasuyashashwamedhayoh ||
The greatness of Bhagavatam lies in the fact that even if verses are read incorrectly words are mispronounced, one is absolved of sins by reading it.
tadvaagvisargo janathaaghaviplao yasmin pratishlokam abadhdhavatyapi |
This ensures that no one spared from the net of the Lord’s compassion, for, one cannot escape citing his lack of Sanskrit knowledge!
In this age of Kali, one fully secures through the mere chanting of the names and glory of Sri Krishna, the fruit which cannot be attained through penance, concentration of mind or through deep meditation.
Yat Phalam Naasthi Thapasaa Na Yogena Samaadhina |
Thathphalam Labhathe Samyak Kalau Keshava Keerthanaath ||
Srimad Bhagavatam is verily a Purana that elucidates the greatness of the Divine Names of the Lord in every verse as HH Sri Muralidhara Swamiji puts in His kirtan
‘prati padam nama mahimaa prabhavam’
Constant reading of this Mahapurana, will ensure that love for the Lord will fill our hearts. The Padma Purana says it aloud, “Drink with reverence, O pious souls, this nectar like story, which is so dear to Sri Krishna and wipes out all sins, which is the only means to Liberation in this world and promotes Bhakti.”
krishnapriyam sakala kalmashanashanam cha mukhtyekahetumiha bhakthivilasakaari |
santhah kathanakamidam pibathadarena loke hi theertha parisheelana sevaya kim||
Similar to how a king bestows all the riches to a poor man whom he wishes to visit, the Lord will clean up the dirt in our hearts when we recite the verses of Srimad Bhagavatam. When the love for the Lord slowly but surely grows in our heart by the reading and worshiping of Srimad Bhagavatam, the unimaginable happens. Perceiving extraordinary devotion in the mind of His devotees, the Lord, who is so fond of His devotees, enters the sinless hearts of His devotees, leaving His own realm.
atha vaishnava chitheshu drushtva bahkthimaloukikim |
nijalokam parithyajya bhagavaan bhakthavatsalah ||
When the Lord Himself has entered our hearts, are we not the most blessed in all the three worlds? Padma Purana says “Though poor, they are really blessed in all the three worlds, in whose heart exists exclusive devotion to Sri Hari. It is for this reason that bound with the cord of devotion, Sri Hari too dwells in their heart, completely renouncing His own Divine Realm.”
sakala bhuvana madhye nirdhanasthepi dhanya
nivasathi hrudi yeshaam shriharer bhakthirekhah |
harirapi nijalokham sarvathatho vihaya
pravishathi hrudi teshaam bhakthisutropanadhaha ||
Sri Sri Swamiji always stresses on the fact that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. By taking the small leap of faith by reading Srimad Bhagavatam, by the Lord’s grace, we start relishing the nectarine words. Over time, we find our hearts brimming with the love for the Lord. Then, the Almighty’s grace takes over!
May with the grace of the Lord and Sri Sri Swamiji, let us all take the small step towards a future of unadulterated bliss.
– Aravind Thathachari, TX