The Essence of the Scriptures
Sri Veda Vyasa blessed us with the Vedas, which are the basis of our Sanatana Dharma. He also gave us Mahabharatam, one of the two Itihasas, and 17 of the 18 Puranas, along with the meaning of the Vedas through our Upanishads and Brahma Sutram. So we can say with confidence that Sri Veda Vyasa established our Sanatana Dharma. Sri Shuka is the son of Sri Veda Vyasa. What is the inner meaning of this?
If we imagine all the scriptural knowledge of Sri Veda Vyasa taking form as a child, then that child is Sri Shuka. Sri Shuka, being the son of Sri Veda Vyasa, was a born jivanmukta (Self -realized jnani). Sri Veda Vyasa taught Srimad Bhagavatam to Sri Shuka, which in turn implies that Srimad Bhagavatam is the essence of all the scriptures and all the knowledge of Sri Veda Vyasa. So now, what is the inner meaning of Sri Shuka having a parrot-head?
Of all the birds, only a parrot can speak; and that too only the things that are taught to it. This implies that Srimad Bhagavatam contains, not the opinion of Sri Shuka, but only that of Sri Veda Vyasa. Sri Shuka narrates Srimad Bhagavatam to Parikshith Maharaja, starting from the creation of the world, followed by the charitram of Kardama Prajapati, and Daksha’s Yaga. This is followed by the charitrams of Dhruva, Priyavrata, Rishabha Yogeeswara, Vritrasura, and Prahlada. Following this is the narration of the leelas of Gajendra Moksham, Amruta Matanam, the story of Bali Chakravarthy and Ambareesha Charitram. He then comes to Sri Krishna Katha. What is the reason behind this order?
Sri Shuka narrates the various elements of Srimad Bhagavatam in this particular order to prepare Parikshith Maharaja for Krishna Katha. The stories preceding Krishna Katha explain what each of them went through to attain the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan. Listening to Krishna Katha will break the vicious cycle of birth and rebirth.
Sri Swamiji mentioned this in one of his speeches. I wanted to share this with everybody.
Dr A Bhagyanathan
Originally published in Tamil MadhuraMurali magazine, Jan 2007 issue