Monday, February 11, 2008

Srimad-Bhagavatam Meditation: 2:6:40-41

It is once again time for a guided meditation on the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic knowledge, the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

I humbly ask you to read first the translation and Bhaktivedanta purport to today's verse, the 40 and 41st verses from the Sixth Chapter of the Second Canto.

viśuddhaḿ kevalaḿ jñānaḿ
pratyak samyag avasthitam
satyaḿ pūrṇam anādy-antaḿ
nirguṇaḿ nityam advayam
ṛṣe vidanti munayaḥ

yadā tad evāsat-tarkais

The Personality of Godhead is pure, being free from all contaminations of material tinges. He is the Absolute Truth and the embodiment of full and perfect knowledge. He is all-pervading, without beginning or end, and without rival. O Nārada, O great sage, the great thinkers can know Him when completely freed from all material hankerings and when sheltered under undisturbed conditions of the senses. Otherwise, by untenable arguments, all is distorted, and the Lord disappears from our sight

One of the main frames of the foundation of our experience as conscious entities is our personal relationships with other conscious entities-with all the resultant emotions, actions, reactions, joys, sorrows, momentum, memories, connections, separations, etc. More and more, in subtle ways, as I read the Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-Gita with a little more concentration, I begin to understand that Krsna is not some abstract concept, some unattainable overmind. I begin to realize He is a Person, a conscious entity with emotions, likes, and dislikes. I begin to realize that He is the Best Person, and that as I read about his awesome qualities, I really really want to get to know this Person with all my heart and soul.

Who wouldn't want to know and love such a Person? We all admire incredible personalities with incredible talents and achievements-leaders, athletes, musicians, educators, heroes. It is a natural tendency and desire of the heart to look up to personalities whose greatness defines our own morals, aspirations, and actions. There is no one better than Krsna in this regard.

Prabhupada writes in the purport "But here it is said that the Lord is eternally the symbol of full and perfect knowledge. This is His speciality: perpetual freedom from all material contaminations....In the Vedas it is said that the Lord is vijñānam ānandam, full of bliss and knowledge." No earthly person, no matter how money or missiles they may have at their control, is free from material contaminations and is certainly not full of bliss and knowledge. We should want to know Krsna more than anybody else, so that everybody else we know can also benefit to the highest degree.

Prabhupada continues his description of Krsna by writing "similarly, the Lord is never contaminated by sins; on the contrary, the sinful living entities become sterilized by contact with the Lord." Sin, or whatever term one wants to use, is not usually something we strive to attain, although in this post-modern age there are many who indeed strive to wallow in the pits of vikarma. But to those right-thinking people, by knowing this person Krsna, we become sterilized, cleansed, of our misguided actions and beliefs. Krsna has appeared for us in the form of the Holy Name and in the hearts of his pure devotees. We should stop our nonsense and meet Him right now in these places for a bath of pure nectar that will restore us to our natural happiness.

There are so many accomplishments we see, hear about, speak about, taste, touch, and feel. What does Krsna accomplish that makes Him the greatest? Krsna says in the Gita (4:8) To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium. So many efforts in the annals of history have been made individually and collectively to slay the impious forces oppressing the various peoples of the world, but no human effort has ever been completely responsible for the death of the demons. It is only by the mercy of the Lord, sometimes appearing personally as the Greatest Hero, that we become free from such aggressive efforts to enslave and destroy us.

Prabhupada writes further of Krsna that "He is the generating reservoir for everyone's existential capacity; He is the Supreme Truth of all other categorical truths. He is the source of everyone's opulence, and therefore no one can equal Him in opulence. Being full of all opulences, namely wealth, fame, strength, beauty, knowledge and renunciation, certainly He is the Supreme Person. And because He is a person, He has many personal qualities, although He is transcendental to the material modes." All that we desire of our own personal self, all great and positive qualities we want to reflect in our own words and actions come from this Person, this Krsna. He has everything we want and need, and He is very willing and happy to give it to us. This is a true friend suhrdam sarva-bhutanam. And with this, he is beyond the material modes. Who would not want to know and love such a Person who will not burden you with unwanted lusty advances, greedy demands, envious back-talk, or uncontrolled anger?

Prabhupada concludes his purport by saying that one who is pure in devotion can know and love Krsna, the Supreme Person, in the most sublime of personal exchanges. One who is too much attached to dry speculation cannot know Krsna. For him, as stated in the translation, Krsna disappears from his sight. Many a time I encounter college students in our programs who go around in endless circles trying to define reality. Is this a dream? Is the dream actually real? Who defines knowledge? What is consciousness? Too often it is just speculative poking at the minute aspects of the Supreme, meant just to show off that one thinks "deeply", and Krsna does not appear in these spaced-out salons. If we can re-direct these genuine sentiments towards a more complete understanding of reality, and the Awesome Person, Krsna, who has created it, then we will be doing real good for these wonderful and intelligent spirit-souls.

If we can develop this understanding more and more of Krsna as a personality with whom we share all needs of love and affection with, and if we can meditate upon His awesome qualities, increasing our desire to fully meet and reciprocate with such an amazing Person, then all spiritual advancement and enlightenment is guaranteed.

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