Srimad Bhagavatam: 01 – It Began Thus…

In the days of yore, which we tend to think of as simpler times to live in, there was as much virtue and vice as there is today. However there were those that were enlightened to discriminate between the two. These holy ones preserved the wisdom that was handed down from one generation to another. What happens when there is a congregation of men – learned and wise?

There was a forest named Naimisha where sages had gathered to discuss and clarify upon some of the finer aspects of philosophy and metaphysics that support our very existence on earth. It was a pleasant sharing of wisdom. At that time a Suta – a minstrel wandering to spread wisdom – named Ugrashravas, came to the forest. The sages hurried to greet him and welcomed him as a most appropriate guest there.

1 it began thus

They asked of him: Oh, learned one! You are filled with wisdom. You know the spirit of all the scriptures. We are all eager to hear from you words that would enlighten us and release us from doubt and fear. Also, please tell us about the Lord and His divine play as He incarnated as Sri Krishna.

Suta said: O great ones, I am blessed indeed to come into your midst. There is nothing greater than conversing about the Lord and His divine play.

All struggle for spiritual life is in vain if one has no love in the heart.

Religion is not meant to be used as a passport to heaven. On the other hand its ideal is an inquiry into, and realization, of Truth.

The knowers of Truth call it the infinite, eternal knowledge. The followers of the Vedas call it the Brahman. The devotees call it God. The great ones that have realized this truth find the Universal Self, God, within themselves.

Whatever the path or religion one may follow, only he that pleases the Lord within is blessed. For God is the only refuge and strength of all. One should, therefore, hear about Him, sing His praises and worship Him.

Associating with the holy men helps one in acquiring faith. This faith brings the desire to hear of the Word of God. Hearing the Word and taking pleasure in it results in the Lord revealing Himself in the heart. All evils and impurities are then washed away, resulting in purity and detachment of the mind from worldly bothers. A man goes about his worldly affairs without a care about the fruits thereof.

The sages asked: How do we know who such a man is?

Suta said: Such a man is filled with endless joy: he is ecstatic. He is devoid of selfishness, lust or greed. He radiates a love that others cannot express in words. Whoever comes to him feels the presence of the Lord in him.

Continued in next part…

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