The Bhagwatam Diary 2004

  • By Sri Aurobindo
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Copyright VAK Trust

Shrimad Bhagavata
Shrimad Bhagavata, one of the Purana books, consists of about eighteen thousand verses which are assigned to twelve books or Skandas. Apart from its superb poetry and the very wide range of its devotional teachings, the reason for its wide and ever-expanding appeal is its elaborate exposition of the life and message of Sri Krishna and the necessity of cultivating devotion to him. Six thousand verses including the first book, the tenth book (describing his birth and childhood), eleventh and twelfth books deal with Sri Krishna directly and many other indirectly. The eleventh book in particular gives brief and pointed answers to the hundreds of questions posed by the great devotee Uddhava, dealing with the practice of spiritual life. Sri Krishna is treated as the perfect and complete Descent of the Divine alluding that everyone of us can attain the perfection following. His guidelines and footsteps. Krishna is the human version of the Supreme Being or That One (tad ekam) of the Vedas and the Upanishads. The rest of the subject matter, including the accounts of other Incarnations, is made subordinate to it.

This book has several version; the verse in (2.9) stated that the Bhagavata was transmitted by the Lord Himself to Brahma and by him to Narada. Almost all the members of the Vaishnava population of the whole world look upon this book as their main scripture on a par with Bhagavat Gita and Upanishads. Several teachers or founders of sects outside the Vaishnava fold have written learned commentaries on this book. Another important aspect of the Bhagavata is that it mentions a large number of philosophical viewpoints such as non-dualism, realistic theism, dualism etc. Its effort is towards the synthesis of all different schools and not for positing opposition between the different philosophies.

Often, we see this desire of personal salvation overcome by another attraction which also belongs to the higher turn of our nature and which indicates the essential character of the action the liberated soul must pursue. It is that which is implied in the great legend of the Amitabha Buddha who turned away when his spirit was on the threshold of Nirvana and took the vow never to cross it while a single being remained in the sorrow and the Ignorance. It is that which underlies the sublime verse of the Bhagavata Purana, “I desire not the supreme state with all its eight siddhis nor the cessation of rebirth; may I assume the sorrow of all creatures who suffer and enter into them so that they may be made free from grief.” (CWSA, Volume: 23-24, The Synthesis of Yoga, p.269)    

The 2004 diary has a quote from the Shrimad Bhagavata one for each day. For your convenience have made each month a chapter. The message in these verses is eternal though the diary can be used in 2004 only. If you like to buy the diary please email Shyama : himatsingka@auroville.org.in, or call her at 91 0413 2331962 / 2336672.

January

1. The highest duty of a man is to develop an intense devotion to the Supreme Being, which will bring peace to the heart. (I-2-6- Suta’s narration).

2. Non-dual consciousness is the Supreme Truth. It is that which is variously described as Brahman, the Supreme being and as God. (I-2-11)

3/4. The knot of the heart (ego) is severed, all doubts dispelled and all past accumulated actions (kept reserved for experiencing in future) liquidated when once the God is realized. (I-2-11)

5. When once the unreality of the gross and subtle bodies superimposed on the pure soul is known, it is God Realisation. (I-3-33)

6. Even literary works full of mistake and badly edited have the capacity to purify all sinners if only they were to describe the glories of God and His attributes. (I-5-11)

7. A wise man is one who strives for ending once for all the transmigratory cycle of births and deaths, ignoring the transient pleasures and sufferings which one gets without any effort in this life. (I-5-18)

8. It is the glory of the Lord that even those sages who are established in the contemplation of the pure self are attracted by the alluring attributes of the Lord who has also become the self. (I-7-10)

9. No man of righteous conduct would kill an enemy who happens to be a child, a woman, an idiot, a frightened or mad person, a seeker of refuge, asleep or in a drunken state. (Krishna’s advice to Arjuna). (I-7-36)

10/11. Inflicting a death punishment on a ruthless murderer is in his own interests as otherwise he would continue to sin more and more leading to his utter downfall. (Krishna on Capital punishment). (I-7-37)

12. Oh Lord, continue to bestow on me series of dangers and calamities as only on such occasions I have always felt your reassuring, benign presence. (Kunti’s Prayers). (I-8-25)

13. Those who are proud of their name, fame, wealth, learning and the like are not even worthy of taking the name of the Lord. Blessed are the poor to whom the Lord is easy of access. (Kunti’s Prayers) (I-8-26)

14. Salutations to the Lord, the treasure of the poor, bereft of reactions to the play of nature. Salutations again to Him who revels in His own self, who is all peace and the Lord of liberation. (I-8-27)

15. Lord it is only those who sing, praise, hear and take delight in your glories constantly will be able to have your vision leading to early liberation. (Kunti’s prayers). (I-8-36)

16. Beloved Lord, grant me that my mind may unceasingly and unwaveringly turned thee with all love and haste like the river Ganga towards the ocean. (Kunti’s prayers). (I-8-42)

17/18. God-loving devotees not only get purified by the intense love for God but also bestow sanctity and holiness on all the places they visit, as the very Lord resides in their hearts. (I-13-10)

19. He indeed is wise who, having cultivated dispassion (Vairagya) renounces his sense of identification with the body and goes away abandoning his hearth and home without leaving any trace. (I-13-25)

20. Whether one considers the world as real or unreal, all attachments to the objects of the world (including the kith and kin) arises out of a delusion born of ignorance about the self. (I-13-43)

21. Neither liberation nor the heaven can equal the untold blessings accruing out of even a modicum of the company of holy men. Where is the question of any comparison of the latter with worldly goods and enjoyments? (I-18-13)

22. He is a true devotee of the Lord who, though fully capable, refrains from retaliating against any type of dishonor, be it insult, deception, curse or beating even. A true devotee never reacts. (I-18-48)

23. Salutation to all Holy ones. In every future birth, may I be endowed with intense love for God, association with the great devotees of the Lord, love, harmony and friendship with all beings of the entire world! (Parikshit’s song of penitence) (I-19-16)

24/25. Body, children, life-partner, wealth and all appurtenances of life are all transient. Still, deluded by ignorance of the self, a common man refuses to perceive the perishable nature of these worldly goods. (I-1-4)

26. The sole duty of a man is to hear, recite and constantly remember the lord who is the controller and the indweller of all brings, to enable reaching a state of utter fearlessness. (II-1-5)

27. What is the use of living for long years in ignorance of the real value of life? Far better is a life of few moments used for achieving the real purpose of life. (II-1-12)

28. At least at the time of death, one should cut asunder one’s love for the body and its related entities with fearless mind and the sword of detachment. (II-1-15)

29. What need is there of a bed when there is Mother earth to lie on? Where is the need for a vessel for alms when you have palms which can be joined for holding food etc.? Why waste time struggling for getting better facilities when the minimum need can be met without effort from existing resources? (II-2-4)

30. An aspirant should restrain the mind with pure intellect, then dissolve the intellect in the ego sense and finally merge the ego sense in the universal self. When this results in peace of mind, a wise man should abstain from all duties and activities. (II-2-16)

31/1. There is no better path for people entangled in the mire of Sansara (phenomenal world) than to cultivate an intense devotion to the Lord. (II-2-33)

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