6 Questions From Srimad Bhagavatam, You Must Know

☆☆☆This article will discuss the six questions from Srimad Bhagavatam, which brought to us the knowledge of devotional service. Every civilized and philosophically inclined person must ask these questions to know the absolute truth.☆☆☆

But before that, we must have a slight idea about this most excellent literature “Srimad-Bhagavatam”~~~

We want happiness, but first, we have to know who we are. To understand ourselves, we must identify our origin.

When the sun rises, we automatically see ourselves – similarly, when we find God, we discover our true selves. That’s why Granthraj “Srimad-Bhagavatam “is exceptional.

Srila Vyasadeva, the great sage, and author of Srimad-Bhagavatam, first brings our attention to Lord Krishna. He is the source of everything, the director of the material cosmos and the superlative enjoyer in His own abode.

Srila Vyasadeva, a literary incarnation of The Supreme Godhead, compiled all the Vedic literatures, but ‘still his mind was not satisfied.’Then at the summit of his spiritual maturity, He compiled “The Sun amongst the Puranas, Srimad-Bhagavatam”

nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ

śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam

pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayam

muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ

(SB. 1.1.3)

—-O expert and thoughtful men, relish Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.

It is the mature fruit of the tree of Vedic knowledge, crystallizing the essence of all wisdom. And it’s so comprehensive that nothing else is needed to achieve perfection.

Through the teachings of Srimad-Bhagavatam alone, one can capture Krishna within the heart. The purity of this book is unparalleled since it sidelines all materialistic ideas, uproots all miseries, and clearly distinguishes reality from illusion.

Now let us see those six questions, for which this great literature Srimad-Bhagavatam, or “The King Of Literatures,” was narrated~~~~~

The 6 Questions That Gave Us “Srimad-Bhagavatam”

At the sacred forest of Naimisaranya, located in present-day northern India, Eighty-eight thousand sages had gathered. Headed by Saunaka Rishi, their noble purpose was to perform a one-thousand-year sacrifice for the spiritual well-being of humanity. Seeing the divine caliber and spotless character of Suta Goswami, the sages placed six crucial inquiries before him. This exchange of questions and answers unveiled essential spiritual truths for the benefit of countless generations to come.

1. “What is the ultimate good for humanity?”

》》》 mām upetya punar janma

duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam….

In Bhagavad-gita(8.15), Krishna, The Supreme Creator of this world, says that this temporary material world is the house of miseries(duḥkhālayam). And we are struggling in this miserable world because of our mentality to enjoy independent of Krishna.

So, if living beings in this material world become able to free themselves from selfish material desires and engage in unmotivated and uninterrupted devotional service unto Krishna and thus develop pure love for Him, they will genuinely satisfy their innermost yearning.

SRILA PRABHUPADA SAYS — “Therefore the duty of all devotees is to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness everywhere all over the world, because all living entities without Kṛṣṇa consciousness are suffering the pangs of material existence. To preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the best welfare activity. Indeed, it is described by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as para-upakāra, work for the true benefit of others.” —-SB 7.7.53, Purport

To preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness everywhere the ultimate good for humanity according to Srimad-Bhagavatam
To preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness everywhere the ultimate good for humanity according to Srimad-Bhagavatam

2. “What is the essence of all scriptural knowledge?”

vāsudeva-parā vedā

vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ

vāsudeva-parā yogā

vāsudeva-parāḥ kriyāḥ

vāsudeva-paraṁ jñānaṁ

vāsudeva-paraṁ tapa

ḥvāsudeva-paro dharmo

vāsudeva-parā gatiḥ (SB. 1.1.28-29)

—In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion [dharma] is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.

The understanding that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that we should re-establish our forgotten relationship with Him through devotional service (bhakti), is the essence of all the Vedic scriptures.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great acharya in the Brahma-madhva-gaudiya sampradaya, writes in one of His songs…

krsnera samsara koro chadi’ anacar

jive doya, krsna-nama– sarva-dharma-sar

——Giving up all sinful activities, carry on your worldly duties only in relation to Lord Krsna. The showing of compassion to other souls by loudly chanting the holy name of Krsna is the essence of all forms of religion.

One may ask that what does ‘compassion to other souls’ means. SRILA PRABHUPADA says—

“Material compassion, lamentation and tears are all signs of ignorance of the real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realisation…No one knows where compassion should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is senseless. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outward dress – the gross material body.” (BG. 2.1, Purport)

Now, we are not discussing animal killing because even to become a civilized human, one needs to follow the four regulative principles (no meat-eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling), then we can talk about compassion. You can’t go on killing innocent animals and show compassion to others, that’s hypocrisy.

In Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says—–

sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo

mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca

vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo

vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham

(BG. 15.15)

—-I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

3. “Why did Krishna appear in this world?”

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ

vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām

dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya

sambhavāmi yuge yuge (BG. 4.8)

—To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.
Lord Krishna’s Appearance

Although Krishna says in this verse that He comes only to deliver the pious, to annihilate the miscreants and to re-establish the principles of religion, that is just the external reason of Krishna’s appearance.

To deliver the pious Krishna’s name is enough, to annihilate miscreants Krishna’s energies are enough and to reestablish the principles of religion Krishna’s great devotees like Srila Prabhupada, are enough. So why does Krishna appear in this world?

In Srimad-Bhagavatam(7.8.17), we find this verse—

satyaṁ vidhātuṁ nija-bhṛtya-bhāṣitaṁ

vyāptiṁ ca bhūteṣv akhileṣu cātmanaḥ……..

Here “satyaṁ vidhātuṁ nija-bhṛtya-bhāṣitaṁ” means to prove the words of His(Krishna’s) pure devotee.

So the internal reason of Krishna’s appearance is to make loving exchanges with His devotees and to attract the mind of the non-devotees to His lotus feet.

4. “What were the activities of the Lord in relation to creation?”

After generating the entire material substance, the Lord facilitated the creative process by expanding as the various Vishnu incarnations, thus providing a stage for living entities to live separately from God.

Srila Suta Goswami discusses all the activities of the Lord in relation to the creation in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 1, chapter 2 (text 30-34). (Click here)

5. “What were the activities of each incarnation of the Lord?”

The various forms of the Lord descend from the spiritual world to the material world for different purposes, and Krishna is the original source of them all.

Twenty-two such incarnations are described in Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 1, chapter 3. (Click here)

Twenty-two incarnations of The Supreme Lord, Krishna, described in Srimad-Bhagavatam
Twenty-two incarnations of The Supreme Lord, Krishna, described in Srimad-Bhagavatam

In this chapter, Srila Suta Goswami explained about The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna’s incarnations in the past and future. He made the prophecy of the Buddha (SB. 1.3.24) and Kalki (SB. 1.3.25) incarnations which were yet to come.

6. “When Krishna departs from the world, where will religious principles be found?”

kṛṣṇe sva-dhāmopagate

dharma-jñānādibhiḥ saha

kalau naṣṭa-dṛśām eṣa

purāṇārko ’dhunoditaḥ

(ŚB 1.3.43)

——This Bhāgavata Purāṇa is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the Age of Kali shall get light from this Purāṇa.
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