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Verse: Srimad Bhagvatam 1.3

Date: August 18th, 2012

Place: Teleconference


BCS: Sūta Goswami started the Bhāgavatam by offering his respects to his spiritual master Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī and prior to that the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya questioned Sūta Goswami about some very, very pertinent questions which were leading to the understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the importance of devotional service. And then in the third chapter Sūta Goswami is describing how the creation actually began. You remember that I described before that Bhāgavatam has ten lakṣaṇam, ten symptoms. That’s what makes the Bhāgavatam the Mahā-purāṇa. The first symptom is sarga or creation and the second is visarga or subcreation. So sarga-aspect is that Maha-Visnu is lying in the causal ocean and from His body different universes are manifesting. And then He expands Himself into His second Puruṣa manifestation, that is Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and He enters into each universe, fills up the universe with the water from His body. And then He lies there on a bed of Ananta Śeṣa and from His navel comes out a lotus. So Brahmā is situated in that lotus. The first created being, the first personality to come to the universe. In this way he appeared directly from the navel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Normally a baby is connected to the mother through the umbilical cord, the navel of the mother, but here Brahmā is connected to the Navel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and he just directly manifested. Therefore he is known as Svayambhū, a personality who just appeared himself. Then from Brahmā appeared the four Kumāras. So these four Kumāras are the oldest of the personalities but they look just like five year old boys but they are completely situated in transcendental knowledge. And they are the empowered incarnations of the Lord.
In this chapter different incarnations of the Lord, twenty two different incarnations of the Lord have been described. And the first of them were actually these four Kumāras, the empowered incarnations. Also there are six different types of incarnations like the puruṣa-avatāras, the Viṣṇu incarnations: Mahā-Viṣṇu, Garbhodaka-śāyī Viṣṇu, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. They are the puruṣa-avatāras.  Then there are the līlā-avatāras. The Lord manifests Himself, incarnates Himself  to perform different pastimes, the līlās . And then guṇa-avatāras. In the material nature there are three modes, the mode of goodness, the mode of passion and the mode of ignorance. And those three modes are controlled by the Lord. They are known as the guṇa-avatāras: Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Lord Śiva. They are the guṇa-avatāras. Then Manvantara-avatāras: in a day of Brahmā there are fourteen Manus. And along with those Manus’ reign the Lord manifests Himself as Manvantara-avatāras. In different Manvantaras the Lord manifests and He remains throughout the Manvantaras.
So then, puruṣa-avatāras, līlā-avatāras, guṇa-avatāras, manvantara-avatāras. Then śakty-āveśa-avatāra, the empowered incarnations. The Lord empowers some living entities to achieve certain purpose. So they are known as śakty-āveśa-avatāras. So these four Kumāras are the śakty-āveśa-avatāras and here the various incarnations that have been described, they fall into different categories.
Twenty two different incarnations have been described and they fall into different categories. Like the first incarnation were the four Kumāras. The second incarnation is Lord Varāhadeva. Varāhadeva appeared when the earth went down to the nether regions. Then the Lord appeared as the transcendental boar to lift the earth from the lower region of the universe. And in this incarnation He also killed Hiraṇyākṣa. Then the third incarnation is Nārada Muni, the fourth incarnation is Nara-Nārāyaṇa, the twin sons of Dharma. The fifth incarnation is Kapiladeva, another empowered incarnation. The sixth incarnation is Dattātreya. The seventh incarnation is Yajña. The eighth incarnation described in the Bhāgavatam is Ṛṣabha Deva. The ninth incarnation is Pṛthu Mahārāja, the ideal king. The tenth incarnation is Mīna, the fish incarnation. In order to save the Vedas, the Lord appeared as a Fish and rescued the Vedas. And the different species have been saved in this way at the time of annihilation. Pralayo payodhi-jale dhṛtavān asi vedaṁ. So the Lord appeared pralayo payodhi-jale, when the whole creation was inundated by that water of devastation - pralayo payodhi jale – and at that time appearing as a Fish - dhṛtavān asi vedaṁ - He rescued the Vedas.
Then He appeared as Kūrma. At the timing of the churning of the milk ocean to get the nectar they made the mount Meru as the manthān daṇḍa, the churning rod. And Vāsuki, the serpent, was made into the rope. And the demigods and demons, they were churning this milk ocean with this Mandara mountain as the churning rod. But this Mandara mountain, as they took it to the milk ocean, the Mandara mountain sank because there was no support. Then the Lord actually appeared as Kūrma, as a transcendental tortoise and He allowed the Mandara mountain to rest on His back. So this is how the churning of the milk ocean could be conducted and eventually the nectar appeared.
Then came Dhanvantari. This is another incarnation of the Lord. He appeared with the nectar. So Dhanvantari is the twelfth incarnation.
And then the demigods and demons started to fight over the nectar. The Lord’s intention was to give the nectar to the demigod. But the demons they made efforts to snatch the pot of nectar away. At that time the Lord appeared as Mohinī-mūrti, the transcendental female Form of the Lord. So that Mohinī is the thirteenth incarnation.
Then Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva is the fourteenth incarnation. Then as Nṛsiṁhadeva He actually killed Hiraṇyakaśipu in order to protect Prahlāda Mahārāja. So that is how the Lord appears. The purpose of the Lord’s appearance is to paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām to protect His devotees, and dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya, in order to establish dharma. In this way the Lord actually appeared. So He came in order to protect Prahlāda Mahārāja. And in this way He came to give His association to the devotees. Then Prahlāda Mahārāja’s grandson Bali became a very powerful demon. Bali took away the kingdom of heaven from Indra. Krishna actually makes the arrangement for this material nature to be maintained in a certain way. But sometimes the demons interfere in His arrangements. Bali’s point was that we are from the same father, so we are brothers. Why you all, the demigods, Aditi’s sons, are having these facility of ruling over the heavenly planets, whereas we have been plunged in the lower planetary systems. So we want this kingdom, the heavenly planets for ourselves. And Bali became so powerful that he drove the demigods away from heaven. He defeated all the demigods. And the demigods ran away, they were hiding at different places.
Seeing the distressful condition of the demigods, Aditi, their mother became very, very sad. Mother naturally feels sad when she sees that her children are in distress. And they lost their kingdom, they were like beggars, vagabonds and just roaming around like beggars, hiding in different places in fear that Bali would attack. So Aditi performed a yajña to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, called praiyavrata. She remained just drinking milk and nothing else. And that also whenever she needed to eat or drink something she just only drank milk. And being pleased with her, the Lord appeared to her and asked: “What do you want?” So then Aditi expressed her desire to reinstate her children in the rightful kingdom. She also expressed her desire to have the Lord as her son. So that’s why the Lord fulfilled her desire by appearing as Vāmanadeva, chalayasi vikramaṇe balim adbhuta-vāmana. In order to deceive Bali Mahārāja, He appeared as a dwarf, brahmin boy, Vāmana. A small little boy. He was a dwarf, a dwarf is small. And he went to Bali Mahārāja when he was performing the sacrifice. So after the performance of the sacrifice, it is the custom that the performer gives out in charity, especially to the brāhmaṇas and the Vaiṣṇavas. So this Boy, although He was a Dwarf, he looked so beautiful, naturally He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So he appeared in the court of Bali Mahārāja. And Bali Mahārāja seeing Him, He became so enchanted that he felt that to this Person he could offer everything. And he asked the brāhmaṇa boy: “Please, tell me what you want?” And he said: “Look, I don’t want anything. All I want is just three steps of land.” And Bali Mahārāja was surprised, he said: “You have come to Bali who is celebrated for his charitable nature. There is no one who can match him in giving charity. You have come to Bali and you just asked for three steps of land. And Vāmanadeva’s response was: “That’s what actually one needs. In order to sleep, we need only three steps of land. That’s about the land that we need to lie down” So Bali insisted: “Ask for something, ask for gold, ask for cows, ask for a kingdom, I am prepared to give you anything.” But Vāmanadeva was just insisting: “Look I just want three steps of land.” So Śukrācārya became worried because Śukrācārya could understand that this not the characteristic of a brāhmaṇa. A brāhmaṇa is naturally… they generally want to have…, they are greedy. It was unusual that this boy came to ask to Bali Mahārāja is asking for only three steps of land. He thought that Viṣṇu Himself came to cheat Bali Mahārāja. So he warned Bali: “Don’t give anything. I suspect it is Viṣṇu Who came” Bali Mahārāja’s response was: “If Viṣṇu Himself came to me to ask for whatever He wants, I am prepared to offer Him everything. Viṣṇu Himself came so that is the perfection of life to offer everything to Viṣṇu . So this way we can see that how Bali Mahārāja is a great devotee. Therefore Bali Mahārāja is considered to be one of the Mahājana. balir vaiyāsakir vayam. Bali Mahārāja is considered to be one of the twelve Mahājanas. But Śukrācārya insisted: “Look, He will take everything away.” But Bali said: “Look, to offer everything to Viṣṇu is considered to be the perfection of life. If Viṣṇu Himself came to take everything away from me, that in itself I consider to be the greatest good fortune for me.” When he did not listen, then he was about to offer, grant the expectation from him. So he was doing ācaman. At that time Śukrācārya entered into the kamaṇḍalū, the waterpot, and he sealed the neck of the pot, so that the water could not come. And Bali Mahārāja was not able to do his ācaman before granting. So seeing that the water was not coming, Vāmanadeva asked: “What happened?” Bali Mahārāja said: “The water is not coming.” So Vāmanadeva said: “Okay, maybe something is sticking in the neck of the pot.” So  Vāmanadeva took a kusa grass and he poked the neck of the kamaṇḍalū pot. And as a result of that Śukrācārya’s eye became blinded. And screaming he came out of the kamaṇḍalū. Bali Mahārāja in this way granted the three steps of land to Vāmanadeva. With one step he covered the entire universe, the second step and there was no room for a third step. With two steps He covered the entire universe. Not only that: “When He stretched His legs to the limit of the universe, His toe actually pierced the covering of the universe.” As a result of that, due to that penetration of the covering of the universe, the water from the causal ocean came and washed the feet of the Lord and that is Gaṅgā. This is how Gaṅgā actually came to this planet, how she came to this universe. Due to this stretching of the foot of Vāmanadeva.
So then in this way He actually deceived Bali Mahārāja and took away His kingdom all the way up to the heavenly planets. In this way Vāmanadeva appeared to again paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ, in order to protect the demigods and give their kingdom back to them. And also in this way he glorified the greatness of Bali Mahārāja. In this way we can see that Bali Mahārāja’s situation was even superior to Indra’s position. The demigods have never been acclaimed as great devotees, as mahājanas but Bali Mahārāja has been recognized all over the world as the twelfth mahājana, the greatest devotee of the Lord.
And after Vāmanadeva came Paraśurāma. At that time the kṣatriyas became very powerful and they became very arrogant, very tyrannical. They were causing a lot of distress. And especially one kṣatriya killed Paraśurāma’s father. So Paraśurāma took a vow to make the world devoid of kṣatriyas. So He is another incarnation of the Lord. Twenty one times He annihilated the kṣatriyas.
Then the seventeenth incarnation is Śrīla Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva is the literary incarnation, another empowered incarnation of the Lord. Vyāsadeva divided the Vedas and simplified the Vedas for the living entities of the Age of Kali. In the age of Kali the living entities are naturally atheistic; in the age of Kali people are very, very demonic. And they don’t have any inclination towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore the Lord saw the need to simplify the Vedic wisdom and He appeared as Vyāsadeva. And in this way He divided the Vedas, He presented different aspects of the Vedas in the form of Itihāsa, Purāṇa, Upaniṣads, Dharma śāstra. Then He gave Mahābhārata for less intelligent people to understand the tenets of the scriptures. And then finally on the instruction of Nārada Muni he gave Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the essence of all the Vedic wisdom. In order to do that the Lord appeared as Vyāsadeva. And we are very, very much indebted to Him for His wonderful gift to us. It is because of Him that we are able to read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and understand the teachings of the Vedas.
Then another incarnation is Lord Rāmacandra. He is a Līlā-avatāra. As Lord Rāmacandra, the Son of Daśaratha the Lord appeared as the Maryada Purushottam to establish dharma. To establish the Maryada of dharma. Therefore He is Maryada Purushottam. He teaches how to act, especially how a leader, how a ruler must act.
Then the nineteenth and twentieth incarnation has been described as Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa. Balarāma appeared first and then Kṛṣṇa. So this Kṛṣṇa is an incarnation but this Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa can be seen as an incarnation because He appeared in this planet but He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. That will be described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam after a few verses.
Then after that the twenty first incarnation came as Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha came to stop the animal sacrifice that was going on in the name of Vedas. The Vedas prescribe sacrifice but those sacrifices are to test the arrangement of the yajñas. Whether the yajña has been conducted properly they would have a test. An animal would be sacrificed but that animal would either get a youthful body, an old animal would get a youthful body or get a human body or be elevated to the higher planetary systems. That is the purpose of animal sacrifice. But in the age of Kali many rakshasas were actually born in the brahminical families in order to destroy the Vedic culture. And in order to just eat the flesh of the animals they were slaughtering them in the name of sacrifice. Nindasi yajña-vidher ahaha śruti-jātaṁ, śruti-jātaṁ. This custom is actually from the śruti, the Vedas, but they were actually misutilizing that instruction. Therefore in order to stop the animal sacrifice, Kṛṣṇa appeared as Buddha. In this way the incarnation means the Lord’s appearance in this planet, in this universe, in the material nature. And then the final one that has been described is the twenty second incarnation, Who will appear, He has not come but He will appear at the end of Kali-yuga. How many more years to go? 427000 years to go. He will come after 427000 years but we know about His appearance. That is the scriptures. In the scriptures different incarnations of the Lord have been mentioned already before they appeared. Like here the appearance of Buddha was forecasted. Kalki has been forecasted. So, actually the Bhāgavatam was written before Buddha came but the people saw how Buddha came. And people will also see how Kalki will come. And in this way Bhāgavatam describes: avatārā hy asaṅkhyeyā, there are innumberable incarnations – asaṅkhyeyā, saṅkha-adi - Countless incarnations. But all these avatārās are: ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ. They are the parts - cāṁśa or parts of the parts or parts of the parts of the parts of the parts of Kṛṣṇas tu Bhagavān svayam. Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, svayam Bhagavān. Kṛṣṇa is not an incarnation. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And that is the purpose of the Vedas, to establish the identity of Kṛṣṇa. Out of the ten symptoms the last symptom is the summum bonum, Āśraya. Who is that Āśraya, the summum bonum, the Āśraya of everything? Even the Āśraya the shelter or the support of the incarnations? That is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Very scientifically Kṛṣṇa’s identity has been established. Although many incarnations have been described just to give us an idea. And how different incarnations come to perform, fulfill different purposes, mainly to protect the devotees and to annihilate the miscreants. But the main point is that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That Supreme Personality of Godhead is the son of Nanda-Mahārāja. That Supreme Personality of Godhead eternally resides in Vrindavan, He never leaves Vrindavan. So that is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. So there are innumerable incarnations of the Lord but Kṛṣṇa is the Origin of all incarnations.
And then it has been described that how in order to create the Lord manifested Himself in His Virāṭa rupa. Virāṭa rupa is the sum total of all the manifested material creations. It has been described in Bhāgavatam and also in Bhagavad-gītā how different rivers are the veins in the Lord’s body. How the mountains are the bones, how Sun and Moon are the eyes of the Virāṭa-puruṣa. All the sum total of the entire creation is the Virāṭa-purusa, the Virāṭa rupa of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But here the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it has been pointed out that this Virāṭ-puruṣa is actually imaginary, it is not the Lord’s eternal Form, it is a temporary form related to the material nature. And different aspects of the material nature are different limbs of that Personality. But actually the Lord does not really have a form like this. And this Virāṭa is only temporary. And different material aspects of the material nature are different limbs of the Personality of Godhead. But actually the Lord does not really have a Form like that. And this - Virāṭa-rupa is only temporary. As long as the material creation is there then the Virāṭa rupa is there. Then why is this concept of this Virāṭa rupa? Why did the lord show Himself in that? That is not His eternal Form. He did that to enable the neophyte devotees to adjust to the idea that the Lord has a Form. Generally people have difficulties to understand that the Lord has a Form. Or what kind of Form is He, they cannot really relate to that. Because they can understand only the material creation, the material aspect. Therefore in order to give them an idea about the Lord’s Form this Virāṭa-rupa has been manifested temporary. But at an advanced stage one will realize that this Virāṭa-rupa is not so important. The Lord is present in our heart in His personal form. That is the Paramātmā aspect of the Lord. Through rendering devotional service one can see the Lord face to face, Bhagavān.
Then Śukadeva Gosvāmī pointed out that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is a literary incarnation of the Supreme Personality Of Godhead. Bhāgavatam is the literary incarnation. Bhāgavatam is non-different from the Lord. Just as the body of the Lord has twelve limbs, Bhāgavatam has twelve Cantos. The first two Cantos are His legs, His lotus feet. The third and fourth Cantos are His thighs. The fifth Canto is His abdomen. The sixth Canto is His chest. The seventh and eight Cantos are His arms. The ninth Canto is His neck. The tenth Canto is smiling lotus face. The eleventh Canto is His forehead. The twelfth Canto is His head. In this way the Bhāgavatam represents the body of the Lord. The Bhāgavatam has the Form non-different from the Lord. The Bhāgavatam is non-different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as the Lord has His transcendental sac-cid-ānanda vigraha Form, the Bhāgavatam is non-different from that Form of the Lord. And this Bhāgavatam was compiled by Śrīla Vyāsadeva. And Vyāsadeva gave it to his son Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Śukadeva Gosvāmī gave it to Parīkṣit Mahārāja. And in that assembly Suta Goswami is present there. He is telling that is how he received the perfect knowledge of the Bhāgavatam. And now he is going to recite that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya who assembled there to perform a thousand year long sacrifice. We discussed in our previous class. For the benefit of the living entities of the Age of Kali, they actually performed this very powerful sacrifice. And in that assembly Suta Goswami appeared. And the sages headed by Śaunaka Ṛṣi put forward different questions.
After describing why Suta Goswami was so eligible, why was so qualified. Because Suta Goswami studied the Vedic scriptures under the guidance of his bonafide spiritual master. And not only that, Suta Goswami himself is free from all sinful reaction, anagha. Agha means sin and anagha means sinless. One of the qualifications of Suta Goswami is that he is sinless, anagha. tvayā khalu purāṇāni. setihāsāni cānagha You have studied all these scriptures, Puranas. setihāsāni cānagha “You studied the Itihāsas, my dear sinless personality, ākhyātāny apy adhītāni. And that’s why you are expert. Therefore you know the essence of the teachings. In this way you can see what Suta Goswami is presenting, it is the essence of all scriptures. Bhāgavatam is the essence of all the scriptures. There is no need to read all those scriptures. What to speak of read. We do not even have the time to read. But it does not matter. We got the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the means to free ourselves from this dangerous bondage of this material nature. And Suta Goswami very is mercifully going to recite Bhāgavatam to the sages of Naimisaranya. And this Bhāgavatam is the only hope for us in this age. kṛṣṇe sva-dhāmopagate dharma-jñānādibhiḥ saha kalau naṣṭa-dṛśām eṣa purāṇārko ’dhunoditaḥ kṛṣṇe When Kṛṣṇa went to His own abode and when He went, dharma, jñāna etc. also went with Him. Relgious principles, transcendental knowledge, all these also left this planet and went with Him. kṛṣṇe sva-dhāmopagate dharma-jñānādibhiḥ saha When dharma and jñāna is gone then what is the hope for this planet. It’s a planet in total darkness, spiritual darkness. We can see the condition of the Age of Kali, we can see the whole condition of the world around us. It is a very, very degraded state this world is. But they will become spiritually blind in this world of ignorance. But kalau naṣṭa-dṛśām eṣa. Seeing this kalau naṣṭa-dṛśām eṣa, the people will not have any vision, they will become spiritually blind in this world of ignorance. There is no light, all darkness everywhere. At that time by the mercy of he Lord. There is no light, only darkness. At that time by the mercy of the Lord. This Bhāgavata Purāṇa which is as brilliant as the sun. So this Bhāgavata Purāṇa which is brilliant as the sun has become manifest. So this is our hope. We all are absolutely blind in this age and this age is in total darkness. But if we take shelter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam then that darkness will be immediately dispelled and we will become situated in transcendental knowledge. And this knowledge will take us beyond this material nature, back to Godhead.
Thank you very much. Does anybody have any question?
Question : Hare Krishna Guru Maharaja, please accept my humble obeisances, Guru Mahārāja, you mentioned that Vyāsadeva compiled but it was spoken to Brahmā (catur-sloka) by Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself.
BCS: Yes, that’s why, not only that but Brahmā gave it to Nārada and then Nārada gave it to Vyāsadeva. Nārada Muni gave it to Vyāsadeva and urged him to describe the Lord’s glory. [unclear] ..Your unadulterated glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That’s why Nārada Muni first told him: “That’s why you are facing this despondence, this diappointement and frustration. Because you have not glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead, therefore your work is not complete. That’s why under Nārada Muni’s instruction Vyāsadeva compiled Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhāgavatam has always been there with its transcendental knowledge. As long as Kṛṣṇa is there, Bhāgavatam will always be there. But the manifestation of Bhāgavatam in this age came through Vyāsadeva.
Devotee: Guru Mahārāja, we are very indebted to you. Out of compassion you are taking so much trouble and you are giving these classes as if we were sitting in front of you. And we are also very thankful to Atmarama Krishna Prabhu, because I know how difficult it is with these different time zones. Please bless us Mahārāja that we can continue.
BCS: And I am also very happy that you all are taking the time listen to these classes. These classes are being conducted or being organized so that I can stay in touch with all of you on a regular basis. I feel very bad at times that  I am not able to give so much time to you. Yes, take advantage of it. Thank you.
Question: Hare Krishna Guru Maharaja. You were talking about the śakty-āveśa-avatāra. I had a question that a śakty-āveśa-avatāra can also be a jīva-tattva, is that right?
BCS: Yes, śakty-āveśa-avatāras are generally jīva-tattvas. But they are of two types śakty-āveśa and Bhagavad-āveśa . The Supreme Personality of Godhead comes in order to fulfill certain purpose. There is a slight difference. Like Kapiladeva is an āveśa-avatāra. Therefore you can see that Kapiladeva is identifying Himself as Me, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido. Mama vīrya-saṁvido He is identifying Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are not ordinary jīva-tattvas as such.
Question: Are all the śakty-āveśa-avatāras mentioned in the scriptures?
BCS: No, it is impossible to describe all the śakty-āveśa-avatāras in thesescriptures.
Question: I also heard some devotees describe Śrīla Prabhupāda as a śakty-āveśa-avatāra. Is it okay to say that?
BCS: Personally I will say that Prabhupāda is beyond śakty-āveśa-avatāra. Prabhupāda is not just a śakty-āveśa-avatāra. You know, I will make this point in this way. Who is more important? Krishna’s associates? Or Kṛṣṇa’s empowered incarnations? Which will be more important? The associates. Śrīla Prabhupāda is an associate of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He may have been empowered in order to achieve something very special, that way he can be identified as a śakty-āveśa-avatāra. But the thing is that Śrīla Prabhupāda’s identity is way beyond the śakty-āveśa-avatāra. He is an associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Question: Hare Krishna Guru Mahārāja. You mentioned that the Virat-rupa is temporary and the reason for His manifestation is that the devotees can understand Kṛṣṇa better. Why is the Virat-Purusa described so many times in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam?
BCS: Yes, because many neophyte devotees will read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. At least from a material concept one will get the spiritual understanding. But the point is: Is the Lord’s Form relative to material perceptions? No. But it is necessary for a less advanced individual to get the concept of the Lord’s Form. Like they appreciate something when it is very big or very great. So through this greatness that they are perceiving in this material nature they are actually seeing the Lord’s Form. But actually the Lord’s Form is beyond this material nature. So this is how they will actually get the concept of the personal Form of the Lord and then get into the personal identity of the Lord. Does it answer your question?
Devotees: Yes, Mahārāja, while reading the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should we give a lot of importance to the Virat-rupa?
No. Only neophyte devotees. Like the eleventh chapter of Bhagavad-gītā. Many people become very impressed when reading the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā. They become very impressed. They think it is the most important aspect of the Bhagavad-gītā. But an advanced devotee won’t consider the eleventh chapter to be so important. As we can see Arjuna. He was not interested in that universal Form. He was saying: “Please, display your four armed Form”
Question: Thank you so much for your wonderful class, Guru Mahārāja. Guru Mahārāja, after that Dattātreya incarnation there is the Yajña incarnation. Can you tell me a little bit more about that incarnation?
BCS: Yes, Yajña is the Personality of the Lord when He appears to establish the importance of sacrifice. He is actually yuga-avatāra. In Treta-yuga He established the yuga-dharma of yajña. Does it answer your question? I mean the details are there in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam about Him.
Question: Guru Mahārāja, I just wanted to ask, why do we hear so less information about Balarāma. I heard a lecture where they said that before Śrīla Prabhupāda was building the Krishna-Balarāma temple in Vrindavan, there were probably no temples in India or less temples in India of Balarāma. In our normal scriptures everywhere we read about those famous Daśāvatāras. But there are hardly any informations about Balarāma.
BCS: Did you read Kṛṣṇa book?
Devotee: I am reading it, Guru Mahārāja. I am saying outside of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books.
BCS: Don’t worry about what others are doing or what others did not do. Just read Prabhupāda’s books and get absorbed in that. Prabhupāda glorified Balarāma time and time and time again.
Thank you.
Hare Krishna.