to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
Srila Vyasadev's Appearance
Related references from books by
His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
From Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion Vol.IV, Chapter One: The Four Sittings of Srimad Bhagavatam
Question: In the beginning of Srimad Bhagavatam events are
described of Suta Goswami speaking at Naimisaranya and this is after
Vyasadev had spoken Bhagavatam to Sukadev. So how is it that
Vyasadev was aware of the events at Naimisaranya?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: So many sittings of Bhagavatam took
place. First Narad came and gave instruction by way of a ten sloka
outline. He told Vyasadev; "Meditate on it and give it out to the
public. Elucidate these principles. Elucidate, otherwise what you have
given so far will be all fruitless." So Vyas took only those ten slokas,
those ten verses. He meditated and wrote the principle Bhagavatam in
a short way. He gave, "That is revered brahma, the highest quarter,
the Krsna conception of Godhead, and that lila is very sweet. That is
nothing of this side in maya, but that plane is full of transcendental,
sweet Pastimes." Vyasadev managed to call his son, Sukadev, and in
Badarikasram he taught him: "Although my inclination was towards
this non-differentiated brahman conception, my father managed to
teach me this lila of Bhagavan Krishna. Today I shall talk about that to
you in this great assembly."
So Sukadev received Srimad Bhagavatam from Vyasadev.
Previously Narad gave it to Vyasadev, and Vyas composed it in
elaboration and taught it to Sukadev: this was the second recitation.
The third was when Sukadev delivered lectures with his remarks to
the great assembly of scholars in Sukartala.
When Sukadev gave lecture, there was one Suta Goswami who was a
very sharp hearing man, srutidhara. Srutidhara is one who having
only once heard something keeps it in his memory, and Suta, having
those qualities, was present in that meeting. The fourth sitting was in
Naimisaranya where the rishis, apprehending the black march of kaliyuga,
commenced and engaged themselves in a one thousand year
campaign, yajna. Finding Suta Goswami they told, "We have go
much leisure in the evening to hear about the Absolute and we heard
that you, Suta, were present in that mysterious and famous assembly
where Sukadev gave his lecture about Bhagavatam and you
memorised it. We request that you deliver by way of lecture to us that
Bhagavatam." Suta Goswami accepted their proposal and that was the
last sitting in the form of regular evening lectures. Sixty thousand or
so rishis, the scholars and performers of sacrifices, assembled to hear
from him. It was after this sitting that Vyasadev took the whole thing
and compiled it in book form and let it loose on the public.
From Sri Guru and His Grace, Chapter: Separation from Sri Guru.
Vyasadev may, or may not, know
Devotee: Although the disciple should regard the guru
as absolute and of the highest level of spiritual attainment,
how should the guru view his own position?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Sridhar Swami wrote a commentary
on the Srimad-Bhagavatam. It was a little different
from the previous commentaries, so the scholars,
especially the Sankarites, refused to accept that commentary
as universal. They put it to the test. They left
the commentary in the temple of Visvanath, Lord Siva, and agreed that if he accepted the commentary,
they would all accept. Then, from the Siva temple,
this verse was revealed:
aham vedmi suko vetti
vyaso vetti na vetti va
(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya 24.313)
"The real purpose of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is very
difficult to conceive," Lord Siva says. "I know the true
purpose of Bhagavatam; Sukadev, the son and disciple
of Vyasadev, knows it thoroughly, and the author of
the Bhagavatam, Srila Vyasadev, may or may not
know the meaning.
When teaching Sanatan Goswami, Mahaprabhu
said, "Sanatan, Krishna is going to give His kindness
to you through Me. I am talking to you like a madman.
I feel many things are passing through Me to you.
But I do not know that I Myself have that thing." It is
possible. It is wonderful, but still we find it there. It is
not unreasonable, although it is not understandable.
You see, when the Second World War broke out, in
Dalhousie Square in Calcutta, there was a popular
government poster. A military uniform was painted
on the wall. Beneath it was a saying, "Just wear this uniform,
and the uniform will show you what you must
do." So, when a sincere man has taken a particular
charge, he will somehow find out what are the duties
of his post. He is sincere. And God will help. God
helps those who help themselves. You have taken the
charge, and that charge has come only as a chance, but
there is some underground link. Then if you try to go
on, help will come to you. He's not a cheat. You have
sincerely taken this responsibility, as given to you by
your master, and the master is not a cheat. He will
come to help you with all his might, saying, "Do this.
I'm helping; I am at your back." When we are all sincere,
things will happen like this.
From Sermons of The Guardian of Devotion Vol.I, Chapter Ten: Beyond Doubt.
Before the Srimad-Bhagavatam appeared in the world, Devarsi Narad
came and gave a regular stricture to Srila Vyasadev: "What have you
done for so long? This is nothing! Rather, you did some downright
jugupsitam dharma-krte 'nusasatah
svabhava-raktasya mahan vyatikramah
yad vakyato dharma idtarah sthito
na manyate tasya nivaranam janah
"You have committed a great wrong. In your injunctions of religious
duty for the masses, you have sanctioned condemnable worldly works
for fulfilment of mundane desires. The masses are already by nature
attached to condemnable worldly works for fulfilment of mundane
desires. It is a great wrong because the worldly masses will conclude
that your messages alone are the central religious duty. Even if they
are taught by other knowers of the truth to refrain from those worldly
works, they will not accept those teachings, or, they will not be able to
understand them for themselves."
"The people generally have natural affinity for these things - dharma,
artha, kama, and then moksa (religion, wealth, sense-pleasure, and
liberation). You have recommended these four things in a regular and
polished way, but this is already their natural demand. When one is
over-fed, he wants fasting as a reaction. So, moksa is only a reaction
to exploitation. This is already a fact, and you have recommended the
same thing. What new thing have you given them? You have done
wrong! Why? Because when a person of your status has recommended
moksa, it will be difficult to give anything further. No one will be
prepared to oppose your opinion, your standard. All will say that
Vyasadev is the highest authority, and that they don't care for the
advice of anyone else. The highest authority is Vyasadev. So it will
be very difficult to get the people to accept through other sources
anything beyond what you have given. So, you have done wrong! It
may be considered your misdeed. Now, the only relief can be that you
yourself will give the fifth end (beyond the aforementioned four
common pursuits). You, personally, will have to take this work: 'So
far what I have given is very limited, but now I shall give you
something far superior.' You alone will have to take up this task, and
only then you will have undergone the proper penance necessary for
your chastisement. Mahan vyatikramah - it is a great wrong, because
jugupsitam - what is very condemnable; dharma-krte - is given under
the stamp of religion; but the goods under the stamp are ultimately nonreligious.
What good is that? Only 'to do wrong and not to do wrong.'
But to do good - is it not included there? Of bad and non-bad, non-bad
does not mean positive good. So, you will have to take this duty with
earnestness and clarify the position for the people: 'So far, what I have
given you is more or less of a negative character. Now I have come to
give you something positive.' In this way, you must create the
atmosphere to give them something substantial.
"Dharma-projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmat-saranam satam (the
religion of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is free from the deceptions of the
four ends of humanity, and it is the religion of the true saints).
Nirmatsara means 'an impartial mentality,' and matsara refers to the
jealous. 'So far, I have given advices to that particular section which is
not free from egoistic thinking. I have dealt with them. But now I shall
deal with the normal-thinking - the good-hearted people. I shall now
advise them.' Because it will be difficult to dissuade the people from
the path taught by you, I have therefore come to you. Only through
you can the higher, developed conception be given to them. This is the