Traveler Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.20.3-4

SB 3.20.3

dvaipāyanād anavaro

mahitve tasya dehajaḥ

sarvātmanā śritaḥ kṛṣṇaṁ

tat-parāṁś cāpy anuvrataḥ

SYNONYMS

dvaipāyanāt—from Vyāsadeva; anavaraḥ—in no way inferior; mahitve—in greatness; tasya—his (Vyāsa's); deha-jaḥ—born of his body; sarva-ātmanā—with all his heart; śritaḥ—took shelter; kṛṣṇam—Lord Kṛṣṇa; tat-parān—those devoted to Him; ca—and; api—also; anuvrataḥ—followed.

TRANSLATION

Vidura was born from the body of Veda-vyāsa and was not less than he. Thus he accepted the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa wholeheartedly and was attached to His devotees.

PURPORT

The history of Vidura is that he was born of a śūdra mother, but his seminal father was Vyāsadeva; thus he was not less than Vyāsadeva in any respect. Since he was born of a great father, who was supposed to be an incarnation of Nārāyaṇa and who composed all the Vedic literatures, Vidura was also a great personality. He accepted Kṛṣṇa as his worshipable Lord and followed His instructions wholeheartedly.

Vyasadeva

Father of the great Sukadeva goswami.

Satiation but no satisfaction
Dissatisfaction and addiction
Satisfaction but no satiation
Srimad-Bhagavatam - rasamalayam

SB 3.20.4

kim anvapṛcchan maitreyaṁ

virajās tīrtha-sevayā

upagamya kuśāvarta

āsīnaṁ tattva-vittamam

SYNONYMS

kim—what; anvapṛcchat—inquired; maitreyam—from the sage Maitreya; virajāḥ—Vidura, who was without material contamination; tīrtha-sevayā—by visiting sacred places; upagamya—having met; kuśāvarte—at Kuśāvarta (Haridvāra, or Hardwar); āsīnam—who was abiding; tattva-vit-tamam—the foremost knower of the science of spiritual life.

TRANSLATION

Vidura was purified of all passion by wandering in sacred places, and at last he reached Hardwar, where he met the great sage who knew the science of spiritual life, and he inquired from him. Śaunaka Ṛṣi therefore asked: What more did Vidura inquire from Maitreya?

PURPORT

Here the words virajās tīrtha-sevayā refer to Vidura, who was completely cleansed of all contamination by traveling to places of pilgrimage. In India there are hundreds of sacred places of pilgrimage, of which Prayāga, Hardwar, Vṛndāvana and Rāmeśvaram are considered principal. After leaving his home, which was full of politics and diplomacy, Vidura wanted to purify himself by traveling to all the sacred places, which are so situated that anyone who goes there automatically becomes purified. This is especially true in Vṛndāvana; any person may go there, and even if he is sinful he will at once contact an atmosphere of spiritual life and will automatically chant the names of Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā. That we have actually seen and experienced. It is recommended in the śāstras that after retiring from active life and accepting the vānaprastha (retired) order, one should travel everywhere to places of pilgrimage in order to purify himself. Vidura completely discharged this duty, and at last he reached Kuśāvarta, or Hardwar, where the sage Maitreya was sitting.

“The real form of this tree cannot be perceived in this world. No one can understand where it ends, where it begins, or where its foundation is. But with determination one must cut down this strongly rooted tree with the weapon of detachment. Thereafter, one must seek that place from which, having gone, one never returns, and there surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything began and from whom everything has extended since time immemorial. ” (Bg 15.3-4)

Another significant point is that one must go to sacred places not only to take bath there but to search out great sages like Maitreya and take instructions from them. If one does not do so, his traveling to places of pilgrimage is simply a waste of time. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, a great ācārya of the Vaiṣṇava sect, has, for the present, forbidden us to go to such places of pilgrimage because in this age, the times having so changed, a sincere person may have a different impression on seeing the behavior of the present residents of the pilgrimage sites. He has recommended that instead of taking the trouble to travel to such places, one should concentrate his mind on Govinda, and that will help him. Of course, to concentrate one's mind on Govinda in any place is a path meant for those who are the most spiritually advanced; it is not for ordinary persons. Ordinary persons may still derive benefit from traveling to holy places like Prayāga, Mathurā, Vṛndāvana and Hardwar.

It is recommended in this verse that one find a person who knows the science of God, or a tattva-vit. Tattva-vit means "one who knows the Absolute Truth." There are many pseudotranscendentalists, even at places of pilgrimage. Such men are always present, and one has to be intelligent enough to find the actual person to be consulted; then one's attempt to progress by traveling to different holy places will be successful. One has to be freed from all contamination, and at the same time he has to find a person who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa helps a sincere person; as stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde: by the mercy of the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, one attains the path of salvation, devotional service. If one sincerely searches for spiritual salvation, then Kṛṣṇa, being situated in everyone's heart, gives him the intelligence to find a suitable spiritual master. By the grace of a spiritual master like Maitreya, one gets the proper instruction and advances in his spiritual life.

Even the greatest personalities have taken shelter of the spiritual master.

What happened next?
Creation
Creation discussed four times in Srimad-Bhagavatam

“Now the real fact is that every living being, as is stated in the Fifteenth Chapter, is originally a fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore one is originally transcendental to all the modes of material nature. But when one forgets his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and comes into contact with the material nature in conditional life, he generates his own position by association with the different varieties of material nature. The resultant artificial faith and existence are only material. Although one may be conducted by some impression, or some conception of life, originally he is nirguṇa, or transcendental. Therefore one has to become cleansed of the material contamination that he has acquired, in order to regain his relationship with the Supreme Lord. That is the only path back without fear: Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” (Bg 17.3 purport)

“While one is performing devotional service in the association of pure devotees in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there are certain things which require to be vanquished altogether. The most important thing one has to surmount is weakness of the heart. The first falldown is caused by the desire to lord it over material nature. Thus one gives up the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord. The second weakness of the heart is that as one increases the propensity to lord it over material nature, he becomes attached to matter and the possession of matter. The problems of material existence are due to these weaknesses of the heart. In this chapter the first five verses describe the process of freeing oneself from these weaknesses of heart” (Bg 15.20 purport)

May Lord Mādhava’s pastimes, which bring a sense-pleasure stronger than that experienced by the hedonists, a liberation more real than that felt by the yogis in their hearts, and a bliss more intense than that tasted by the most expert drinkers of nectar, protect you.

—Śrī Śaṅkara

Padyavali 44

tatraiva gaṅgā yamunā ca tatra

godāvarī tatra sarasvatī ca

sarvāṇi tīrthāni vasanti tatra

yatrācyutodāra-kathā-prasaṅgaḥ

The Ganges, Yamunā, Godāvarī, Sarasvatī, as well as all holy places of pilgrimage, stay where the exalted topics of the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead are narrated,

—author Unknown

aho ahobhir na kaler vidūyate

sudhā-su-dhārā-madhuraṁ pade pade

dine dine candana-candra-śītalaṁ

yaśo yaśodā-tanayasya gīyate

One who daily sings the glories of Yaśodā’s son, Kṛṣṇa, which are cooling as sandalwood and camphor, is not troubled by the days of Kali-yuga. For him at every step there is a torrential flood of the sweetest nectar.

—Śrī Kaviratna

Srila Prabhupada asked what is the lesson here?

nirmāna-mohā jita-saṅga-doṣā

adhyātma-nityā vinivṛtta-kāmāḥ

dvandvair vimuktāḥ sukha-duḥkha-saṁjñair

gacchanty amūḍhāḥ padam avyayaṁ tat

"Those who are free from false prestige, illusion and false association, who understand the eternal, who are done with material lust, who are freed from the dualities of happiness and distress, and who, unbewildered, know how to surrender unto the Supreme Person attain to that eternal kingdom." (Bg 15.5)

Three questions at immigration:

Have any criminal record?

How much money do you have?

What is your purpose?

Free from sinful activities.

Pious activities - spiritual credits.

With the purpose of ...

Attentive submissive devotional service.

Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyāsadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart. (SB 1.1.2)

The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time—twenty-four hours a day—in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vṛndāvana dhāma] and serve Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service. (NOI 8)

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Gaudacandra Däsa Adhikari
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