Srimad Bhagavatam 10.87.16 - Identity of The Vedas (download mp3)
by Baladeva Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
iti tava surayas try-adhipate ’khila-loka-mala-
ksapana-kathamrtabdhim avagahya tapamsi jahuh
kim uta punah sva-dhama-vidhutasaya-kala-gunah
Therefore, O master of the three worlds, the wise get rid of all misery by diving deep into the nectarean ocean of topics about You, which washes away all the contamination of the universe. Then what to speak of those who, having by spiritual strength rid their minds of bad habits and freed themselves from time, are able to worship Your true nature, O supreme one, finding within it uninterrupted bliss?
According to Srila Jiva Gosvami, in the previous verse those srutis whose presentation of the Supreme Truth may seem impersonal clarified their true purpose. Now, in the present verse, those who focus exclusively on the divine Personality of Godhead, who speak of His transcendental pastimes, take their turn in praising Him.
Because all the Vedas declare the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes, discriminating persons should take to His worship. By diving into the ocean of His glories, intelligent devotees help dispel the distress of all souls and loosen their own burning attachment to materialistic life. These advancing devotees gradually give up all material attachment and lose any interest they once had in the troublesome austerities of karma, jñana and yoga.
Beyond these devotees are the suris, connoisseurs of spiritual truth, who honor the nectarean ocean of the Supreme Lord’s glories by immersing themselves fully within it. These mature devotees of the Supreme Lord achieve unimaginable perfection. The Lord, reciprocating their sincere endeavors, empowers them to realize Him in His personal form. Remembering with rapture the Lord’s intimate pastimes and entourage, they are automatically freed from the last subtle traces of mental contamination and from sensitivity to the unavoidable pains of disease and old age.
Referring to the purifying power of devotional service, the srutis say, tad yatha puskara-palasa apo na slisyante evam evam-vidi papam karma na slisyate: “Just as water does not adhere to a lotus leaf, so sinful activities do not adhere to one who knows the truth in this way.” The Satapatha Brahmana (14.7.28), Taittiriya Brahmana (18.104.22.168), Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.4.28) and Baudhayana-dharma-sastra (22.214.171.124) all concur: na karmana lipyate papakena. “One thus avoids becoming tainted by sinful activity.”
The Rg Veda (1.154.1) refers to the Supreme Lord’s pastimes as follows: visnor nu kam viryani pravocam yah parthivani vimame rajamsi. “Only he may fully enunciate the heroic deeds of Lord Visnu who can count all the particles of dust in the world.” Many sruti-mantras glorify devotional service to the Lord, such as eko vasi sarva-go ye ’nubhajanti dhiras/ tesam sukham sasvatam netaresam: “He is the one omnipresent Lord and controller; only those wise souls who worship Him obtain eternal happiness, not anyone else.”
In this connection Srila Sridhara Svami prays:
tvam iti sarva-manisi-jana ratah
tava pada-smaranena gata-klamah
“Because all the Vedas describe Your transcendental qualities, all thoughtful persons are attracted to hearing and chanting about Your all-auspicious qualities. Thus by remembering Your lotus feet, they are freed from material distress.”