Always Seek The Blessings Of Devotees

Srimad Bhagavatam 09.04.30-40 - Always Seek The Blessings Of Devotees (download mp3)
by Radha Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 9.4.30
vratante kartike masi
tri-ratram samupositah
snatah kadacit kalindyam
harim madhuvane 'rcayat

In the month of Karttika, after observing that vow for one year, after observing a fast for three nights and after bathing in the Yamuna, Maharaja Ambarisa worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, in Madhuvana.

SB 9.4.31-32
pujayam asa kesavam
brahmanams ca maha-bhagan
siddharthan api bhaktitah

Following the regulative principles of mahabhiseka, Maharaja Ambarisa performed the bathing ceremony for the Deity of Lord Krsna with all paraphernalia, and then he dressed the Deity with fine clothing, ornaments, fragrant flower garlands and other paraphernalia for worship of the Lord. With attention and devotion, he worshiped Krsna and all the greatly fortunate brahmanas who were free from material desires.

SB 9.4.33-35
gavam rukma-visaninam
rupyanghrinam suvasasam
prahinot sadhu-viprebhyo
grhesu nyarbudani sat
bhojayitva dvijan agre
svadv annam gunavattamam
labdha-kamair anujñatah
tasya tarhy atithih saksad
durvasa bhagavan abhut

Thereafter, Maharaja Ambarisa satisfied all the guests who arrived at his house, especially the brahmanas. He gave in charity sixty crores of cows whose horns were covered with gold plate and whose hooves were covered with silver plate. All the cows were well decorated with garments and had full milk bags. They were mild-natured, young and beautiful and were accompanied by their calves. After giving these cows, the King first sumptuously fed all the brahmanas, and when they were fully satisfied, he was about to observe the end of Ekadasi, with their permission, by breaking the fast. Exactly at that time, however, Durvasa Muni, the great and powerful mystic, appeared on the scene as an uninvited guest.

SB 9.4.36
tam anarcatithim bhupah
yayace 'bhyavaharaya
pada-mulam upagatah

After standing up to receive Durvasa Muni, King Ambarisa offered him a seat and paraphernalia of worship. Then, sitting at his feet, the King requested the great sage to eat.

SB 9.4.37
pratinandya sa tam yacñam
kartum avasyakam gatah
nimamajja brhad dhyayan
kalindi-salile subhe

Durvasa Muni gladly accepted the request of Maharaja Ambarisa, but to perform the regulative ritualistic ceremonies he went to the River Yamuna. There he dipped into the water of the auspicious Yamuna and meditated upon the impersonal Brahman.

SB 9.4.38
dvadasyam paranam prati
cintayam asa dharma-jño
dvijais tad-dharma-sankate

In the meantime, only a muhurta of the Dvadasi day was left on which to break the fast. Consequently, it was imperative that the fast be broken immediately. In this dangerous situation, the King consulted learned brahmanas.

SB 9.4.39-40
brahmanatikrame doso
dvadasyam yad aparane
yat krtva sadhu me bhuyad
adharmo va na mam sprset
ambhasa kevalenatha
karisye vrata-paranam
ahur ab-bhaksanam vipra
hy asitam nasitam ca tat

The King said: "To transgress the laws of respectful behavior toward the brahmanas is certainly a great offense. On the other hand, if one does not observe the breaking of the fast within the time of Dvadasi, there is a flaw in one's observance of the vow. Therefore, O brahmanas, if you think that it will be auspicious and not irreligious, I shall break the fast by drinking water." In this way, after consulting with the brahmanas, the King reached this decision, for according to brahminical opinion, drinking water may be accepted as eating and also as not eating.

When Maharaja Ambarisa, in his dilemma, consulted the brahmanas about whether he should break the fast or wait for Durvasa Muni, apparently they could not give a definite answer about what to do. A Vaisnava, however, is the most intelligent personality. Therefore Maharaja Ambarisa himself decided, in the presence of the brahmanas, that he would drink a little water, for this would confirm that the fast was broken but would not transgress the laws for receiving a brahmana. In the Vedas it is said, apo 'snati tan naivasitam naivanasitam. This Vedic injunction declares that the drinking of water may be accepted as eating or as not eating. Sometimes in our practical experience we see that some political leader adhering to satyagraha will not eat but will drink water. Considering that drinking water would not be eating, Maharaja Ambarisa decided to act in this way.