Sacrifice of Devaki and Vasudeva

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.02.28 - Sacrifice of Devaki and Vasudeva (download mp3)
by Purushottam Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.2.28
tvam eka evasya satah prasutis
tvam sannidhanam tvam anugrahas ca
tvan-mayaya samvrta-cetasas tvam
pasyanti nana na vipascito ye

The efficient cause of this material world, manifested with its many varieties as the original tree, is You, O Lord. You are also the maintainer of this material world, and after annihilation You are the one in whom everything is conserved. Those who are covered by Your external energy cannot see You behind this manifestation, but theirs is not the vision of learned devotees.

Various demigods, beginning from Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and even Visnu, are supposed to be the creator, maintainer and annihilator of this material world, but actually they are not. The fact is that everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, manifested in varieties of energy. Ekam evadvitiyam brahma. There is no second existence. Those who are truly vipascit, learned, are those who have reached the platform of understanding and observing the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any condition of life. premañjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti (Bs. 5.38). Learned devotees accept even conditions of distress as representing the presence of the Supreme Lord. When a devotee is in distress, he sees that the Lord has appeared as distress just to relieve or purify the devotee from the contamination of the material world. While one is within this material world, one is in various conditions, and therefore a devotee sees a condition of distress as but another feature of the Lord. Tat te'nukampam susamiksamanah (SB 10.14.8). A devotee, therefore, regards distress as a great favor of the Lord because he understands that he is being cleansed of contamination. Tesam aham samuddharta mrtyu-samsara-sagarat (Bg. 12.7). The appearance of distress is a negative process intended to give the devotee relief from this material world, which is called mrtyu-samsara, or the constant repetition of birth and death. To save a surrendered soul from repeated birth and death, the Lord purifies him of contamination by offering him a little distress. This cannot be understood by a nondevotee, but a devotee can see this because he is vipascit, or learned. A nondevotee, therefore, is perturbed in distress, but a devotee welcomes distress as another feature of the Lord. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. A devotee can actually see that there is only the Supreme Personality of Godhead and no second entity. Ekam evadvitiyam. There is only the Lord, who presents Himself in different energies.

Persons who are not in real knowledge think that Brahma is the creator, Visnu the maintainer and Siva the annihilator and that the different demigods are intended to fulfill diverse purposes. Thus they create diverse purposes and worship various demigods to have these purposes fulfilled (kamais tais tair hrta jñanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah [Bg. 7.20]). A devotee, however, knows that these various demigods are but different parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that these parts need not be worshiped. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (9.23):

ye 'py anya-devata bhakta
yajante sraddhayanvitah
te 'pi mam eva kaunteya
yajanty avidhi-purvakam

"Whatever a man may sacrifice to other gods, O son of Kunti, is really meant for Me alone, but it is offered without true understanding." There is no need to worship the demigods, for this is avidhi, not in order. Simply by surrendering oneself at the lotus feet of Krsna, one can completely discharge one's duties; there is no need to worship various deities or demigods. These various divinities are observed by the mudhas, fools, who are bewildered by the three modes of material nature (tribhir gunamayair bhavair ebhih sarvam idam jagat). Such fools cannot understand that the real source of everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead (mohitam nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam [Bg. 7.13]). Not being disturbed by the Lord's various features, one should concentrate upon and worship the Supreme Lord (mam ekam saranam vraja). This should be the guiding principle of one's life.