Special Events in Kartik

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.03.36-38 - Special Events in Kartik (download mp3)
by Yugavatar Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.3.36
evam vam tapyatos tivram
tapah parama-duskaram
dvadaseyur mad-atmanoh

Thus you spent twelve thousand celestial years performing difficult activities of tapasya in consciousness of Me [Krsna consciousness].

SB 10.3.37-38
tada vam paritusto 'ham
amuna vapusanaghe
tapasa sraddhaya nityam
bhaktya ca hrdi bhavitah
pradurasam varada-rad
yuvayoh kama-ditsaya
vriyatam vara ity ukte
madrso vam vrtah sutah

O sinless mother Devaki, after the expiry of twelve thousand celestial years, in which you constantly contemplated Me within the core of your heart with great faith, devotion and austerity, I was very much satisfied with you. Since I am the best of all bestowers of benediction, I appeared in this same form as Krsna to ask you to take from Me the benediction you desired. You then expressed your desire to have a son exactly like Me.

Twelve thousand years on the celestial planets is not a very long time for those who live in the upper planetary system, although it may be very long for those who live on this planet. Sutapa was the son of Brahma, and as we have already understood from Bhagavad-gita (8.17), one day of Brahma equals many millions of years according to our calculation (sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmano viduh). We should be careful to understand that to get Krsna as one's son, one must undergo such great austerities. If we want to get the Supreme Personality of Godhead to become one of us in this material world, this requires great penance, but if we want to go back to Krsna (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna [Bg. 4.9]), we need only understand Him and love Him. Through love only, we can very easily go back home, back to Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore declared, prema pum-artho mahan: love of Godhead is the highest achievement for anyone.

As we have explained, in worship of the Lord there are three stages—jñana, jñanamayi and rati, or love. Sutapa and his wife, Prsni, inaugurated their devotional activities on the basis of full knowledge. Gradually they developed love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and when this love was mature, the Lord appeared as Visnu, although Devaki then requested Him to assume the form of Krsna. To love the Supreme Personality of Godhead more, we want a form of the Lord like Krsna or Rama. We can engage in loving transactions with Krsna especially.

In this age, we are all fallen, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to bestow upon us love of Godhead directly. This was appreciated by the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Rupa Gosvami said:

namo maha-vadanyaya
krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya-
namne gaura-tvise namah
[Cc. Madhya 19.53]

In this verse, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described as maha-vadanya, the most munificent of charitable persons, because He gives Krsna so easily that one can attain Krsna simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. We should therefore take advantage of the benediction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra we are cleansed of all dirty things (ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]), we shall be able to understand very easily that Krsna is the only object of love (kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]).

Therefore, one need not undergo severe penances for many thousands of years; one need only learn how to love Krsna and be always engaged in His service (sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah [Brs.