Being Cultured Devotee is Better than Just Being a Devotee

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.50.32-40 - Being Cultured Devotee is Better than Just Being a Devotee (download mp3)
by Radhika Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.50.32-33
sa mukto loka-nathabhyam
 vridito vira-sammatah
tapase krta-sankalpo
 varitah pathi rajabhih
vakyaih pavitrartha-padair
 nayanaih prakrtair api
sva-karma-bandha-prapto ’yam
 yadubhis te parabhavah

Jarasandha, whom fighters had highly honored, was ashamed after being released by the two Lords of the universe, and thus he decided to undergo penances. On the road, however, several kings convinced him with both spiritual wisdom and mundane arguments that he should give up his idea of self-abnegation. They told him, “Your defeat by the Yadus was simply the unavoidable reaction of your past karma.”

SB 10.50.34
hatesu sarvanikesu
 nrpo barhadrathas tada
upeksito bhagavata
 magadhan durmana yayau

All of his armies having been killed, and himself neglected by the Personality of Godhead, King Jarasandha, son of Brhadratha, then sadly returned to the kingdom of the Magadhas.

SB 10.50.35-36
mukundo ’py aksata-balo
vikiryamanah kusumais
 tridasair anumoditah
mathurair upasangamya
 vijvarair muditatmabhih

Lord Mukunda had crossed the ocean of His enemy’s armies with His own military force completely intact. He received congratulations from the denizens of heaven, who showered Him with flowers. The people of Mathura, relieved of their feverish anxiety and filled with joy, came out to meet Him as professional bards, heralds and panegyrists sang in praise of His victory.

SB 10.50.37-38
sankha-dundubhayo nedur
 bheri-turyany anekasah
 puram pravisati prabhau
sikta-margam hrsta-janam
 patakabhir abhyalankrtam
nirghustam brahma-ghosena

As the Lord entered His city, conchshells and kettledrums sounded, and many drums, horns, vinas, flutes and mrdangas played in concert. The boulevards were sprinkled with water, there were banners everywhere, and the gateways were decorated for the celebration. The citizens were elated, and the city resounded with the chanting of Vedic hymns.

SB 10.50.39
niciyamano naribhir
niriksyamanah sa-sneham

As the women of the city affectionately looked at the Lord, their eyes wide open with love, they scattered flower garlands, yogurt, parched rice and newly grown sprouts upon Him.

All this is taking place as Lord Krsna enters the city of Mathura.

SB 10.50.40
ayodhana-gatam vittam
 anantam vira-bhusanam
yadu-rajaya tat sarvam
 ahrtam pradisat prabhuh

Lord Krsna then presented to the Yadu king all the wealth that had fallen on the battlefield — namely, the countless ornaments of the dead warriors.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti adds that jeweled ornaments had also been collected from the horses and other animals. What might be added here, for the sake of the squeamish, is that Jarasandha came to Mathura with the clear intention of slaughtering every last man in the city, including Krsna and Balarama. It is out of the causeless mercy of the Lord that He gives the conditioned souls a taste of their own medicine and thus helps them become more sensitive to the laws of nature and the existence of a Supreme Godhead. Ultimately, Krsna awarded Jarasandha and others killed on the battlefield spiritual liberation. The Lord is strict, but He is not malicious. In fact, He is an ocean of mercy.