The Art of Hearing

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.51.51-53 - The Art of Hearing (download mp3) , (download flv) and (download mp4)
by Candramauli Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.51.51
nirjitya dik-cakram abhuta-vigraho
 varasana-sthah sama-raja-vanditah
grhesu maithunya-sukhesu yositam
 krida-mrgah purusa isa niyate

Having conquered the entire circle of directions and being thus free of conflict, a man sits on a splendid throne, receiving praise from leaders who were once his equals. But when he enters the women’s chambers, where sex pleasure is found, he is led about like a pet animal, O Lord.

SB 10.51.52
karoti karmani tapah-sunisthito
 nivrtta-bhogas tad-apeksayadadat
punas ca bhuyasam aham sva-rad iti
 pravrddha-tarso na sukhaya kalpate

A king who desires even greater power than he already has strictly performs his duties, carefully practicing austerity and forgoing sense enjoyment. But he whose urges are so rampant, thinking “I am independent and supreme,” cannot attain happiness.

SB 10.51.53
bhavapavargo bhramato yada bhavej
 janasya tarhy acyuta sat-samagamah
sat-sangamo yarhi tadaiva sad-gatau
 paravarese tvayi jayate matih

When the material life of a wandering soul has ceased, O Acyuta, he may attain the association of Your devotees. And when he associates with them, there awakens in him devotion unto You, who are the goal of the devotees and the Lord of all causes and their effects.

Acaryas Jiva Gosvami and Visvanatha Cakravarti agree on the following point: Although it is stated here that when material life ceases one attains the association of devotees, in fact it is the association of the Lord’s devotees that enables one to transcend material existence. Srila Jiva Gosvami explains this apparent inversion of sequence by quoting the Kavya-prakasa (10.153) as follows: karya-karanayos ca paurvaparya-viparyayo vij├▒eyatisayoktih syat sa. “A statement in which the logical order of a cause and its effect is reversed should be understood as atisayokti, emphasis by extreme assertion.” Srila Jiva Gosvami cites the following commentary on this statement: karanasya sighra-karitam vaktum karyasya purvam uktau. “To express the swift action of a cause, one may assert the result before the cause.”

In this connection Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that the merciful association of the Lord’s devotees makes possible our determination to become Krsna conscious. And the acarya agrees with Srila Jiva Gosvami that this verse is an instance of atisayokti.