Valuing Vedic Tradition

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.70.07-09 - Valuing Vedic Tradition (download mp3) and (download mp4)
by Rohini Nandan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.70.7-9
upasthayarkam udyantam
 tarpayitvatmanah kalah
devan rsin pitrn vrddhan
 vipran abhyarcya catmavan
dhenunam rukma-srnginam
 sadhvinam mauktika-srajam
payasvininam grstinam
 sa-vatsanam su-vasasam
dadau rupya-khuragranam
 ksaumajina-tilaih saha
alankrtebhyo viprebhyo
 badvam badvam dine dine

Each day the Lord worshiped the rising sun and propitiated the demigods, sages and forefathers, who are all His expansions. The self-possessed Lord would then carefully worship His elders and the brahmanas. To those well-attired brahmanas He would offer herds of tame and peaceful cows with gold-plated horns and pearl necklaces. These cows were also dressed in fine cloth, and the fronts of their hooves were plated with silver. Providers of abundant milk, they had each given birth only once and were accompanied by their calves. Daily the Lord gave many groups of 13,084 cows to the learned brahmanas, together with linen, deerskins and sesame seeds.

Sridhara Svami quotes several Vedic scriptures to show that in the context of Vedic ritual, a badva here refers to 13,084 cows. The words badvam badvam dine dine indicate that Lord Krsna would give the learned brahmanas many such groups of cows on a daily basis. Sridhara Svami further gives evidence that the usual practice for great saintly kings in previous ages was to give 107 such badva, or groups of 13,084 cows. Thus the total number of cows given in this sacrifice, known as MaƱcara, is 14 lakhs, or 1,400,000.

The words alankrtebhyo viprebhyah indicate that in Lord Krsna’s kingdom the brahmanas were given nice clothes and ornaments and were thus well attired.

In Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Srila Prabhupada writes with striking and profound insight on these pastimes of Lord Krsna. The reader is strongly urged to study this book, which contains an invaluable wealth of information and commentary on the pastimes described in the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Our humble attempt here can never equal the consummate purity and skill of our great master. Still, as a service offered at his lotus feet, we are simply presenting the original Sanskrit text of the Tenth Canto, word-for-word meanings, a clear translation and essential commentary, for the most part based on the statements of the great spiritual masters in our line.