Aspects of Smart Hearing

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.83.17-19 - Aspects of Smart Hearing (download mp3)
by Damodar Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.83.17
mamapi rajñy acyuta-janma-karma
 srutva muhur narada-gitam asa ha
cittam mukunde kila padma-hastaya
 vrtah su-sammrsya vihaya loka-pan

Sri Laksmana said: O Queen, I repeatedly heard Narada Muni glorify the appearances and activities of Acyuta, and thus my heart also became attached to that Lord, Mukunda. Indeed, even Goddess Padmahasta chose Him as her husband after careful consideration, rejecting the great demigods who rule various planets.

SB 10.83.18
jñatva mama matam sadhvi
 pita duhitr-vatsalah
brhatsena iti khyatas
 tatropayam acikarat

My father, Brhatsena, was by nature compassionate to his daughter, and knowing how I felt, O saintly lady, he arranged to fulfill my desire.

SB 10.83.19
yatha svayam-vare rajñi
 matsyah parthepsaya krtah
ayam tu bahir acchanno
 drsyate sa jale param

Just as a fish was used as a target in your svayamvara ceremony, O Queen, to assure that you would obtain Arjuna as your husband, so a fish was also used in my ceremony. In my case, however, it was concealed on all sides, and only its reflection could be seen in a pot of water below.

Arjuna is famous as the most expert bowman. Why, then, could he not hit the fish target at Srimati Laksmana’s svayamvara ceremony just as he had done once before to win Draupadi? Srila Sridhara Svami explains: The target at Draupadi’s svayamvara had been covered only partially, so that a marksman could see it if he looked straight up the pillar on which it was placed. To shoot Laksmana’s target, however, it was necessary to aim by looking up and down at the same time, an impossible feat for any mortal. Therefore only Krsna could strike the target.