Choosing Subject Matter That Will Elevate Us

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.87.45-46 - Choosing Subject Matter That Will Elevate Us (download mp3)
by Rohini Nandan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.87.45
sri-suka uvaca
evam sa rsinadistam
 grhitva sraddhayatmavan
purnah sruta-dharo rajann
 aha vira-vrato munih

Sukadeva Gosvami said: When Sri Narayana Rsi ordered him in this way, the self-possessed sage Narada, whose vow is as heroic as a warrior’s, accepted the command with firm faith. Now successful in all his purposes, he thought about what he had heard, O King, and replied to the Lord as follows.

SB 10.87.46
sri-narada uvaca
namas tasmai bhagavate
yo dhatte sarva-bhutanam
 abhavayosatih kalah

Sri Narada said: I offer my obeisances to Him of spotless fame, the Supreme Lord Krsna, who manifests His all-attractive personal expansions so that all living beings can achieve liberation.

Srila Sridhara Svami remarks that Narada’s addressing Sri Narayana Rsi as an incarnation of Lord Krsna is perfectly appropriate, in accordance with the following statement of Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28): ete camsa-kalah pumsah/ krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. “All of the above-mentioned incarnations [including Narayana Rsi] are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead.”

In his commentary on this verse, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti has Lord Narayana Rsi asking, “Why do you offer obeisances to Krsna instead of Me, your guru, who am standing here before you?” Narada explains his action by saying that Lord Krsna assumes all-attractive incarnations like Sri Narayana Rsi to end the conditioned souls’ material life. By offering obeisances to Lord Krsna, therefore, Narada honors Narayana Rsi and all other manifestations of Godhead as well.

This prayer of Narada’s is the essential nectar he has extracted from the personified Vedas’ prayers, which themselves were churned from the sweet ocean of all secrets of the Vedas and Puranas. As the Gopala-tapani Upanisad (Purva 50) recommends, tasmat krsna eva paro devas tam dhyayet tam rasayet tam bhajet tam yajed iti; om tat sat: “Therefore Krsna is the Supreme Godhead. One should meditate on Him, relish the taste of reciprocating loving exchanges with Him, worship Him and offer sacrifice to Him.”