Srimad Bhagavatam 11.02.03-04 - Role of Sri Narad Muni (download mp3)
by Vishwarup Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
tam ekada tu devarsim
arcitam sukham asinam
One day the sage among the demigods, Narada, came to the house of Vasudeva. After worshiping Narada with suitable paraphernalia, seating him comfortably and respectfully bowing down to him, Vasudeva spoke as follows.
bhagavan bhavato yatra
krpananam yatha pitror
Sri Vasudeva said: My lord, your visit, like that of a father to his children, is for the benefit of all living beings. You especially help the most wretched among them, as well as those who are advanced on the path toward the Supreme Lord, Uttamasloka.
Vasudeva herein describes the glories of Narada Muni. The words krpananam yatha pitror uttama-sloka-vartmanam are significant. Krpananam refers to the most wretched persons, whereas uttama-sloka-vartmanam refers to the most fortunate, those who are advanced in Krsna consciousness. Sridhara Svami has stated, tatha bhagavad-rupasya bhavato yatra sarva-dehinam svastaya iti. The word bhagavad-rupasya indicates that Narada Muni is an expansion of the Supreme Lord and that his activities therefore bring immense benefit for all living beings. In the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Narada Muni is described as a manifestation of the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There it is stated that Narada is especially empowered to give instructions in the art of devotional service to Krsna. Narada is especially able to advise the conditioned souls as to how they can dovetail their present activities with the devotional service of Krsna without unnecessarily disrupting their present life.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati has defined the word krpana by quoting from the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (3.8.10). Etad aksaram gargi aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa krpanah: “O daughter of Gargacarya, he who leaves this world without learning about the infallible Supreme is a krpana, or miser.” In other words, we are awarded the human form of life so that we may understand our eternal, blissful relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As indicated in verse 2 of this chapter by the word indriyavan, the human body is specifically awarded so that we may serve the Supreme Lord, Krsna. This human form of body is the greatest fortune because the highly evolved intelligence of human life enables us to understand Krsna, the Absolute Truth. If we are unable to understand our eternal relationship with God, we shall derive no permanent benefit whatsoever in this present life, nor can we ultimately benefit others. One who receives a great treasure but can neither use it himself nor dedicate it to the happiness of others is called a miser. Therefore, a person who leaves this world without having understood his actual position as servant of God is called a krpana, or miser.
This verse states that Narada Muni is so empowered in the devotional service of Krsna that he can lift even miserly rascals out of their illusion, just as a kind father goes to his child and wakes him from a distressing nightmare. Our present materialistic life is just like a troublesome dream, from which great souls such as Narada can wake us. Narada Muni is so powerful that even those already advanced in devotional service to Krsna can greatly enhance their spiritual position by hearing his instructions, as they will be given here in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Therefore Sri Narada is the guru and father of all living beings, who are originally devotees of the Lord but who are now artificially attempting to enjoy the material world in the material bodies of human beings, animals, and so on.