Srimad Bhagavatam 11-02-34 - Bhagavata Dharma Spoken by Mahajan (download mp3)
by Radhika Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
ye vai bhagavata prokta
upaya hy atma-labdhaye
añjah pumsam avidusam
viddhi bhagavatan hi tan
Even ignorant living entities can very easily come to know the Supreme Lord if they adopt those means prescribed by the Supreme Lord Himself. The process recommended by the Lord is to be known as bhagavata-dharma, or devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There are many Vedic scriptures, such as Manu-samhita, that present standard injunctions for the peaceful management of human society. Such Vedic knowledge is based on the varnasrama system, which scientifically divides human society into four occupational divisions as well as four spiritual divisions. According to Srila Sridhara Svami, however, knowledge that can bring one directly in contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called ati-rahasyam, or the most confidential knowledge (ati-rahasyatvat sva-mukhenaiva bhagavatavidusam api pumsam añjah sukhenaivatma-labdhaye).
Bhagavata-dharma is so confidential that it is spoken by the Lord Himself. The essence of bhagavata-dharma is given in Bhagavad-gita, wherein Krsna personally instructs Arjuna. Yet in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam the Lord will give instructions to Uddhava that surpass even the teachings given to Arjuna in Bhagavad-gita. As Srila Prabhupada has stated, “Undoubtedly Bhagavad-gita was spoken by the Lord on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra just to encourage Arjuna to fight, and yet to complete the transcendental knowledge of Bhagavad-gita the Lord instructed Uddhava. The Lord wanted Uddhava to fulfill His mission and disseminate knowledge which He had not spoken even in Bhagavad-gita.” (Bhag. 3.4.32 purport) Similarly, it is understood that the knowledge that will be presented here by the nine Yogendras is not their personal concoction but is authorized knowledge originally spoken by the Lord Himself.
According to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, the living entities, in the course of their wanderings throughout the cycle of birth and death, lose all trace of the Personality of Godhead. But when they hear the eternally auspicious topics spoken by the Supreme Lord for their benefit and understand their eternal identities as spirit souls, the realized experience of being an eternal servant of Krsna becomes the basis of bhagavata-dharma. In the soul’s experience as a pure Vaisnava, or servant of God, there is no consideration of being different from God or the same as God, nor is one interested in the kingdom of material sense gratification. The pure devotee simply perceives his particular devotional service to the Supreme Lord and sees himself as an individual part and parcel of the ultimate shelter. A pure devotee experiences that his very being is tied, by ropes of loving devotion, to the ultimate shelter Himself in one of His direct personal expansions. And in such a perfect state of consciousness, the devotee can perceive the all-pervading variegated forms of the Absolute Truth.