Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.40-46 - Punishments Turns to Greatest Opportunity (download mp3)
by Pradyumna Mishra Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
namo ’stu te mahā-yogin
prapannam anuśādhi mām
ratiḥ syād anapāyinī
Obeisances unto You, O greatest of yogīs. Please instruct me, who am surrendered unto You, how I may have undeviating attachment to Your lotus feet.
vasāno valkalāny aṅga
matto ’nuśikṣitaṁ yat te
ativrajya gatīs tisro
mām eṣyasi tataḥ param
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, take My order and go to My āśrama called Badarikā. Purify yourself by both touching and also bathing in the holy waters there, which have emanated from My lotus feet. Rid yourself of all sinful reactions with the sight of the sacred Alakanandā River. Dress yourself in bark and eat whatever is naturally available in the forest. Thus you should remain content and free from desire, tolerant of all dualities, good-natured, self-controlled, peaceful and endowed with transcendental knowledge and realization. With fixed attention, meditate constantly upon these instructions I have imparted to you and assimilate their essence. Fix your words and thoughts upon Me, and always endeavor to increase your realization of My transcendental qualities. In this way you will cross beyond the destinations of the three modes of nature and finally come back to Me.
sa evam ukto hari-medhasoddhavaḥ
pradakṣiṇaṁ taṁ parisṛtya pādayoḥ
śiro nidhāyāśru-kalābhir ārdra-dhīr
nyaṣiñcad advandva-paro ’py apakrame
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Thus addressed by Lord Kṛṣṇa, whose intelligence destroys all the suffering of material life, Śrī Uddhava circumambulated the Lord and then fell down, placing his head upon the Lord’s feet. Although Uddhava was free from the influence of all material dualities, his heart was breaking, and at this time of departure he drenched the Lord’s lotus feet with his tears.
na śaknuvaṁs taṁ parihātum āturaḥ
kṛcchraṁ yayau mūrdhani bhartṛ-pāduke
bibhran namaskṛtya yayau punaḥ punaḥ
Greatly fearing separation from Him for whom he felt such indestructible affection, Uddhava was distraught, and he could not give up the Lord’s company. Finally, feeling great pain, he bowed down to the Lord again and again, placed the slippers of his master upon his head, and departed.
According to the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.4.5), while Uddhava was enroute to Badarikāśrama he heard about the Lord’s journey to Prabhāsa. Turning back and following Lord Kṛṣṇa from behind, he saw the Lord alone just after the withdrawal of the Yadu dynasty. After being again mercifully instructed by the Personality of Godhead (along with Maitreya, who had just arrived), Uddhava felt his knowledge of the truth reawaken, and then, by the order of the Lord, he went on his way.