Srimad Bhagavatam 12.10.35-42 - True Members of ISKCON stay clear of bigotry (download mp3)
by Akinchan Krishna Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
ity arcito ’bhiṣṭutaś ca
muninā sūktayā girā
tam āha bhagavāñ charvaḥ
Sūta Gosvāmī said: Thus worshiped and glorified by the eloquent statements of the sage Mārkaṇḍeya, Lord Śarva [Śiva], encouraged by his consort, replied to him as follows.
kāmo maharṣe sarvo ’yaṁ
bhaktimāṁs tvam adhokṣaje
ā-kalpāntād yaśaḥ puṇyam
O great sage, because you are devoted to Lord Adhokṣaja, all your desires will be fulfilled. Until the very end of this creation cycle, you will enjoy pious fame and freedom from old age and death.
jñānaṁ trai-kālikaṁ brahman
vijñānaṁ ca viraktimat
O brāhmaṇa, may you have perfect knowledge of past, present and future, along with transcendental realization of the Supreme, enriched by renunciation. You have the brilliance of an ideal brāhmaṇa, and thus may you achieve the post of spiritual master of the Purāṇas.
evaṁ varān sa munaye
dattvāgāt try-akṣa īśvaraḥ
devyai tat-karma kathayann
Sūta Gosvāmī said: Having thus granted Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi benedictions, Lord Śiva went on his way, continuing to describe to goddess Devī the accomplishments of the sage and the direct exhibition of the Lord’s illusory power that he had experienced.
so ’py avāpta-mahā-yoga-
vicaraty adhunāpy addhā
harāv ekāntatāṁ gataḥ
Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi, the best of the descendants of Bhṛgu, is glorious because of his achievement of perfection in mystic yoga. Even today he travels about this world, fully absorbed in unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
anuvarṇitam etat te
I have thus narrated to you the activities of the highly intelligent sage Mārkaṇḍeya, especially how he experienced the amazing power of the Supreme Lord’s illusory energy.
etat kecid avidvāṁso
Although this event was unique and unprecedented, some unintelligent persons compare it to the cycle of illusory material existence the Supreme Lord has created for the conditioned souls — an endless cycle that has been continuing since time immemorial.
Mārkaṇḍeya’s being drawn into the Lord’s body by His inhalation and expelled again by His exhalation should not be considered a symbolic description of the perennial cycles of material creation and annihilation. This portion of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes a real, historical event experienced by a great devotee of the Lord, and those trying to relegate this story to mere symbolic allegory are here declared to be unintelligent fools.
ya evam etad bhṛgu-varya varṇitaṁ
saṁśrāvayet saṁśṛṇuyād u tāv ubhau
tayor na karmāśaya-saṁsṛtir bhavet
O best of the Bhṛgus, this account concerning Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi conveys the transcendental potency of the Supreme Lord. Anyone who properly narrates or hears it will never again undergo material existence, which is based on the desire to perform fruitive activities.
Thus end the purports of the humble servants of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda to the Twelfth Canto, Tenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Lord Śiva and Umā Glorify Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi.”