Srimad Bhagavatam 01.09.08 - Sukhdeva Goswami-An Exalted Soul (download mp3)
by Radhapati Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
anye ca munayo brahman
śiṣyair upetā ājagmuḥ
And many others like Śukadeva Gosvāmī and other purified souls, Kaśyapa and Āṅgirasa and others, all accompanied by their respective disciples, arrived there.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī (Brahmarāta): The famous son and disciple of Śrī Vyāsadeva, who taught him first the Mahābhārata and then Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śukadeva Gosvāmī recited 1,400,000 verses of the Mahābhārata in the councils of the Gandharvas, Yakṣas and Rākṣasas, and he recited Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for the first time in the presence of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. He thoroughly studied all the Vedic literatures from his great father. Thus he was a completely purified soul by dint of his extensive knowledge in the principles of religion. From Mahābhārata, Sabhā-parva (4.11), it is understood that he was also present in the royal assembly of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and at the fasting of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. As a bona fide disciple of Śrī Vyāsadeva, he inquired from his father very extensively about religious principles and spiritual values, and his great father also satisfied him by teaching him the yoga system by which one can attain the spiritual kingdom, the difference between fruitive work and empiric knowledge, the ways and means of attaining spiritual realization, the four āśramas (namely the student life, the householder’s life, the retired life and the renounced life), the sublime position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the process of seeing Him face to face, the bona fide candidate for receiving knowledge, the consideration of the five elements, the unique position of intelligence, the consciousness of the material nature and the living entity, the symptoms of the self-realized soul, the working principles of the material body, the symptoms of the influential modes of nature, the tree of perpetual desire, and psychic activities. Sometimes he went to the sun planet with the permission of his father and Nāradajī. Descriptions of his travel in space are given in the Śānti-parva of the Mahābhārata (332). At last he attained the transcendental realm. He is known by different names like Araṇeya, Aruṇisuta, Vaiyāsaki and Vyāsātmaja.
Kaśyapa: One of the prajāpatis, the son of Marīci and one of the sons-in-law of Prajāpati Dakṣa. He is the father of the gigantic bird Garuḍa, who was given elephants and tortoises as eatables. He married thirteen daughters of Prajāpati Dakṣa, and their names are Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kāṣṭhā, Ariṣṭā, Surasā, Ilā, Muni, Krodhavaśā, Tāmrā, Surabhi, Saramā and Timi. He begot many children, both demigods and demons, by those wives. From his first wife, Aditi, all the twelve Ādityas were born; one of them is Vāmana, the incarnation of Godhead. This great sage, Kaśyapa, was also present at the time of Arjuna’s birth. He received a presentation of the whole world from Paraśurāma, and later on he asked Paraśurāma to go out of the world. His other name is Ariṣṭanemi. He lives on the northern side of the universe.
Āṅgirasa: He is the son of Maharṣi Aṅgirā and is known as Bṛhaspati, the priest of the demigods. It is said that Droṇācārya was his partial incarnation. Śukrācārya was the spiritual master of the demons, and Bṛhaspati challenged him. His son is Kaca, and he delivered the fire weapon first to Bharadvāja Muni. He begot six sons (like the fire-god) by his wife Candramāsī, one of the reputed stars. He could travel in space, and therefore he could present himself even in the planets of Brahmaloka and Indraloka. He advised the King of heaven, Indra, about conquering the demons. Once he cursed Indra, who thus had to become a hog on the earth and was unwilling to return to heaven. Such is the power of the attraction of the illusory energy. Even a hog does not wish to part with its earthly possessions in exchange for a heavenly kingdom. He was the religious preceptor of the natives of different planets.