Srimad Bhagavatam 02.01.05 - 3 Secrets of Happiness (download mp3)
by Vyankata Bhatta Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
tasmād bhārata sarvātmā
bhagavān īśvaro hariḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
O descendant of King Bharata, one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller and the savior from all miseries.
In the previous verse, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī has described how the foolish materially attached men are wasting their valuable time in the improvement of the material conditions of life by sleeping, indulging in sex life, developing economic conditions and maintaining a band of relatives who are to be vanquished in the air of oblivion. Being engaged in all these materialistic activities, the living soul entangles himself in the cycle of the law of fruitive actions. This entails the chain of birth and death in the 8,400,000 species of life: the aquatics, the vegetables, the reptiles, the birds, the beasts, the uncivilized man, and then again the human form, which is the chance for getting out of the cycle of fruitive action. Therefore, if one desires freedom from this vicious circle, then one must cease to act as a karmī or enjoyer of the results of one’s own work, good or bad. One should not do anything, either good or bad, on his own account, but must execute everything on behalf of the Supreme Lord, the ultimate proprietor of everything that be. This process of doing work is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.27) also, where instruction is given for working on the Lord’s account. Therefore, one should first of all hear about the Lord. When one has perfectly and scrutinizingly heard, one must glorify His acts and deeds, and thus it will become possible to remember constantly the transcendental nature of the Lord. Hearing about and glorifying the Lord are identical with the transcendental nature of the Lord, and by so doing, one will be always in the association of the Lord. This brings freedom from all sorts of fear. The Lord is the Supersoul (Paramātmā) present in the hearts of all living beings, and thus by the above hearing and glorifying process, the Lord invites the association of all in His creation. This process of hearing about and glorifying the Lord is applicable for everyone, whoever he may be, and it will lead one to the ultimate success in everything in which one may be engaged by providence. There are many classes of human beings: the fruitive workers, the empiric philosophers, the mystic yogīs and, ultimately, the unalloyed devotees. For all of them, one and the same process is applicable for achieving the desired success. Everyone wants to be free from all kinds of fear, and everyone wants the fullest extent of happiness in life. The perfect process for achieving this, here and now, is recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is uttered by such a great authority as Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. By hearing about and glorifying the Lord, all a person’s activities become molded into spiritual activities, and thus all conceptions of material miseries become completely vanquished.