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Transcendental Pastimes of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna




Posted: 18 Aug 2012 07:32 AM PDT


Who is there, desiring deliverance from the vices of the age of quarrel, who is not willing to hear the virtuous glories of the Lord?
His transcendental acts are magnificent and gracious, and great learned sages like Nārada sing of them. Please, therefore, speak to us, who are eager to hear about the adventures He performs in His various incarnations.
O wise Sūta, please narrate to us the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Godhead’s multi-incarnations. Such auspicious adventures and pastimes of the Lord, the supreme controller, are performed by His internal powers.
We never tire of hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Personality of Godhead, who is glorified by hymns and prayers. Those who have developed a taste for transcendental relationships with Him relish hearing of His pastimes at every moment.

..There is a great difference between mundane stories, fiction, or history and the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. The histories of the whole universe contain references to the pastimes of the incarnations of the Lord. The Rāmāyaṇa, the Mahābhārata, and the Purāṇas are histories of bygone ages recorded in connection with the pastimes of the incarnations of the Lord and therefore remain fresh even after repeated readings. For example, anyone may read Bhagavad-gītā or the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam repeatedly throughout his whole life and yet find in them new light of information. Mundane news is static whereas transcendental news is dynamic, inasmuch as the spirit is dynamic and matter is static. Those who have developed a taste for understanding the transcendental subject matter are never tired of hearing such narrations. (From Purport to SB 1.1.19)
Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 1, Text 16-19
Full Text and Purport
Text 16
ko vā bhagavatas tasya
puṇya-ślokeḍya-karmaṇaḥ
śuddhi-kāmo na śṛṇuyād
yaśaḥ kali-malāpaham
kaḥ—who; vā—rather; bhagavataḥ—of the Lord; tasya—His; puṇya—virtuous; śloka-īḍya—worshipable by prayers; karmaṇaḥ—deeds; śuddhi-kāmaḥ—desiring deliverance from all sins; na—not; śṛṇuyāt—does hear; yaśaḥ—glories; kali—of the age of quarrel; mala-apaham—the agent for sanctification.
Who is there, desiring deliverance from the vices of the age of quarrel, who is not willing to hear the virtuous glories of the Lord?
The age of Kali is the most condemned age due to its quarrelsome features. Kali-yuga is so saturated with vicious habits that there is a great fight at the slightest misunderstanding. Those who are engaged in the pure devotional service of the Lord, who are without any desire for self-aggrandizement and who are freed from the effects of fruitive actions and dry philosophical speculations are capable of getting out of the estrangements of this complicated age. The leaders of the people are very much anxious to live in peace and friendship, but they have no information of the simple method of hearing the glories of the Lord. On the contrary, such leaders are opposed to the propagation of the glories of the Lord. In other words, the foolish leaders want to completely deny the existence of the Lord. In the name of secular state, such leaders are enacting various plans every year. But by the insurmountable intricacies of the material nature of the Lord, all these plans for progress are being constantly frustrated. They have no eyes to see that their attempts at peace and friendship are failing. But here is the hint to get over the hurdle. If we want actual peace, we must open the road to understanding of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa and glorify Him for His virtuous activities as they are depicted in the pages of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Text 17
tasya karmāṇy udārāṇi
parigītāni sūribhiḥ
brūhi naḥ śraddadhānānāṁ
līlayā dadhataḥ kalāḥ
tasya—His; karmāṇi—transcendental acts; udārāṇi—magnanimous; parigītāni—broadcast; sūribhiḥ—by the great souls; brūhi—please speak; naḥ—unto us; śraddadhānānām—ready to receive with respect; līlayā—pastimes; dadhataḥ—advented; kalāḥ—incarnations.
His transcendental acts are magnificent and gracious, and great learned sages like Nārada sing of them. Please, therefore, speak to us, who are eager to hear about the adventures He performs in His various incarnations.
The Personality of Godhead is never inactive as some less intelligent persons suggest. His works are magnificent and magnanimous. His creations both material and spiritual are all wonderful and contain all variegatedness. They are described nicely by such liberated souls as Śrīla Nārada, Vyāsa, Vālmīki, Devala, Asita, Madhva, Śrī Caitanya, Rāmānuja, Viṣṇusvāmī, Nimbārka, Śrīdhara, Viśvanātha, Baladeva, Bhaktivinoda, Siddhānta Sarasvatī and many other learned and self-realized souls. These creations, both material and spiritual, are full of opulence, beauty and knowledge, but the spiritual realm is more magnificent due to its being full of knowledge, bliss and eternity. The material creations are manifested for some time as perverted shadows of the spiritual kingdom and can be likened to cinemas. They attract people of less intelligent caliber who are attracted by false things. Such foolish men have no information of the reality, and they take it for granted that the false material manifestation is the all in all. But more intelligent men guided by sages like Vyāsa and Nārada know that the eternal kingdom of God is more delightful, larger, and eternally full of bliss and knowledge. Those who are not conversant with the activities of the Lord and His transcendental realm are sometimes favored by the Lord in His adventures as incarnations wherein He displays the eternal bliss of His association in the transcendental realm. By such activities He attracts the conditioned souls of the material world. Some of these conditioned souls are engaged in the false enjoyment of material senses and others in simply negating their real life in the spiritual world. These less intelligent persons are known as karmīs, or fruitive workers, and jñānīs, or dry mental speculators. But above these two classes of men is the transcendentalist known as sātvata, or the devotee, who is busy neither with rampant material activity nor with material speculation. He is engaged in the positive service of the Lord, and thereby he derives the highest spiritual benefit unknown to the karmīs and jñānīs.
As the supreme controller of both the material and spiritual worlds, the Lord has different incarnations of unlimited categories. Incarnations like Brahmā, Rudra, Manu, Pṛthu and Vyāsa are His material qualitative incarnations, but His incarnations like Rāma, Narasiṁha, Varāha and Vāmana are His transcendental incarnations. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the fountainhead of all incarnations, and He is therefore the cause of all causes.
Text 18
athākhyāhi harer dhīmann
avatāra-kathāḥ śubhāḥ
līlā vidadhataḥ svairam
īśvarasyātma-māyayā
atha—therefore; ākhyāhi—describe; hareḥ—of the Lord; dhīman—O sagacious one; avatāra—incarnations; kathāḥ—narratives; śubhāḥ—auspicious; līlā—adventures; vidadhataḥ—performed; svairam—pastimes; īśvarasya—of the supreme controller; ātma—personal; māyayā—energies.
O wise Sūta, please narrate to us the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Godhead’s multi-incarnations. Such auspicious adventures and pastimes of the Lord, the supreme controller, are performed by His internal powers.
For the creation, maintenance and destruction of the material worlds, the Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead Himself appears in many thousands of forms of incarnations, and the specific adventures found in those transcendental forms are all auspicious. Both those who are present during such activities and those who hear the transcendental narrations of such activities are benefited.
Text 19
vayaṁ tu na vitṛpyāma
uttama-śloka-vikrame
yac-chṛṇvatāṁ rasa-jñānāṁ
svādu svādu pade pade
vayam—we; tu—but; na—not; vitṛpyāmaḥ—shall be at rest; uttama-śloka—the Personality of Godhead, who is glorified by transcendental prayers; vikrame—adventures; yat—which; śṛṇvatām—by continuous hearing; rasa—humor; jñānām—those who are conversant with; svādu—relishing; svādu—palatable; pade pade—at every step.
We never tire of hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Personality of Godhead, who is glorified by hymns and prayers. Those who have developed a taste for transcendental relationships with Him relish hearing of His pastimes at every moment.
There is a great difference between mundane stories, fiction, or history and the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. The histories of the whole universe contain references to the pastimes of the incarnations of the Lord. The Rāmāyaṇa, the Mahābhārata, and the Purāṇas are histories of bygone ages recorded in connection with the pastimes of the incarnations of the Lord and therefore remain fresh even after repeated readings. For example, anyone may read Bhagavad-gītā or the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam repeatedly throughout his whole life and yet find in them new light of information. Mundane news is static whereas transcendental news is dynamic, inasmuch as the spirit is dynamic and matter is static. Those who have developed a taste for understanding the transcendental subject matter are never tired of hearing such narrations. One is quickly satiated by mundane activities, but no one is satiated by transcendental or devotional activities. Uttama-śloka indicates that literature which is not meant for nescience. Mundane literature is in the mode of darkness or ignorance, whereas transcendental literature is quite different. Transcendental literature is above the mode of darkness, and its light becomes more luminous with progressive reading and realization of the transcendental subject matter. The so-called liberated persons are never satisfied by the repetition of the words ahaṁ brahmāsmi. Such artificial realization of Brahman becomes hackneyed, and so to relish real pleasure they turn to the narrations of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Those who are not so fortunate turn to altruism and worldly philanthropy. This means the Māyāvāda philosophy is mundane, whereas the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is transcendental.

Amit Teli

Amit Teli is the man behind the Chant Hare Krishna Blog.

He likes ISKCON, Pure Vegan Food and Devotes to Almighty Lord Sri Krishna who is his spiritual Master.

In his free time he mostly blogs, prays to the lord and sleeps.

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