Day 8/12 | Satya Narayan Das Babaji on the Shreemad Bhagavatam
Following the Master | Holi Pilgrimage Vrindavan 2019
The group was still recovering from the Holi festivities of the previous days, so the morning was ‘free time’ for the pilgrims. Many grabbed the opportunity to go shopping for murtis, home altar enhancements and more.
After lunch, we had our second and final class with Satya Narayan Das Babaji on the Bhagavatam. Babaji allowed for a short question-and-answer session at the beginning of the lecture. The first question addressed why Krishna protected the five Pandavas during the battle of Kurukshetra, but not their sons, when Ashvatama killed them. Babaji answered that Krishna had promised Kunti that He would keep her children safe, but He had made no such promise for her grandchildren. In addition, Krishna had minimal involvement in the war, having Himself vowed not to fight, and thus He acted only when absolutely necessary, and to honour His word, and not otherwise. From there Babaji continued with the narrative of the Bhagavatam’s first and second cantos. Babaji spoke of how Ashvatama attempted to kill the unborn fetus of Parikshit inside the womb of Uttara, his mother. He told us how Krishna assumed a minuscule form, entered the womb of Uttara and protected the unborn Parikshit from Ashvatama’s brahmashtra, while giving Darshan to Parikshit inside his own mother’s womb! Due to this Parikshit was born a devotee of the Lord.
Babaji then spoke of King Parikshit’s reign as king, following the demise of the Pandavas. He recounted how one day, Parikshit Maharaj was out in his kingdom when he came across a terrible scene: a bull had three of its legs broken, whilst a cow was being beaten simultaneously by a vulgar, low-class man, dressed illustriously in the guise of a King. Parikshit was furious with this adharmic behaviour and raised his sword ready to attack the man. He asked the man who he was, and the man replied that his name was Kali. In fact, he was none other than the personification of Kali Yuga. The bull represented dharma, which was standing on one leg, and the beating of the cow showed the immoral ways that Kali Yuga would spread. However, instead of killing Kali, Parikshit saw that despite the terrible nature of Kali, it also had one huge benefit. Kali’s influence would surely bring adharma to the forefront of society, but at the same time, it would allow one to attain the Supreme Lord merely by chanting His Holy Names. Whilst great penances were required in different ages, in the age of Kali, the simple chanting of God’s Name was sufficient to grant all benedictions. And so instead of killing Kali, Parikshit gave Kali five homes (five places for it to reside in): places of gambling, bars, brothels, slaughterhouses and in money itself. Wherever those things are found, then that is to be known as the abode of Kali Yuga. Babaji then went on for some time and concluded his lecture at the moment that Sukadev Goswami agreed to narrate the entire the Bhagavatam for Parikshit Maharaj.
After the lecture by Babaji, Guruji agreed to give a second Darshan to the pilgrims! Darshan started around 7 pm and lasted until almost 1 am! As usual, there was plenty of singing, dancing and smiling faces to be found, and another day in Vrindavan drew to a close, as we now inch closer and closer to the end of our incredible pilgrimage.
Stay tuned for more posts as we ‘Follow the Master’ on a pilgrimage to the Divine!