What does Srimad Bhagavatam present to its readers and listeners? Keeping the note of devotion supreme and consistent, Srimad Bhagavatam discusses knowledge, dispassion, devotion, spirituality, liberation, mind, intelligence and Soul. The devotee is put to an inner examination, evolution, expansion and finally realization, says Swamiji.
In this talk, Swamiji discusses a beautiful composition by Adi Shankaracharya called ‘Kim Jyoti Stotra (Ekashloki), ‘What is true brilliance?’ It is in the form of a question and answer between a teacher and his Pupil. Swamiji chants and explains this strotra to illustrate the magnitude and measure of ‘I’ and to motivate the listeners to introspect and inquire about it.
Swamiji emphasizes that Srimad Bhagavatam is a religious as well as a spiritual text. There is weaving of bhakti and knowledge in the narration of tales.
Delightfully chanting some verses which extol the qualities of humility and devotion, Swamiji says that Srimad Bhagavatam is not an abstract message. Every value, message can be imbibed and actualized by the mind, heart and intelligence of man.
Shlokas Discussed: (2.3.20-22)
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.