Essence of Bhagavatham

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Essence of Bhagavatham
Freedom from bondage: Srimad Andavan's advice

The grace of Bhagawan alone can release a person from the shackles of samsara. True knowledge about paramatma liberates the jiva from all kinds of bondage. On the other hand, avidya (maya) gets the jiva engulfed in samsara.

In the discourse Tirukkudanthai Srimad Andavan Swami said, this truth was exemplified in Krishna Avatar. When the Lord was born as the eighth child to Vaudeva and Devaki, who were held in captivity by by kamsa, the locks of the prison broke down to enable the divine child to be carried to Gokulam as ordained by Bhagawan Himself. However, when Vasudeva, after leaving Sri. Krishna in Gokulam brought back a female child born to Nanda (cowherd chief) to take the place of Sri. Krishna, the doors of the jail got closed and locked of their own accord. This was symbolic of the fact that when jiva was associated with Bhagawan and had knowledge of him, it would be freed from all bonds. But as soon as avidya (maya), commonly represented by a female of the species, entered, the jiva would get involved in samsara.

The relationship between jiva and avidya is comparable to the one between the fire and smoke, mirror and dust, and foetus and womb. Just as smoke envelopes fire, avidya clouds the jiva. Though carefully protected and cleaned constantly, a sheet of glass becomes dusty in no time. Even so, with the best efforts, a person may not succeed in getting rid of avidya, which has a tendency to attach it self to jiva again and again. It is only with the grace of god, that the foetus gets separated from the mother's uterus, to which remained attached for months, and is delivered into earth. Similarly, the jiva, which has intimately attached itself to avidya, requires the grace of god to free itself from it.

Though there are many differences between Krishna Avatar and Rama Avatar, there is one element in common. In both the Avatars, the lord first kills women (Thataka in Rama Avatar and Putana in the Krishna's Avatar) illustrating that avidya is the first enemy to realization of God.

According to Visishtadwaita, the lord showed his full form (with four arms, the conch, the mace, etc.) to a true devotee. Yasodha saw lord Vishnu in miniature in child Krishna and called the women folk of Gokulam to share her joy and have dharshan; but, to others Sri Krishna was visible in the ordinary human form.

June 19, 1964
Expiation of sin

To repent for a sin is itself an expiatory act. Only persons who are inherently good will have the patient attitude. They will be pleased to suffer any punishment that may be inflicted on them for the wrongs they may have done, as that will relieve them of the mental torment. Parikshit was not at all angry when he was told of the curse that he would die on the seventh day from then, bitten by the serpent-king Takshaka. This, he felt, he deserved for the sin he had committed in throwing a dead serpent around the neck of the sage in meditation.

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