Pujya Bhaishri began the second day of Bhagavat Katha in Knoxville (TN) with a continued emphasis on the inherent greatness of Shrimad Bhagavat. He also spoke on why listeners feel their own questions are being answered in a Katha, what we should be particularly doing in the month of Shrāvan as well as the integration of Kashmir with India today.
What activity is most suited in Shrāvan? Day 2 Knoxville Katha
Why do listeners feel their own questions are being answered in Katha? Is it because the narrator is gifted?
Pujya Bhaishri said that many listeners are wonder-struck to hear their unspoken thoughts or questions answered in the Katha and wonder if the speaker of the Katha is super-naturally gifted in some way.
Pujya Bhaishri made clear that this is due to the direct presence of the Lord Himself in the form of this scripture and the glory of the vyāspīth that empowers the narrator to speak the Lordʼs Truth.
The sacrosanct vyāspīth is a seat that prizes love above intellectual prowess and compassion over talents. Whilst the Bhagavat does describe Lord Krishna as the reservoir and teacher of all the arts and talents and any dedicated speaker of the Bhagavat who develops a bond with Him does indeed receive talents such as memory, music and others as prasād (divine gifts) from Lord Krishna, these are not considered to be the primary qualifications to speak on the Shrimad Bhagawat.
Bhagavat emerges entirely from compassion and King Parikshit recognizes as much when he pays his grateful respects to his gracious Gurudev Shukdevji with the words:
Siddho ‘smy anugṛhīto ‘smi bhavatā karuṇātmanā
śrāvito yac ca me sākṣād anādi-nidhano hariḥ (SB 12.6.2)
Meaning, I am gratified and have achieved the purpose of my life because an exalted soul such as yourself has left your natural state of silence to speak to me of the tales of Shri Hari who is without beginning or end, entirely out of compassion.
It is this causeless compassion which motivates the entire lineage of speakers of the Bhagavat to speak on this subject of Shri Hari and this is the most priceless quality of a qualified speaker.
What activity is most suited in the month of Shravan?
Pujya Bhaishri described how the various months of the Hindi calendar are named as per the star of that particular period of time and the scientific connection of the activity most suited to that month. For example, disciples approach their Guru on the holy occasion of Guru Purnima and take refuge in him. For one who has taken shelter, the Guru is indeed a wish fulfilling tree and bodes all auspiciousness for the disciple.
What is the highest auspiciousness? To earnestly give ear (listen) to the teachings of ones Guru after taking shelter which is exactly what the month of Shrāvan is dedicated to.
Lord Shiv is very fond of God’s Katha. Guru is the embodiment of Shiv so a disciple listens during the month of Shrāvan and this culminates in auspiciousness (‘Bhadraʼ) in the next month which is called ‘Bhādraʼ.
May we give our ear only to hearing auspicious topics, say the Upanishads. This Bhādra month is the time in which bliss incarnates, meaning, Lord Krishna manifests.
Scientific Truth Served as Dharma by our Rishis
Pujya Bhaishri described our Rishis as great scientists who researched and directly realized great truths governing our creation, existence and purpose of life. Just as a supremely wise father does not sit his little children down and lecture them on deep subjects such as the soul, our Rishis served these scientific findings to us codified as Dharma – a series of do’s and dontʼs.
Through this scientific code of conduct governing our lives, we are ensured the fruits of wealth, desire fulfilment and ultimately liberation even if we do not know these practices to be scientific in nature. In those times, there was great respect for Dharma and thus our entire way of life was designed around principles of biological and ecological harmony.
The Supreme Court of India has declared Hinduism to be ‘not a religion but a way of life’. Whilst the rest of the world is waking up to the reality of climate change and the need for human beings to live in harmony with this planet only now, our Rishis have created many practices in the name of religion to foster a great balance of life on our planet.
The formation of this Universe, the inter-planetary relations and each planet’s connection to its core Sun in each universe were all explored by our Rishis.
Today, India has sent a probe to Mars and whilst findings remain to be seen, our scriptures speak clearly of the relationship of Mars to Earth as son and mother. Thus, there is a potential for similar possibility of life either in the past or in the future.
Pujya Bhaishri addresses the formalisation of the integration of Kashmir
Pujya Bhaishri also addressed the bold step taken by India in National interest today to complete the formalization of the integration of Kashmir. Watch this video clip in which Pujya Bhaishri congratulates the Honourable Prime Minister.