Having seen the wonderful activities of Lord Viṣṇu in the sacrificial arena of Bali Mahārāja, all the demigods, saintly persons, Pitās, Bhūtas and Siddhas glorified the Lord again and again. The chapter concludes by saying that the most auspicious function of the conditioned soul is to chant and hear about the glorious activities of Lord Viṣṇu.
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- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 4 Lectures
- 5 Conversations and Morning Walks
SB Canto 1
Sāmba: One of the great heroes of the Yadu dynasty and the son of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa by His wife Jāmbavatī. He learned the military art of throwing arrows from Arjuna, and he became a member of parliament during the time of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. He was present during the Rājasūya-yajña of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. When all the Vṛṣṇis were assembled during the time of Prabhāsa-yajña, his glorious activities were narrated by Sātyaki before Lord Baladeva. He was also present along with his father, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, during the Aśvamedha-yajña performed by Yudhiṣṭhira.
Wherever the King visited, he continuously heard the glories of his great forefathers, who were all devotees of the Lord, and also of the glorious acts of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He also heard how he himself had been protected by the Lord from the powerful heat of the weapon of Aśvatthāmā."
SB Canto 2
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam gives facility to everyone, both to the materialist and to the transcendentalist. By hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the matter of the Lord's glorious activities both in the material world and in the transcendental world, men can derive equal benefit.
SB Canto 3
The Lord's glorious acts and His acceptance of various transcendental forms for the performance of extraordinary pastimes in the mortal world are very difficult for anyone other than His devotees to understand, and for the beasts they are simply a mental disturbance."
One may go on speculating and waste the valuable time of his human life, but that will not help anyone to enter into the precincts of the Lord. The mahātmās, however, are not concerned with knowing the Lord by mental speculation because they enjoy hearing about His glorious activities in His transcendental dealings with His devotees or with the demons. The devotees take pleasure in both and are happy in this life and the life after.
SB Canto 4
When Dhruva Mahārāja was in the forest executing his austerities, his father, Uttānapāda, heard everything about his very wonderful activities. Although Dhruva Mahārāja was the son of a king and was only five years old, he went to the forest and executed devotional service under strict austerity. Therefore his acts were all wonderful, and when he came back home, naturally, because of his spiritual qualifications, he became very popular amongst the citizens. He must have performed many wonderful activities by the grace of the Lord. No one is more satisfied than the father of a person who is credited with glorious activities. Mahārāja Uttānapāda was not an ordinary king; he was a rājarṣi, a saintly king.
The reciters continued: Dear King, you are a direct incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, and by His causeless mercy you have descended on this earth. Therefore it is not possible for us to actually glorify your exalted activities. Although you have appeared through the body of King Vena, even great orators and speakers like Lord Brahmā and other demigods cannot exactly describe the glorious activities of Your Lordship."
After this, Pṛthu Mahārāja took his bath, which is customarily taken after the performance of a yajña, and received the benedictions and due blessings of the demigods, who were very pleased by his glorious activities."
King Pṛthu was greater than the greatest soul and was therefore worshipable by everyone. He performed many glorious activities in ruling over the surface of the world and was always magnanimous. After achieving such great success and a reputation which spread throughout the universe, he at last obtained the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
Pṛthu Mahārāja was so great in his activities and magnanimous in his method of ruling that all the kings and demigods on the various planets still follow in his footsteps. Who is there who will not try to hear about his glorious activities? I wish to hear more and more about Pṛthu Mahārāja because his activities are so pious and auspicious."
Many professional singers used to sing about the glories of King Purañjana and his glorious activities. When it was too hot in the summer, he used to enter a reservoir of water. He would surround himself with many women and enjoy their company."
The duration of one day of Brahmā is one thousand times greater than the four yugas, aggregating 4,320,000 years. Similarly, Brahmā's one night. Brahmā lives for one hundred years of such days and nights. The word vibudhāyuṣā indicates that even if one gets a long life-span, his life-span is useless if he is not a devotee. A living entity is the eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord, and unless he comes to the platform of devotional service, his life-span, good birth, glorious activities and everything else are null and v
SB Canto 5
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: My dear King, 1,300,000 yojanas (10,400,000 miles) above the planets of the seven sages is the place that learned scholars describe as the abode of Lord Viṣṇu. There the son of Mahārāja Uttānapāda, the great devotee Mahārāja Dhruva, still resides as the life source of all the living entities who live until the end of the creation. Agni, Indra, Prajāpati, Kaśyapa and Dharma all assemble there to offer him honor and respectful obeisances. They circumambulate him with their right sides toward him. I have already described the glorious activities of Mahārāja Dhruva (in the Fourth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam).
SB Canto 6
There are twenty types of religious scriptures called dharma-śāstras, beginning with the Manu-saṁhitā and parāśara-saṁhitā, but herein it is stressed that although one may become free from the reactions of the most sinful activities by following the religious principles of these scriptures, this cannot promote a sinful man to the stage of loving service to the Lord. On the other hand, chanting the holy name of the Lord even once not only frees one immediately from the reactions of the greatest sins, but also raises one to the platform of rendering loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described as uttamaśloka because He is famous for His glorious activities. Thus one serves the Lord by remembering His form, His attributes and pastimes.
Since everything is a manifestation of My energy, I am known as Parabrahman. Therefore everyone should hear from Me about My glorious activities." The Lord also says in Bhagavad-gītā (10.2), aham ādir hi devānām: "I am the origin of all the demigods." Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the origin of everything, and no one is independent of Him.
SB Canto 8
The Lord's glorious activities referred to in this connection took place after His personal bodyguards Jaya and Vijaya became Daityas, having been cursed by the great sages Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanat-kumāra and Sanandana. Jaya, as Hiraṇyākṣa, had to fight with Varāhadeva, and that same Varāhadeva is mentioned in regard to the Raivata millennium. The fighting, however, took place during the reign of the first Manu, Svāyambhuva. Therefore according to some authorities there are two Varāhas. According to others, however, Varāha appeared during the regime of Svāyambhuva Manu and stayed in the water until that of Raivata Manu.
My heart, which is disturbed by the three miserable conditions of material life, is not yet sated with hearing you describe the glorious activities of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of the devotees.
They worshiped the Lord by offering fragrant flowers, water, pādya and arghya, sandalwood pulp and aguru pulp, incense, lamps, fused rice, unbroken grains, fruits, roots and sprouts. While so doing, they offered prayers indicating the glorious activities of the Lord and shouted "Jaya! Jaya!" They also danced, played instruments, sang, sounded conchshells and beat kettledrums, in this way worshiping the Lord.
Vasiṣṭha Muni has given a mantra about Lord Viṣṇu: na te viṣṇor jāyamāno na jāto mahimnaḥ pāram anantam āpa. No one can estimate the extent of the uncommonly glorious activities of Lord Viṣṇu. Unfortunately, there are so-called scientists who are subject to death at every moment but are trying to understand by speculation the wonderful creation of the cosmos. This is a foolish attempt. Long, long ago, Vasiṣṭha Muni said that no one in the past could measure the glories of the Lord and that no one can do so in the future. One must simply be satisfied with seeing the glorious activities of the Supreme Lord's creation.
SB Canto 9
The citizens of the state of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa were accustomed to chanting and hearing about the glorious activities of the Personality of Godhead. Thus they never aspired to be elevated to the heavenly planets, which are extremely dear even to the demigods.
"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." (BG 4.9)
Therefore, from the very beginning of one's life one should practice bhakti-yoga, which increases one's attachment for Kṛṣṇa. If one daily sees the Deity in the temple, makes offerings by worshiping the Deity, chants the holy name of the Personality of Godhead, and preaches about the glorious activities of the Lord as much as possible, he thus becomes attached to Kṛṣṇa. This attachment is called āsakti.
The Lord has no duty to perform to oblige anyone. Nonetheless, He appears to act to protect His devotees or kill His enemies. Of course, no one can be the Lord's enemy, since who could be more powerful than the Lord? There is actually no question of anyone's being His enemy, but when the Lord wants to take pleasure in pastimes, He comes down to this material world and acts like a human being, thus showing His wonderful, glorious activities to please the devotees. His devotees always want to see the Lord victorious in varied activities, and therefore, to please Himself and them, the Lord sometimes agrees to act as a human being and perform wonderful, uncommon pastimes for the satisfaction of the devotees.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
O best of munis, you have also described the descendants of Yadu, who were very pious and strictly adherent to religious principles. Now, if you will, kindly describe the wonderful, glorious activities of Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, who appeared in that Yadu dynasty with Baladeva, His plenary expansion.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit requested Śukadeva Gosvāmī to describe Kṛṣṇa and His glorious activities. Another meaning may be derived from this verse as follows, Although Śukadeva Gosvāmī was the greatest muni, he could describe Kṛṣṇa only partially (aṁśena), for no one can describe Kṛṣṇa fully. It is said that Anantadeva has thousands of heads, but although He tries to describe Kṛṣṇa with thousands of tongues, His descriptions are still incomplete.
The Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the cause of the cosmic manifestation, appeared in the dynasty of Yadu. Please tell me elaborately about His glorious activities and character, from the beginning to the end of His life.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then asked Rāmānanda Rāya, "Out of all glorious activities, which is the most glorious?"
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, "That person who is reputed to be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa enjoys the utmost fame and glory."
Later these very Pāṭhānas became celebrated as the Pāṭhāna Vaiṣṇavas. They toured all over the country and chanted the glorious activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
This verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.18.12) was spoken to Sūta Gosvāmī at the meeting of great sages at Naimiṣāraṇya. The great sages were headed by Śaunaka, and Sūta Gosvāmī was speaking of the glorious activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at that meeting. At that time, all the ṛṣis assembled there neglected to complete the ritualistic ceremonies because there was no positive assurance of the results. All the performers were coated with black ash due to the large amount of smoke coming from the fire.
Describing this incident, the great poet Śrī Kavi-karṇapūra has written extensively about the glorious activities of Raghunātha dāsa in his Śrī Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Nectar of Devotion
In Dāna-keli-kaumudī Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī addresses one of Her friends in this manner: "My dear friend, if I cannot hear of the glorious activities of Kṛṣṇa, it is better for Me to become deaf. And because I am now unable to see Him, it would be good for Me to be a blind woman." This is another instance of disappointment due to separation from Kṛṣṇa.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The demigods and the devotees of the Lord take pleasure in abiding by the laws of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa takes pleasure in giving them all sorts of protection. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, these activities of Kṛṣṇa—His protecting the devotees and killing the demons, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā—are always good for men to hear and narrate. The glorious activities of the Lord will ever increasingly be chanted by the devotees and demigods.
Yamarāja returned the boy to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma brought him to his father. The brothers asked if Their teacher had anything more to ask from Them, but he replied, "My dear sons, You have done enough for me. I am now completely satisfied. What further want can there be for a man who has disciples like You? My dear boys, You may now go home. These glorious acts of Yours will always be renowned all over the world. You are above all blessing, yet it is my duty to bless You. I therefore give You the benediction that whatever You speak will remain as eternally fresh as the instructions of the Vedas. Your teachings will be honored not only within this universe or in this millennium but in all places and ages and will remain increasingly new and important." Due to this benediction from His teacher, Lord Kṛṣṇa's Bhagavad-gītā is ever increasingly fresh and is renowned not only within this universe but in other planets and other universes also.
When Uddhava was about to leave, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, headed by Mahārāja Nanda and Yaśodā, came to bid him good-bye and presented him with various kinds of valuable goods secured in Vṛndāvana. They expressed their feelings with tears in their eyes due to intense attachment for Kṛṣṇa. All of them desired a benediction from Uddhava. They desired to always remember the glorious activities of Kṛṣṇa and wanted their minds to be always fixed upon His lotus feet, their words to be always engaged in glorifying Him, and their bodies to be always engaged in bowing down as they constantly remembered Him. This prayer of the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana is the superexcellent type of self-realization.
This nectar coming from the mouth of a devotee is so powerful that if one is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to drink it, he is immediately freed from the continuous journey of birth and death. Our material existence is caused by our forgetfulness of Your personality, but fortunately the darkness of forgetfulness is immediately dissipated if one is privileged to hear about Your glories. Therefore, my dear Lord, where is the possibility of ill fortune for one who is constantly engaged in hearing Your glorious activities?
A devotee's transcendental position within this material world is maintained in the association of pure devotees, simply by hearing the glorious activities enacted by the Lord in different ages and in different incarnations. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is based on this principle.
“After the dissolution of the whole cosmic manifestation, the entire energy and the whole creation in its nucleus form enter into the body of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The Lord at that time remains asleep for a long, long time, and when there is again necessity of creation, the Vedas personified assemble around the Lord and begin to glorify Him, describing His wonderful transcendental pastimes, exactly like servants of a king: when the king is asleep in the morning, the appointed reciters come around his bedroom and begin to sing of his chivalrous activities, and while hearing of his glorious activities, the king gradually awakens.
So-called human society is generally engaged at night in sleeping and having sex and during the daytime in earning as much money as possible or else in shopping for family maintenance. People have very little time to talk about the Personality of Godhead or to inquire about Him. They have dismissed God's existence in so many ways, primarily by declaring Him to be impersonal, that is, without sense perception. But in the Vedic literature—whether the Upaniṣads, Vedānta-sūtra, Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—it is declared that the Lord is a sentient being and is supreme over all other living entities. His glorious activities are identical with Himself. One should therefore not indulge in hearing and speaking of the rubbish activities of worldly politicians and so-called big men in society but should mold his life in such a way that he can engage in godly activities without wasting a second. Śrī Īśopaniṣad directs us toward such godly activities.
Always pour in the activities of the Lord, Kṛṣṇa. Always, twenty-four hours. Kīrtaniyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31), Caitanya Mahāprabhu says. Sadā. Sadā means always, twenty-four hours. Otherwise, it is the snake hole. Similarly, jihvāsatī dārdurikeva sūta. Dārdurikeva. A frog's tongue, ka-ka-kanh, ka-ka-kanh. No. Dārdurikeva sūta na copagāyaty urugāya-gāthāḥ. Urugāya. Glorious activities. This should be our motto of life. Now read the purport.
That is their only satisfaction. If they get the opportunity of glorifying the Lord, as it is said in the previous verse, that sabhājayante mama pauruṣāṇi... Mama pauruṣāṇi, the glorious activities of the Lord. This is the way of bhajana. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ (BG 9.14). This is the way of bhakti-yoga. Simply glorify this... Your glorification, so much activities... Kṛṣṇa therefore comes to give advantage to the devotees for glorifying Him—because He acts. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8). To kill the demons and to give protection to the sādhus, He has to work. From the very beginning of Kṛṣṇa's birth, the enemies are there, demons are there. Kaṁsa advised his constables, "So be very careful. As soon as there is Kṛṣṇa's birth, immediately inform me, and I shall kill Him." He was always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, a first-class Kṛṣṇa conscious, always..., but to kill Him.
Devotee's business is to glorify. He doesn't take any credit for himself. Actually, there is nothing to be taken credit. The all credit goes to Kṛṣṇa. A devotee neither claims; neither it is possible. Even he may be very, very big devotee, he will never claim any credit for his glorious activities. His glorious activities means to make Kṛṣṇa glorious. That is his glorious activities, not that like the so-called materialist, he takes, wants to take the credit. No. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya siddhiṁ vindati mānavaḥ (BG 18.46). Sva-karmaṇā. You may be engaged in any pattern of work, any department of work. But by dint of your work you establish the existence of God, Kṛṣṇa, and whatever is being done, it is being done by the expert management of Kṛṣṇa.
Prahlāda Mahārāja, you'll find in his prayer, he'll say to the Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, "My dear Lord," naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaraṇyās, "this world is full of anxieties. That I know. And it is full of miserable condition. But I am not afraid. I am not afraid." Why you are not afraid? Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ: (SB 7.9.43) "Because I have taken to chanting of Your glorious activities. So when I chant Your glorious activities or Your glories, I become merged into the ocean of nectar. Therefore these worldly anxieties or miseries does not..., do not disturb me. I am quite safe." Naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaraṇyās tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ. "Then why you are...? You appear to be very anxious. Why you are anxious?" "Yes. I have got anxiety." What is that anxiety? Śoce tato vimukha-cetasa: "I am simply disturbed for those rascals who are bereft of Your consciousness.
Here Prahlāda Mahārāja is trying to offer his prayer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Tasmād ahaṁ vigata-viklava īśvarasya mahi gṛṇāmi. Mahi. Mahi means glorious. His glorious activities. Don't you think His activities are glorious? If... A modern scientist has manufactured one what is called sputnik, and we are advertising in the paper, "So nice sputnik. It is flying in the air and it's going..." And the Supreme Personality has created not only a childish sputnik, but millions and trillions of planets, they are flying in the air. So is not it glorious? But the rascals will say, jagan mithyā: "This world is false."
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that "For personally I have no anxiety, because I have learned the art how to become happy. I have learned the art, always thinking of Your glorious activities." There are so many glorious activities of Kṛṣṇa, so we can think of. If you take a flower, you can think of glorious activities of Kṛṣṇa. How artistically, how nicely the flower is made. You cannot say it is made by nature.
Already there are calamities. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9), the calamities of birth, the calamities of death, the calamities of old age, the calamities of disease, they are already there. And above that, the calamities of war, pestilence, famine, earthquake, and so many other things.
So we are passing through, but we are not aware how to avoid it, how to become free from this life of anxiety. That is being described by Prahlāda Mahārāja. He says that "For me, my Lord, I am not at all anxious. I am completely free from all these calamities." Just see. He was a boy of five years old only, but he is confident that he is not subjected to the calamities. Duratyaya-vaitaraṇyāḥ. Why? Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ (SB 7.9.43), "Because I have learned to fulfill my heart by glorifying Your wonderful activities." Kīrtanam. Kīrtanam means to describe or to sing the glorious activities of the Lord, that is called kīrtanam. Kīrtanam does not mean always that we have to chant or sing with musical instrument.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: No, every Indian is a devotee. This is the privilege of taking birth in India. There is... Naturally he's devotee, and if he takes little education, take advantage of the Vedic instructions, then his life is successful. In the śāstra it is said even the demigods, they desire to take birth in India because this facility is there in India. This facility, the land is so sanctified that anyone who takes the body from this land, he's born sanctified. Now, if he further takes advantage of the Vedic knowledge, then his life becomes successful. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission is that anyone who has taken birth in India, make his life successful, and then preach this knowledge to the outside world. The exact word,
- bhārata bhūmite manuṣya janma haila yāra
- janma sārthaka kari 'kara para-upakāra
- (CC Adi 9.41)
Outside India they are in darkness. So it is the duty of the Indian to make his life perfect and spread his spiritual knowledge to the outside world. That is real welfare activity in the human society. That we are trying to do. Unfortunately, they have not taken very seriously what glorious activities for India we are doing. They do not understand.