Annexure to Bhagavata Mahaatmya.

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Jul 24 03:37:53 CDT 2000

Hari Om
Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudeevaaya

There are some additional points which I thought I should include here.

Naimishaaranya :  This is the place in all Pouraanik stories where the
Rishis perform their austerities.
Once all the Rishis prayed to Brahma to suggest them a suitable place to
do Tapas. Brahma prepared a wheel and shot it towards the Bhuuloka and
told the Rishis that wherever the ring of the wheel ( nEmi in Sanskrit)
broke and fell on earth that would be the most suitable place for them
to perform Tapas. The Rishis followed the wheel and at one place ( must
be on banks of Ganga , I do not know ) the wheel broke and fell down. (
nEmishshIryata iti nEmisham  nEmishamEva naimisham ) in a forest region.
That place became famous as the naimishaaranyam.

When king Parikshit was cursed by Shringi, the muni putra of Shamiika
Rishi ( this will be dealt with in detail later on in the story ) to die
on the seventh day from hat day, Parikshit abdicates the throne, leaves
behind his family, palace and all riches and comes to the bank of Ganga
to spend the last seven days of his life in meditation of God. There the
son of Vyaasa, the Shuka muni comes and gets ready to narrate to him the
Bhaagavata story. At that time all the dEvataas come down from their
heavenly abode, offers the Amrita kalasha to Shuka muni saying that they
were ready to give the amrita to parikshit and instead the Rishi should
give them the Bhaagavataamrita ! Shuka immediately recognises their
crafty idea and refuses to give in. Here the upanyaasakaar draws a
comparison between the dEvAmrita and the Bhaagavataamrita.

The dEvAmrita (dA) is like a piece of glass while the BhAgavatAmrita
(bA) is like a precious stone.
The dA is available only in heaven which can be obtained only when one
reaches there after the death ;
whereas the bA is available here on this Earth itself that too when one
is alive only !
The dA shows partiality towards the punyaatma ; whereas the bA can be
sipped by both punyaatmas and paapaatmaas – it is nishpakshapaat !
The dA bestows a very long life in heaven, makes him a ‘dheerga jiivi’,
after which the jIva has to come down to earth once again ; but the bA
bestows 'amritatwa' here itself on earth , makes him a ‘divya jiivi’
after which there is no return to this samsaara at all !
By drinking the dA punya (one’s merits) diminishes ; but by drinking the
bA the paapa (the demerits) diminishes.
Thus the Bhaagavataamrita is hard to get even to the residents of

After listening to the Bhaagavata mahima Shounaka asks Suta puraanika, “
what kinds of sins are washed away by Bhaagavata?”  For this the Suta
muni asks him to alter his question as “ what kinds of sins are not
washed away by the Bhaagavata ” !! No sin can ever survive in the river
of Bhaagavata.

Here once again he draws comparison between the river Ganga –
Bhaagiirathi roopa Ganga and Bhaagavata roopa Ganga.

Bhaagiirathi cleanses the body ; Bhaagavata cleanses the mind.
Bhaagiirathi is born from the feet of Naaraayana ; Bhaagavata is born
from the mouth of Naaraayana (Vyaasa is considered as Naarayana
One who drowns in river Bhaagiirathi dies ; whereas one who drowns in
river Bhaagavata crosses over the samsaara !
River Bhaagiirathi cleanses the sins committed ; whereas the river
Bhaagavata cleanses the antahkarana itself and removes the very
inclination itself to commit the sin ( cleanses the paapa pravritti
itself) !

Thus the greatness of Bhaagavata shravana is extolled by the Suta
puraanika and he says that not only the beings here on earth are washed
off of their sins, but the prEeta or pishaachaas ( those sinned
jiivaatmas who after completing one birth are not yet allotted  another
body as their last rites after death are not performed properly, and
they keep wandering in space in subtle forms suffering hunger and thirst
as no body offers them the food and water in the form of ‘pinda’ doing
shraadhdha ). Even such jiiviis are rid of their sins if they listen to
Bhaagavata and attain ‘sad gati’. Here the Rishi explains this by
narrating another story which is very long and hence I have avoided it.

Suuta tells Shounaka that the Bhaagavata was first recited by Shuka muni
to Parikshit after the advent of kaliyuga, 30 years after the departure
of Lord Sri Krishna to vaikunta , on a Navami day (9th day) of
Bhaadrapada maasa ( which half of the maasa in not mentioned). 3000
years after this it was once again narrated by the Sanakaadi Rishis to
Naarada on a navami day of the bright  fortnight of the Kaarthika maasa.
He once again lauds the greatness of Bhaagavata saying that the
Bhaagavata dharma is the highest dharma one can practise on Earth. Even
Yamadharmaraaya ( the God of Death ) tells his assistants not to even go
near the devotees who have listened to Bhaagavata with Shradhdha and
Bhakthi !

Now shall we all get ready to sip the Bhaagavataamrita ?

Hari Om
Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudeevaaya.

Latha Vidyaranya

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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