Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalamshuka-mukhad amrita-drava-samyutam pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhvukaḥ – O thoughtful men, you should know, that “Shrīmad-Bhagavatam” is the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Shri Shukadeva Goswami. Therefore this nectarean fruit is all the more relishable by liberated souls.”[1]

Purport by Shrila Prabhupada: “In the two previous shlokas it has been definitely proved that the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the sublime literature which surpasses all other Vedic scriptures due to its transcendental qualities. It is transcendental to all mundane activities and mundane knowledge. In this shloka it is stated that “Shrimad Bhagavatam” is not only a superior literature but is the ripened fruit of all Vedic literatures. In other words, it is the cream of all Vedic knowledge. Considering all this, patient and submissive hearing is definitely essential. With great respect and attention, one should receive the message and lessons imparted by the “Shrimad Bhagavatam”. The Vedas are compared to the desire tree because they contain all things knowable by man. They deal with mundane necessities as well as spiritual realization. The Vedas contain regulated principles of knowledge covering social, political, religious, economic, military, medicinal, chemical, physical and metaphysical subject matter and all that may be necessary to keep the body and soul together. Above and beyond all this are specific directions for spiritual realization.”

What kind of animal is the essence of the animal kingdom? Cow. And what is the essence of the cow? It is the milk. And what is the essence of the milk? This is the butter. And what is the essence of the butter? This is the ghee. So we can conclude that the essence of the animal kingdom is ghee. And ghee is the topmost foodstuff and the topmost offering. In the same way we can understand that “Shrimad Bhagavatam” is also essential like this. There are so many knowledge and so many different sciences all over the world. But the essence of all this information is contained in the Veda. But Vedic knowledge is also very diverse. According to the Indian calculation there are 10-12 different main topics or fields of knowledge like sankhya and logic and so many different sciences. But what is the essence of all this knowledge? These are the two basic instructions of the Vedas, from all the Vedic literature: “Always remember Krishna and never forget Him.”

And how to do this? To remember and not to forget? Only you can do this if you get the higher taste. If you take only the lower taste you cannot get this higher experience.

Therefore we consider that the fruit of all the Vedic literature is the Purana section. And from the Puranas those, who are searching for real rasa, “Bhagavata Purana” is the topmost. There are some Puranas which are more elaborate on different topics, there are some Puranas which are longer than the “Bhagavata Purana”, but the rasic essence is contained here. Therefore this is considered the ripened fruit of the desire tree of the Vedas.

And today’s verse is very practical. When you have a big tree, full of nice looking fruits, how you can judge which is good for sure, which is tasty for sure? If there is one fruit which was pricked by a parrot, then you can be sure that this is really tasty. And this “Bhagavatam” was given by Shuka, Shukadev. Shuka means “parrot”. So when his mouth, his lips are touching this topic, it becomes very sweet, condensed. So, try to taste the “Shrimad Bhagavatam”, because it is tasty according to the touch of Shukadeva Goswami. And also it is easy to be understood from pure-hearted. “Vedeshu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau”[2] says Brahma. Vedeshu durlabham – in the Vedas it is very difficult to find Him, to catch Him. But adurlabham, not difficult to catch Him for the atma-bhakta; atma-bhakta – who has dedicated himself to Krishna. So Krishna is hiding in a secret place in the hearts of the pure devotees. Therefore we have to search there.

Question of Bhakti Shakti: Usually from some other spiritual paths they also say to study the Vedas and so on, but they do not accept “Shrimad Bhagavatam”. How we can explain that “Shrimad Bhagavatam” is authority, natural authority in explanation of the Vedas?

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, you can study the works of Jiva Goswami. In the “Tattva Sandarbha” he devotes one whole chapter, half of the book actually, to prove that “Shrimad Bhagavatam” is the final authority. But that is quite a theoretical debate there. How can we prove? By giving a charming experience to people. And this is not a magic that we perform. But if you show your complete satisfaction and your shining devotion to people, then they will ask: “What is your secret?” And then you can say: “This is my secret.”

Better to raise the interest of people then to change their opinion. And this is very good field to raise the interest.

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.1.3

[2] Brahma Samhita 5.33

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