Regaining wisdom and detachment through Bhakti
Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahatmyam, Chapter 3 Sloka 1: Naradaouvacha: Gnayana yagnam…Said Narada: In order to help Bhakti, Gnayana and Vairagya regain their strength, I shall narrate the story (Srimad Bhagavatam), as preached by Sage Sukha Muni, as a Yagna.
Interpretation: Note the emphasis on ‘as narrated by Sage Sukha Muni.’ This is to prevent any extrapolation that might creep in over the ages. Hence, the story as narrated by Sage Sukha is both original and sacrosanct.
Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahatmyam, Chapter 3 Sloka 2: Etra kakyo… Sage Narada asks Sanat Kumaras on where and how the yagna of Srimad Bhagavatam can be conducted.
Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahatmyam, Chapter 3 Sloka 3: Kiyad bhir…Please let me know the details on Bhagavata yagna — how many days should the stories be narrated and other rules governing such a yagna.
Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahatmyam, Chapter 3 Sloka 4-7: Kumaraouchu. Shrunu…Hey Narada, listen. Near Gangadwar (Haridwar) there is a place called Anandam. There a lot of munis and saints come regularly to pray, to meditate and conduct Bhagavata yagna. Devas and highly attained souls too come there. There are many wonderful trees and sparkling sand bed. This is a very beautiful place and not crowded. Many lotuses bloom there which adds to the beauty of the place. At that place, all living creatures have only noble thoughts. In that noble place, you can conduct Bhagavata yagna. There is no need for any special arrangements as the narration of Srimad Bhagavatam is always held there regularly.
Explanation: In modern times, Haridwar does exist, but it is no longer the peaceful place described by Sanat Kumaras. The trees, sparkling sand bed, trees, peace have all vanished. But what Sanat Kumaras said is just illustrative. When you want to narrate or read Srimad Bhagavatam, you have to ‘create’ a place called Anandam (either in a temple or in your house). The focus is on peace, tranquillity, cleanliness (sparkling sand bed), appropriate shade (trees) and flowers to add fragrance. Above all, you should have only ‘clean and noble thoughts.’ If you are reading Srimad Bhagavatam in your house, ensure that the place is not crowded and that you are in direct communion with the Supreme with pure and noble thoughts. Time is not important. Even if you are able to spend just half an hour daily, do so after creating a place called Anandam. And when you read Srimad Bhagavatam, rishis and munis would make their presence.
Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahatmyam, Chapter 3 Sloka 8 & 9: Purastham…Once you conduct the Srimad Bhagavata yagna, Bhakti will naturally come there with her two weak and disabled sons – Gnayana and Vairagya. This is because wherever and whenever Srimad Bhagavatam is narrated, Bhakti will be present. This narration will help Gnayana and Vairagya regain their strength.
Explanation: When one attains pure bhakti, what follows is gnayana (wisdom) and vairagya (detachment). In Kaliyuga, it is difficult to attain wisdom and detachment. But through bhakti, wisdom and detachment will gain strength in your hearts. It is said that whenever and wherever Ramayan is narrated or read, Hanuman would be present. Similarly, when Srimad Bhagavatam is narrated, Bhakti would always be present.