“Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness.” (SB 1.7.7.)
Bhagavatam is like a Sun (1.3.43) that Sri Krishna left behind, before ascending to His spiritual abode, for the people of Kaliyuga to gain transcendental knowledge. It is the ripened fruit (1.1.3) of all spiritual wisdom, written by Vyasa in his maturity, spoken by Shukadeva the transcendental parrot of Srimati Radharani. It is the desire tree (1.1.3) that can fulfill all one’s desires in such a perfect way that no more desires other than pure devotional service will remain in one’s heart. “SB is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful and all-perfect.” (1.3.40). Also it is said, “sarva-vedetihāsānāṁ sāraṁ sāraṁ samuddhṛtam” (1.3.41), Bhagavatam is the essence of all Vedic literatures.
Unlike the other religious literature which often make promises of benedictions to fulfill pleasures such as earthly or heavenly enjoyment, acquiring mystic powers, merging in impersonal oneness, Bhagavatam presents the transcendental message from Spiritual world teaching everyone how to love the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, with no motivations or interruption. It is the `panchama purushartha’ beyond the four regular well knows purusharthas – dharma, artha, kama, moksha – which any typical Vedic follower goes through. Thus Bhagavatam frees the practitioner from all envy and competitiveness which is the foundation of the material existence.
The threefold miseries arise from struggle against nature, other living entities or with one’s own body and mind. The more one tries to lord over and control the material world, to that degree one suffers from threefold miseries. But Bhagavatam teaches one to simply render loving service to the Supreme Lord in all circumstances, be it heaven or hell or spiritual world. Thus by humble service attitude to Lord, the living entity gives up `warring’ against nature by struggling with mind and senses.
All living beings desire to experience pleasure. But the sensual, mental, intellectual, egoistic pleasures, though are of increasing degree lasting for longer duration of time, are still temporary and cannot completely satisfy the soul. Thus the living beings wanting to experience some exchange of love begin looking for the same within family, friends, relatives, state, countrymen, pets etc. Bhagavatam teaches that the source of all pleasure is Sri Krishna, Rasaraj, who charms not only humans, but also all species of life. Since He is the source of all rasa, the living being can experience the most pleasure by serving Him and reciprocating love with Him. Bhagavatam is all about awakening that loving nature of soul towards the Supreme Lord.
The above article is an open book essay on Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1.1-9, written by HG Radheshyam Das.