Many stories in the Puranas are symbolic in nature while narrating apparently superficial incidents. One relates to Narada who with his transcendental powers to traverse anywhere decides to visit the earth after the end of Krishna Avatar. This is at the beginning of Kali Yuga after Dwapara Yuga gets over. While descending on the sacred and hallowed places of worship, Narada is distressed to note that people throng these venues not motivated by devotion but driven by the desire for material gains, corrupt power and the like. He proceeds to Brindavan, once the abode of Lord Krishna with the fond hope of finding virtuous devotees at least there. Even though a few are engaged in namasankirtana, he finds the atmosphere vitiated by an all pervading materialistic influence. He is accosted by Bhakti in the form of a woman who seeks his help to save her children Jnana and Vairagya whose lives seem to ebb away under the power of worldly attractions. She herself feels lost in the thickets of adharma and materialism ever since Krishna left this world.

This story is symbolic of the truth that people are likely to end up in the depths of the whirlpool of samsara if bhakti, jnana and vairagya are not fostered, elaborated Swami Paramasukhananda in a discourse. Bhakti extols Narada and recalls his exemplary role in the lives of Prahlada, Dhruva and Valmiki to instill unshakable devotion to God. Narada in all humility pays obeisance to Bhakti and acknowledges that she is the root cause for embedding devotion in his own consciousness. And God willingly seeks those who are truly devout. It is bhakti that makes Rama reach out to Guha. The Lord hastens to answer the frantic call of Gajendra who prays for solace. Krishna chooses Vidura’s place to partake his pious offering. The Lord reciprocating the genuine love and affection of Kuchela accepts the humble offering of a handful of flattened rice and showers him with riches. And in Kali Yuga?

To alleviate Vyasa’s sense of restlessness even after composing the Puranas and the epic Mahabharata, Narada advises him to compose a text that praises the glory of the Lord and thereby instill bhakti in people which alone can redeem them in Kali Yuga.

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